Tuesday, 6 January 2009

It's -7 out there! 12th night, and winter wildlife.

when we set off to the station this morning it was -7 c out there, that's the coldest so far this winter. Our lane is a sheet of ice, in fact it didn't thaw all day yesterday but the main roads are clear. One surprise this morning was that someone late last night moved the Christmas tree that was outside our front door, nothing was taken it was just moved! I think it must have been someone who thought last night was 12th night rather than tonight which is the feast of the Epiphany and wanted to stop us having bad luck. It would also explain Boris barking at about 11.30 last night.

So what of the wildlife when it gets this cold? Well the birdfeeders are very popular with Goldfinches Carduelis carduelis which really brighten up a dull day. This morning on the way back from the station just as it was getting light I saw our local buzzard, a barn owl and a young Muntjac deer crossing our lane next to the house. As I am typing this there is a Grey Squirrel running around the branches of the Walnut tree outside my office window, many people think they hibernate but they do not. They will spend a lot of time sheltering in the winter, but on a sunny morning like today they will take the opportunity to forage for food.