Wednesday, 6 January 2010


Ah well, this wintry weather has its compensations. There's the cheering beauty of untrodden snow, of course - and of hoarfrost, which was spectacular when I was in Oxfordshire the other day: every twig of every tree white with it, every green leaf fringed with fine silver whiskers... And there are the welcome unfamiliar birds that fly in with the cold. On Monday in the park I saw a couple of bramblings, a pretty kind of winter chaffinch with an air of the pine forest about it - a while since I saw any in my locality. And on Saturday I had my binoculars trained for a long time on a solitary fieldfare (so beautifully marked in grey, chestnut and black). As for the redwings, they are so numerous down my way this year that they're second only to the crows and gulls (make that third then) - a sure sign of a hard winter. If the Met Office had occupied itself looking out for redwings, it might not have issued its confident forecast of a 'mild winter'.


  1. I think all the birds in my village near Cambridge have frozen to death. They certainly haven't been near my overloaded bird table, ungrateful little buggers.