Saturday, February 14, 2009

Snow more

Shadows on snow

Well, it snowed and snowed and snowed. We had literally several inches of the white stuff! Apparently this copnstituted a "major snow event". The country "ground to a halt", naturally, but I drove to work every day and managed not to stuff it into a hedge, a ditch or any other vehicles. 

Now, the snow is on the way out. It's good news for wildlife, but even when it was at its worst, I watched two Blackbirds chasing each other around in the garden, and a pair of Robins doing the same. You might expect them to suspend their territorial disputes in those extreme conditions, but they didn't. 

Last weekend, we watched a herd of Fallow Deer trot and canter their way across the field, including one striking cream-coloured hind blending in well with her surroundings for once. The stag was hardly the monarch of the glen, with rather feeble antlers it would be generous to describe as a 'pair'. 

Great Tits seem to have begun singing in earnest this week. Outside my window, there's a Chaffinch singing rather half-heartedly, a Dunnock twittering away and earlier, a Greenfinch made a half-baked attempt at the "butterfly" display flight. A male Reed Bunting briefly in the garden is a typical winter bird for us, but the pale tips to the feathers on his head and throat were few and far between, leaving smarter black plumage ready for the breeding season. Male Tawny Owls have been calling in the small hours lately, waking me up on several occasions, but I've yet to hear a female answer.

The next thing will be to see if any amphibians turn up in the pond once it's ice-free.

photos taken with Canon EOS 30D + EF 300mm f/4L IS USM