With snow on the ground for the last is has been interesting to see how the birds have reacted
The snow first arrived on Monday afternoon making an interesting journey home. Further snow and very cold temperatures (-10.8) made travelling to Strumpshaw no fun at all. A journey that normally takes 90mins took 3hrs!!
So how has it affected the patch...?
The most obvious signs have been in the garden. Large numbers of finches have arrived and have been emptying the feeders almost daily. It has been difficult to accurately count them but at least 20 greenfinch, 25+ chaffinch and 13 bramblings have been present. A supply of apples has kept the thrushes coming in. The blackbirds numbers have been high all winter (20 daily) but since it has been cold the scarcer species have been in. Over the weekend, upto 7 fieldfares, 2 redwing and a 1st winter mistle thrush have been regularly seen. 3 siskin, 2 pied wagtail, common and black headed gulls have been unusual sightings.
Saturday afternoon out and about for a full patch walk and it was very quiet for people with the wintery conditions. The first species of note was the first red legged partridges of the year which was surprising considering the large numbers that are released in the area. The area was pretty quiet for small birds, probably on garden feeding stations, but 13 blackbirds, a woodcock and great spotted woodpecker feeding along a shelterbelt where there was no snow was unusual.
Another woodcock flushed from the side of the road encouraged me to check further and soon another 8 were recorded. I decided then to search the fringing birch woodland around the edge of the common and flushed a further 19 birds!!
Driving through the patch on Sunday morning produced another 4 woodcock feeding by the side of the road.
Patch list now stands at 54 species, 55 points
Pics of a snowy patch