Sunday, 11 March 2018

It's not letting go....

......the snow! Thursday morning we woke about 6am to heavy snow, which kept on going for the next 3 and a half hours, right on rush hour, which caused chaos around parts of West Yorkshire and ended up with folks taking more snow days (well not for me of course - I still ended up doing a half day).

So with a couple of extra hours at home I spent half the time clearing snow off the feeder as the birds where in and out of the garden non stop.


Coal Tit

Whilst I waited for the snow to ease I just sat back and enjoyed the view, which included a Heron flyover too. Last year I had to wait till October before I ticked a Heron on the patch, i've seen three this year already. 


Collared Dove

Long-tailed Tits

House Sparrow



Blue Tit

Collared Dove & Robin


The funny thing is by 5pm about 2/3 of the snow had gone and apart from the odd abandoned car it was like this mornings travel chaos never happened!

Saturday, 10 March 2018

A rare garden visitor

Tuesday morning I was sat in my usual spot by the patio doors watching the birds in the garden before I went out to work. A bird flew in that I haven't seen in a long time - a Siskin, just one, a male, it went straight for the sunflower hearts and stayed around long enough for a few photos.

I checked my records and the only other time there's been one in the garden in the ten years we've lived here was back in 2011! I've not seen it since either. 

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Rodley Nature Reserve

I thought the weather was going to warm up a little on Sunday so decided to go for a walk around Rodley.......expect the snow hadn't quite finished with us yet and when we arrived it was sleeting, snowing and raining altogether like it couldn't quite make up it's mind.

Still off we went with our hoods up spotting four Bullfinch in the trees by the car park. From the hide overlooking the the lagoon we watched the Coot's stride around the ice and found two Oystercatchers in the middle of a large flock of Common and Black-headed Gulls. There were a few ducks around too, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, plus Moorhen and Great Crested Grebe.

From the duck marsh and willow path hides we saw Snipe - 8 of them along with a single Oystercatcher.

We saw plenty of small birds, heard a distant drumming Woodpecker and got a quick glimpse of a Bank Vole by the feeder on the willow path.

It was still snowing on and off and the birds were mostly in hiding, a few Teal were gathering all together in the grassland.

The Linnets were flying backwards and forwards from the meadow to the trees, it was a little easier to see them on the meadow with the snow but difficult to get a photo as they were constantly on the move.

As always we stopped at the visitor centre for cake and a cuppa to warm up, there were lots of  birds on the feeders and I spotted a Song Thrush out on the grass.

One of the volunteers mentioned there was a Lapwing by the dung heap and we saw it just as it took off and flew into the distance. A Grey Wagtail flew onto there too. There were quite a few Crows around sitting on the posts looking a little ominous in the fog!

The cold and sleet had defeated us by now though and we decided to head home and dry out. 

Saturday, 3 March 2018

A Snow Day........and another......and another.........

The so called 'Beast from the east' hit us on overnight Tuesday and caused one or two problems to say the least.

We had snow by Wednesday morning and I walked to work in a blizzard, managing to spot a flock of around 35 Lapwing's flying overhead - a new patch tick. A small flock of Redwings were hiding under a bush in the park, they were actually 'chirping' the sound drawing me off my usual path, they were hopping in and out of the bush before a passer by spooked them, I only managed a quick photo but they looked beautiful against the snow.



No stay at home snow day for me though this week - that's what happens when you live in walking distance to work! Each morning i've been out at dawn clearing snow off the feeders and topping them up, with the Blackbirds and Robins waiting in the trees. I cleared and defrosted the bird bath too, though it didn't stay unfrozen for long.

Thursday morning brought a lot more snow and a Mistle Thrush appeared in the garden, muscling the Blackbird and Robin off the feed tray. The first one in years. My husband and daughter were home so I asked them to be on Thrush watch and to try and keep the bird bath defrosted. My husband sent me a picture of a Fieldfare that had been at the feeder - a garden first and I missed it. I saw many many photos of Fieldfare in people's gardens the past few days, a joy to see but not great they were finding it so difficult to eat.

Mistle Thrush

The Blackbird sunk a little!

Mistle Thrush

House Sparrows 

My husbands photo

I can't quite remember the last time I saw icicles like this.

Early this morning I cleaned up the feeders, stocked everything up and put out a few apples, hoping maybe there'd be some Fieldfares still around. The Mistle Thrush was hanging around the garden all day long, a 2nd one joined it briefly. All day long the feeders have been busy with the usual birds - Woodpigeon, Collared Doves, Starlings, Robins, Blackbirds, Great, Blue, Coal, Long-tailed Tits, a Wren, Sparrows, Dunnock and Goldfinch. It was nice just to be able to sit and watch all the activity.

Collared Dove

Mistle Thrush 



House Sparrow

Blue Tit


Mid morning I saw a flock of 10 Fieldfare fly over and then hang around in the distant trees by the edge of the park. But they didn't stop in the garden until the very end of the day as it was starting to get dark and a single one landed in the Laburnum for a couple of minutes.

A long post but snow like this is not something that happens here very often these days (global warming..........) so it's big news. Rain is forecast for tomorrow so that could bring an end to the snow (and also brings the end of this post).