Friday, December 14, 2012

Freezing fog.

This week the chilly temperatures have caused wisps of freezing fog to drift up the Great Glen from the west coast. Yesterday was minus 4C throughout the day and much colder at night. Snow fell all day and there is now a layer around the house. Fortunately though, the forecast for the next few days is for warmer temperatures with rain showers which will enable the snow to melt. During the cold white snowy spell it is easier to spot certain bird species that normally would not be so visible, especially the tiny Goldcrest which is the UK's smallest bird. Gangs of Long Tailed Tits flit about the woodland, descend on the feeders altogether and are gone in a few seconds.
Tiny Goldcrest

Gang of Long Tailed Tits

Monday, December 10, 2012

Keeping warm !!

Noticed a much greater number of blackbirds feeding in the garden this month and they especially enjoy any soft fruit left out for them. Although we usually see them throughout the year with their normal colouration as captured above, we have noticed some males with black beaks. On further investigation I have read that there has been a great arrival of winter Scandanavian visitors-Fieldfares,Redwings and Blackbirds-who come to refuel, get through the 'milder' British winter and then fly back north to their homeland to breed. The juvenile male Scandanavian blackbird has a prominent black beak during its first year.
The blackbirds often share the bird table with the red squirrels in their smart warm winter coats and fully grown ear tufts. There are plenty of squirrels eating at the various feeding stations during the limited daylight hours and they dash about frantically burying food, hopefully which they will be able to find later in the colder weather. Clear blue sky today with zero temperature and the forecast of an Arctic chill on the way. Brrrrr.....

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Snow on show.

The weather has turned colder this month producing deep snow on high ground. The CairnGorm Ski Centre has opened early and doing good business. This morning there was snow and frost laying on the ground around the house and the temperature is forecast for minus 7C tomorrow....something to really look forward to !

Had to put on my safety Spikers this morning to go out and feed the birds and squirrels and to break the thick ice on the bird bath. The robins are particularly cheeky, and maybe very hungry, and fly on to the bird table as I am putting food on to it. Whatever the weather the wildlife rely on you at this time of year.