The colder the weather the more Blackbirds arrive in the garden at first light. This morning, at -6.5C, I counted at least 26 Blackbirds milling around the back garden gobbling up the seed I had scattered late yesterday.
Watching this male Blackbird searching in the snow yesterday reminded me of an old television advertisement for a make of toothpaste which used the sound bite - Ring of Confidence....
Here a female Blackbird with its feathers fluffed out to keep warm.
Many of the birds show frost on their backs and wing feathers.
Every so often a group of Goldfinches arrives. One day so many arrived I had to put up a second feeder just for them. They don't exactly welcome any other birds to share their food store.
A prolonged cold spell like the one we are having is very hard on wildlife. Yesterday it was mentioned on the television that small birds such as Robins don't have enough body mass to use to generate enough body heat over a long freezing night. Small birds like the Blue Tits can lose a third of their body weight in shivering (the way small birds keep warm) during a night of freezing temperatures. Last night's minimum here was just below -9C and even in the daytime it is only managing the dizzy height of -1.5C
There is a certain four legged hairy monster which insists on exploring from time to time. He goes out, has a quick enquiring bark to see if one of his girlfriends is about, ambles round his favourite spots and then charges back in and curls up in his chair - until the next time.
1 hour ago