Its still -2C and the snow is covering everything. A month ago (24th November) I said rather excitedly .... "Its 18:20hrs and the first snow of the winter."..... Little did I know that there would be snow in the garden every day from then until now.
The birds are struggling with the ground being either so hard or under so much snow that I'm having to top up the bird table in the garden twice a day when I can but the total number of birds has diminished. 17 Wood Pigeon and 2 Collarded Dove are currently dominating the area but rarely more than 1 or 2 are present until late morning, giving the smaller birds such as the Blue Tit, Great Tit and Coal Tit, Robin, Song Thrush and Dunnocks a chance to feed. The Siskin and Blackbird seem to be less bothered about the bully pigeons. A Sparrowhawk has probably noted the birds now and I've seen it several times in the past few days and if it hasn't already, it will soon, start using the garden as one of it's local fly-in takeaways.
A walk around the fell produced a lot of snow but little in the way of wildlife, but despite all this nature carries on. I have seen 3 species of plant, all trees as it happens, in flower, during the week. There were Betula pendula (Silver Birch), Corylus avellana (Hazel) and Populus tremula (Aspen).
There was still 1-2 Willow Tit, 4 Bullfinch and a Nuthatch in South Burn woods. The Fell itself had a few more Bullfinch and a scattering of five species of thrush , ie Blackbird, Redwing, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare. However the best birds were 3 Waxwing that flew over heading towards Sacriston so I hope hope these hang around until the new year. I could not find any Long-tailed Tit or Lesser Redpoll today, the latter I was hoping to track down both to photograph and check them, as there has been a few Mealy and Arctic Redpolls around the last few days.