Sunday, 5 February 2012

Snow

Yes, I know everyone else has snow too, and one back garden looks pretty much like another when covered in snow ... but its just so brilliant! Especially on a Sunday when you don't have to worry about trying to get anywhere and can just go and enjoy it.

Except I'm housebound with the start of a migraine and a painful swollen knee, doh! But I really do believe that every cloud has a silver lining (even if you have to poke quite hard to find it).

We were worried about the birds, so lovely hubby went out to clear and fill the bird feeders which were covered in snow .. all freshly filled and with a nice clear snow-free patch beneath for picking up the fallen food .. so I've been sat with tea and toast in my armchair enjoying the best wildlife show you could hope for: a pair of robins, a pair of chaffinches (I just love their colouring and they are new to me), a pair of blue tits, our resident flock of funny hoppy little sparrows, a squadron of starlings (whom I love - there were eight of them on the hanging table at once today! someone told me they were mainly ground feeders, so they are especially affected by the snow, is this right? also I saw one passing food beak to beak with another the same size .. a late chick??) Not to mention my friend mr. blackbird, who was valiantly doing his territorial thing, seeing off a thrush nearly twice his size.

If I hadn't been forced to sit in the armchair completely still, I would have missed the show! And I'm still learning .. today I've found out that male and female robins are identical, that chaffinches don't usually use the feeders but prefer to pick up seed from the ground (today the female chaffinch was doing this, sneaking in to the cleared patch of ground for some seeds when mr. blackbird's back was momentarily turned, but the male chaffinch was occasionally taking his turn on the feeders .. needs must in the snow, I think?) Still got some looking up to do to identify the big thrush-type bird, though. A happy evening with some books to come.

Please check out the RSPB's advice on how you can help your birds during the snow (I found out plenty, including not using those little mesh bags that fat balls come in, for example) and leave a comment to share any tips that others might not know?


Update Monday 6th Feb:-

Well, the armchair wildlife warrior was in action again today .. still feeling crock and housebound, but sitting at the kitchen table having a coffee I noticed a starling trapped behind the glass of our neighbour's lounge window across the street. Lovely hubby went and rang the bell, but no reply. Denis next door came to see what was happening and he knocked next door over the street but one, who had the key for Joan's house with the trapped starling. They went in with an old towel and the starling shot out the door to freedom! Teamwork, huh? Well, while watching the rescue I was reminded of that favourite poem by Pam Ayres..

We're starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We don't go round hopin', we walks.
We don't go in for this singing all day,
And twittering about, we just squawks.

We don't go in for these fashionable clothes,
Like old Missel Thrush, and his spots,
Me breast isn't red, there's no crest on me head,
We've got sort of, hardwearing...dots.

We starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We'll eat anything that's about,
Well anything but that old half coconut,
I can't hold it still. I falls out.

What we'd rather do, is wait here for you,
To put out some bread for the tits,
And then when we're certain, you're there by the curtain,
We flocks down and tears it to bits.

But we starlings, the misses, meself and the boys,
We reckon that we're being got at,
You think for two minutes, them finches and linnets,
You never sees THEM being shot at.

So the next time you comes out to sprinkle the crumbs out,
And there's starlings there, making a noise,
Don't you be so quick to heave half a brick,
It's the misses, meself and the boys!

Hope you're all having a good day :-)

6 comments:

iloveanimals said...

i love this side hihi
Animal beauty
Driver laptop

Comfrey Cottages said...

So sorry you weren't feeling well:( I hope your migraine has gone and your knee is better. Did you injure yourself? What a cool picture seeing blooming flowers in that snow! Fun you could sit and enjoy the birds, though. I love the starlings and sparrows too, as well as all of them! We have little bird book and binoculars we keep near the window to our feeding station, and the grandchildren just love it when an unusual bird shows up and we can date the page in the book! So cute to see one passing food to the other:) That poem is wonderful! have a beautiful day xxx Leslie

Hedgewitch said...

Hi Leslie,

That's a great idea to keep binoculars on the windowsill .. yes I'm much better now, thanks!

ShySongbird said...

Thank you so much for becoming a follower on my blog :-) Coincidentally, I had spotted you on Cheryl's blog and nipped over for just a quick look as I was in a rush, then not long after you visited me!!

So sorry to hear you are under the weather at the moment, I hope you feel much better soon.

It was lovely to read of your garden visitors and their antics. I would think the large Thrush like bird you saw was either a Redwing, a Fieldfare or possibly a Mistle Thrush. The Fieldfares and Redwings often visit gardens in hard weather looking for berries or fallen apples.

Love the Pam Ayres poem :-)

Lucinda said...

Hi Steph, that is an impressive doorstop of snow!
I hope you are feeling all better now.
It's lovely to read about your bird friends!

Hedgewitch said...

Thanks, shysongbird.. that's really helpful! We do put apples out for the birds, so will make sure to keep doing this. Welcome to Earth and Tree, its so kind of you to stop by :-)

Hi Lucinda, yes thankyou, much better. Good to see you.. today have been trying to get a photo or two (albeit through the glass) to go with :-)