Wednesday, 15 December 2010


Snails Lake

The back garden

"Our" newly resident ponies at sunset

Snails Lane in the snow

Well, it's been more or less Arctic for about three weeks now, and more icy air is promised before this weekend. We've effectively battened down the hatches on doing anything in the garden - we've even had to postpone our tree and hedging delivery until (hopefully) it's a bit warmer in the new year.

Feeding the birds has been as productive as last year, or possibly more so - already plenty of Bramblings, Reed Buntings and even some Redwings and Fieldfares right close to the house, plus the usual other garden species. And in the last day or two, Redpolls have started appearing - just ones and two as yet, but this very morning we saw flocks of 72 and 50 within a mile or so of the house, so they're definitely increasing!

We're also keeping an eye open for a Great Grey Shrike which Bob Chapman saw flying onto the reserve from this direction yesterday! On the reserve itself, the numbers of wildfowl have been great, with over 200 Goosanders, over 1000 Gadwall, 100s of Greylags, carrying 5 White-fronts and a small race (possibly Dusky) Canada Goose, and even a redhead Smew for one day only - see here for full details! And a second-winter Iceland Gull a couple of weeks back in the evening roost was good - along with plenty of Yellow-legged Gulls every evening, and occasional sightings of the Caspian Gull, too. On the moth front, activity has ground (inevitably) almost to a complete halt, although a trap run on a fractionally milder night a few days ago did (predictably) collect December Moth (or, better, Eggar) and Dusky Thorn.

December Moth - a stunner! Note the festive berries....very artistic

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