Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Thirty degrees under

When will the frogs learn, never lay your spawn without looking at the long range weather forecast!

It's a shame the pond was full of spawn, but I doubt if any of this lot will survive the weather. It is about the coldest March day for 30 years and follows last year when we had a "heat wave". In old money (deg F) it was about 30 degrees lower today than on the same date last year, and out in the Northerly wind if felt double that. I certainly wasn't expecting another load of snow, and in places where it had blown off the field and formed drifts against the road side, it needed to be cleared to get the roads open. 

There have been a good flock of finches round and this morning there were at least 60 Chaffinches feeding round the garden, with around 30 Greenfinches and a few Goldfinches. The hoped for Bramblings and Siskins didn't appear but at lead one of the Long-tailed Tits became bolder and fed right by the house.

On the few occasions I've seen them in the garden they've either fed on one of the peanut feeders at the end of the garden, or on a couple of occasions on a sunflower seed feeder.

Obviously the bird today had decided that the energy form fat balls would be best at fending off the cold wind. It spent quite a long time moving round each ball, as if picking out the choicest bits. While it was there it was joined at various times by the male Blackcap, Goldfinches, Blue Tits and Robins. Robins in the plural did cause a slight kerfuffle when two arrived at the same time. Even in today's conditions they remain territorial and intolerant of any intrusion when another appears.

Underneath all the activity above  Pied Wagtail trotted round picking up the bits dropped by the careless feeders above. 
As I had to be in Deal in the early afternoon I did my customary drive along the Ancient Highway and took a look at the Restharrow Scrape. The wind was whipping across the water and nearly all the birds remained hidden in the reeds. The odd Teal and Tufted Duck did venture out but mostly it was a game of hide and seek looking between the stems. The cold temperatures and strong wing whipping up the water had produced some strangely iced reeds and sedges.

 The ice along the edge of the small island was also formed in artistic shapes, that were less easy to explain.

I wasn't surprised that there was no sign of the pair of Lapwings that had been displaying on the spot last week. Minus two degrees must cool off an ardour.brought on by the spring like spell we were having.

No comments: