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Monday, 21 January 2013

Snow and more garden birds

For once the weather forecast was correct and snow arrived on Friday. It wasn't very much, about an inch in total, but I felt cheated! I had this romantic notion of waking up to a couple of inches of lovely fresh snow and then the sun would be shining, the sky would be lovely and blue and I'd go out there and take all sorts of pretty photos including having a go at macro photos of ice crystals and the like.

Not so, it snowed all morning interspersed with freezing rain, it was cloudy (for that read really dull and dismal) and it was freezing! Really after I'd seen to my chickens (who steadfastly refuse to set one foot outside when they see that white stuff) and mucked out my mucky duck shed (pond wasn't frozen so the ducks were quite happy) I had to come inside and warm up. I then went out to see that all the garden birds had plenty of food and fresh water. Ditto the coming inside to warm up again! 

And so it went on with me managing to nip outside, take a few photos here and there in between having to warm my hands up on hot coffee in between. My fingers were so cold the best I could do was set the camera on Idiot Mode, point and shoot and hope for the best. Forget any fancy macro shots as even wearing gloves (not easy to use a camera with) my hands were like blocks of ice.

Now most of the snow has gone but it's raining, and it's even more muddy around the chicken and duck sheds where somehow when you stomp on snowy grass it turns it into even more of a quagmire than it was before. So rather a disappointing kind of snow!

Anyway, here are a few photos that I did manage to take.

Rose bud not looking very happy - I think I can safely say that's the end of the roses!

A view from my bedroom window taken through the double glazing hence a few blobs
which are actually the snow (or dirt!) on the panes

My lake - apart from that bit of green in the field beyond
everything was looking so monochrome

The 'moorhen tree' (the willow growing out over the water)
and the weeping willow on the left giving a faint hint of colour

And so to the wild birds. We have more blue tits here than great tits or sparrows, which I find quite surprising as in previous gardens the great tits have always outnumbered the blue tits, and we'd be feeding hundreds of sparrows! However we don't seem to have very many interesting or different birds coming to our feeders - we saw more variety of birds in the first couple of years that we lived here and since then most have never been seen again. I wonder if it is anything like the other wildlife such as partridges, pheasants, hares and deer that we see so little of any more?

Here's one of my feeding stations with bird bath.
There are a number of birds waiting in the wiggly hazel on the left.

Blue Tit on left and Great Tit on right

Not very clear shot but I wanted to show this Greenfinch on the seed feeder,
along with a couple of Great Tits.
Greenfinches are common birds but we don't see them here very often.

Mrs Chaffinch taken from a distance. The Chaffinches are common birds
and like to eat the duck food that I put out!

A really distant shot hence not clear at all but I wanted to show that we do have
Blackbirds and Robins here - again common birds, but not easy to get close to!

This was taken at a distance through my bedroom window and double glazing.
It's a Fieldfare which are winter visitors and we tend to see them only when
the weather is particularly harsh.

The rest of the shots are all of Blue Tits. They are small birds and one of my favourites. Being small they were so desperate to feed that I was able to get closer to them than the other birds, so some better shots of them.


  1. Like the last twisty Hazel(?) shot a lot. The twistyness makes it.

    1. Thanks Nick. Yes it's a Hazel, I call it my wiggly Hazel but it's a Corylus avellana 'Contorta' if we want to be all correct. :-) Looks fab in winter and early spring when all the catkins are flowering, then looks a total mess when it has leaves on! It's really for winter decoration, this tree.

    2. In Holland they pick contorted willow or hazel branches, put them in a vase and hang them with decorated eggs for Easter.

    3. I like that twisty Hazel bird shot too!

    4. Hi Brittanygirl - I keep a vase with dried branches of this hazel inside as it is so decorative, but didn't know about the Easter eggs!

  2. I enjoyed your bird photos. I still giggle at the 'Tit' birds. LOL! Be careful when you say... "Those are some Great Tits you have there"! We have tits here in the U.S. but I haven't had the pleasure of seeing one yet. They kind of remind me of our little Red-breasted Nuthatches and chickadees. Love the shot with the tit on the orange too.

    1. I always thought chickadees were tits as they look so alike! I know so little about North American birds, but have been learning about some of them from the images on G+ and the lovely butterflies there too.

      So you have tits too! Yup it's a fun word :-) Thanks for visiting, Sherrie. I don't know how you have time with your blog party going on! I wish I had known about that earlier. Sounds like a good way to get to know other blogs/bloggers.

  3. wonder why you have less variety of bird life than you did at first? We've missed our kingfisher for a long time, but husband tells me our little bird was back today!

    1. I don't really know, Diana. Game birds could be put down to the hunting that goes on here every autumn and winter, but not for the song birds. There are far fewer different species visiting the feeders than I had in more built up areas in previous gardens. Maybe I have more real habitat and food for them in my wild areas? (which is good of course). We see kingfishers here occasionally but sometimes go a long time between seeing them. Glad yours is back!

  4. Replies
    1. Thanks Cergie! I made a post about the home made feeders last year
      I can't make that a clickable link (don't know how) but copy and paste the link and it will show you my husband's innovative idea. Our original bird table which he made kept blowing over in the wind so he came up with this idea.

  5. Hi Great photoblog, Great picture of a very chilly looking Fieldfare, and the shots of the Blue tits are stunning!!, Thank you very much for sharing.
    Best Regards,
    Trev :)

    1. Hi Trev, thank you for visiting and commenting! Glad you liked it! :-)