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The Beast from the East

It’s cold. Very cold. I don’t think it’s got above freezing all week, and the strong winds from the east are making it feel even colder. But there’s not (so far…..) been a great deal of snow. We’ve had about a centimetre or so up here on the hills, and the roads have remained clear. I’ve just seen a gritter lorry go past, and there is a steady stream of traffic going past the house. There is more snow forecast for the rest of the week though, and I’m fully expecting to have to dig out the car at some stage. But I’ve got a full larder and freezer, and I’ve brought my laptop home from work. So if necessary I can work from home if it gets too difficult or dangerous to drive in.

The wildlife seems to be suffering though. There has been dozens of birds feasting on the bird feeders – blue tits, great tits, coal tits and long-tailed tits, as well as nuthatches and woodpeckers. Other birds are too large or aren’t agile enough to balance on the feeders, so they hop around on the ground underneath in the hope of picking up bits the tits have dropped. So there are robins, blackbirds, a wren, a crow and some dunnocks as well as several male pheasants (but interestingly, no females). My bird identification book has been getting a lot of use! There’s one I’ve not been able to identify yet – it’s small enough to use the peanut feeder, and had a dull green back with a yellow belly. Not sure what it is, and it’s been too easily startled to get any photos of it.

Philip the pheasant in the snow

There are three pheasants that are very regular visitors. They all have quite different markings, so are very distinctive and identifiable. This is Philip the pheasant – he has a very broad white collar like Harry Hill, a large white patch on the top of his head, and a very grey backside. He visits the garden several times each day, and struts about as if he owns the place. He was looking very forlorn earlier when his head was even whiter than usual due to a topknot of snow!

{ 1 } Comments

  1. pauld | 1 March 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    A foot of snow here last time i measured it and wind chill was -12, unusual as this village is sheltered from the fells and tends not to get much snow (well not since 1960’s apparently). windchill of -24 on top so I aint been out walking today !, Its lovely, good traditional snow 🙂