Friday, 3 December 2010

Big freeze

Have not heard of any Waxwings in Stevenage since Saturday. Not sure if anyone is going out looking for them though, due to the weather.
The freeze started last weekend, after several days of overnight frosts, and a continual easterly or northerly airflow has seen daytime temperatures barely getting above freezing on the warmest days. Nothing unusual has yet appeared in the garden, plenty of food is being put out and there is water available. The usual dozen or so House Sparrows, Wood Pigeons and Collared Doves are still around, as well as a pair of Dunnocks, up to five Blue Tits and one or two Robins. Have occasional visits by Goldfinches which had disappeared for a long time-they have been feeding on Salvia seed heads rather than the feeders. Not sure about thrushes like Blackbirds as I have not seen any for a few days now.

Coming home from work over the last few days I have noticed large numbers of Jackdaws-many hundreds, apparently coming in to roost in the southern part of Fairlands Valley in Monks Wood. I have occasionally seen large corvid movements from the garden on summer evenings and assumed they were heading for the Leisure Park mainly because I see big flocks (though mainly Carrion Crows) there when I get in to work early.

Nothing much to get excited about nationally, though a rumoured Hawk Owl somewhere near Swindon recently will tempt me out if genuine. The Norfolk Northern Harrier has not been reported for a few days now-hope it is still around somewhere. Otherwise it seems that there are now three Bittern and at least one Smew at Amwell.

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