The temperature was below zero, but not by much, but what made it feel cold was a strong northerly wind. As it became light the full extend of the settled snow could be seen around the gardens.
This has been the first serious snow for at least two years, and immediately the garden was full of birds, but it was too dark ey to get any meaningful photographs. As the sun finally put in an appearance, its light clipping the roof tops I watched a Jackdaw walking along the apex of the house on the other side of the road.
Strangely, the Rooks and Jackdaws can be seen around the garden, but I have yet to see either actually come down into the garden. This bird was intrigued by the comings and goings in the Rowan tree below the house and watched from above probably in case there was food that it would want about.
It decided there wasn't anything to interest it, and stood up and took in the morning sunshine.
There are still plenty of berries on the Rowan despite the attention all week of the Redwings, my hope stil is that with the cold spell the Waxwings will move further south, and it looks like these berries will be around for quite a time yet.
The Redwings were there though this morning, and were a lot bolder, unconcerned when the cars went by they sat in the tree close to their source of berries.
Much like last Friday, as they ate the would adopt some amusing poses, is this Rudolph, or maybe is it preparation for Red Nose day?
While some sat on branches in the sunshine, others went where there were large bunches of berries.
Here the orange red underwing that give them their name is clearly seen.
With all the berries around this one I wonder why it had its eyes on those just out of reach?
Finally a lovely pose for next years Christmas cards!
In the garden things were hotting up, but not the temperature. I counted at least 26 Goldfinches at any one time, the highest count yet, there were definitely more about because as some fly out others come in from the distant gardens.
Every so often in amongst the feeding Goldfinches a pair of Siskins appear. They seem totally unconcerned by the quarreling Goldfinches and just quietly go about their business.
The Chaffinches are little more wary, they prefer to feed on the ground under the feeders, but will use the feeder, flying in, and quickly taking something before the Goldfinches notice.
Unfortunately there have been very few Greenfinches about, I saw one earlier in the week but this morning there was no sign of any. Another missing has been the male Bullfinch, the female turned up last Sunday on her own, and she did so again this morning, this is unusal because they usually travel about in pairs and groups.
The House Sparrows are late risers, and usually turn up once all the other birds have been about for some time. This male was just sitting quietly in the tree.
The BTO are saying it was a bad breeding year in 2016 for the Blue Tit, and the numbers about in the garden this year tend to bare this out. Last winter there were five to six individuals at any one time, this winter it has been rare to see more than one.
Long-tailed Tits though are still coming through. This one was hanging from the branch by one leg as it held a nibble in it's other foot.
Others were more conventional in the way that they went about feeding.
There was no sign of the Red Kite, I had expected to see it come over at some stage. There was though another raptor about, a Buzzard, I picked it up out over Lymington Bottom.
It then drifted closer but was beginning to realise that this was a mistake.
The concern was due to mobbing Rooks and Jackdaws that seemed just to appear.
The Buzzard took evasive action and turned away while the Rooks and Jackdaws gave chase to ensure that it did leave.
During the cold weather the best place to watch the wildlife is from the warmth of your home. The woods and fields will be very quiet, and many of the birds, especially if the cold spell lasts, will make their way to ready sources of food, and gardens are one of the best.
The forecast is for another cold day tomorrow, then a milder interlude before the cold weather returns late in the week. I will be venturing a little farther afield tomorrow.