A couple centimetres of snow this morning. Funny how that completely changes the dynamic of the bird interactions at our feeders. As a rule each species tends to keep a respectful distance from each other. The sparrows are a boisterous lot and are generally a bit much for the blue tits. But then the robins usually see off the sparrows, and pretty much anyone else. Today, particularly on the table where we put old apples and bird seed, they were all piling in, the need for food taking precedence over any kind of hierarchy.

Unusually, a small flock of goldfinches came and fed on the seed heads of the winter savoury in our herb bed. We often see them in the top of our walnut tree but I’ve never see them so close to the house before. Such an attractive bird.

Temperatures climbed marginally above zero promptly so the snow started to melt quite early. Off we went for a walk while it still looked good. We found roe deer tracks in the snow. Eventually spotted one in a belt of oak trees. In a nearby cider orchard flocks of starlings, fieldfares and blackbirds were noisily feeding on the few remaining apples on the ground.

By the time we were walking back much of the snow on the lanes had melted. Glad we grabbed the moment.

Stephen James

Minding the gaps

© Stephen James 2021

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