Freezing Feathered Friends

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Today, I visited a local birding spot, to catch up, and, also, to try out a new camera. I was, however, prepared for frozen ponds/lakes/lochs.

I turned into the….err…car park???, got out of the car, and was immediately “accosted” by this robin……..

—-who didn’t even look appreciative of the breakfast I had brought along!!!

The two islets in this reserve are now linked to the embankments by ice and snow.

With several animal tracks visible, am wondering if predators are hunting any birds sheltering there? Doubtless, they are! :-((

There was no sign of the younger members of this local swan family, which I have been following throughout this year. :-((

Their parents, however, were still around, and in desperate need of food. I could only watch, helplessly, as they made their way across the ice towards me. At times, their legs crashed through the ice, and they seemed to be stuck, fast.

The leading parent looked exhausted by the time he/she reached solid ground. I was relieved to find no sign of gashes on their legs or feet, due to crashing through the ice.

Could only watch, alas, due to the posted signs…..

Unlike the robin, I knew that they appreciated my offerings of bread crumbs in warm milk from a flask. – lol!!

Wish I could say the same for the only other human visitor, whose car got stuck in the car park. He searched me out, had me push and dig him out (at least, I carry spades, etc., in the car in this weather), then drove off with a merry wave, and toot of his horn, leaving me to scrape my own self out!!!!!

Seemed to me, following my meetings with some lovely, feathered friends, to “speak volumes” about us!

My Other Blogposts From this Area:-

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/1424 “Transition”

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/1334 Beating Those “Monday Morning Blues”…..

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/1329 “New Kids on the Block”

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/314 Bull in a Willow (China Shop)?

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/112 A Favourite Place

http://www.ispyabird.co.uk/blogs/19 A Tail from the Riverbank

Comments

16 Dec, 2010
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muddywalters said:

If I ever get snowed in David, I'll know who to contact ! Good blog. Is that some sort of nest box in photo no.5 or an outdoor kebab?

16 Dec, 2010
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robashfield said:

Great blog David! Soooo you got your new camera.....snap! We were on about this earlier in the year.I have got a Canon 1000d,and bought a 70-200mm zoom lens off Alan,the pictures,I posted last ,were taken with it.what have you had? By the way..love the Robin,he's chunky!!!

16 Dec, 2010
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bonkersbon said:

What a lot you ve had there David the birds look so pleased that someone managed to brave the conditions .. sure the other motorist was grateful too as he sped away.

Went to a garden centre to get a snow shovel and needed it to get out of the car park .. thought it was quiet so close to Christmas ..glad you seem to be getting to grips with the camera , some lovely shots for a ' first ' attempt.

17 Dec, 2010
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littlewren said:

lovely blog.....thank goodness you had a little food for them......great photos

17 Dec, 2010
Dipper
david said:

To be honest, muddy, I don't know what that "tank" structure is. Have always just thought that it had something to do with the fact that the loch is man-made from a former gravel pit. Will try to find out, as am now interested in it, myself.

Hi Rob! Thought that something was different with your latest pics, lol!! great to hear that you got a new one, too! With a budget limit, my main concern was optical zoom, so went for one with X15 optical zoom. model is HZ15, marketed by GE. There is some method behind this choice. We use GE equipment at work, and Jamie, the GE engineer who services it periodically, has the same camera. Will be getting some free tuition at regular intervals.
:-))

Many Thanks, Bb! Were the snow shovels staring you in the face the moment you walked into the GC? Great sales pitch, methinks! Should have been on "BOGOF", as you helped them clear their carpark. Can't find one here, for love, nor money. :-((

Hi, Littlewren! A supply of bread, seed and warm milk in a flask were added to the spades, blankets, chocolate, etc., to be always in the car when venturing out. Birds, here, are now almost wholly dependent on us for their survival. I think that it is "payback time". for the pleasure they give us the rest of the year. :-))

17 Dec, 2010
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robashfield said:

Agree entirely with you David,regarding "payback".....happy snapping!!

17 Dec, 2010
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jane said:

Oh David....the sight of those beautiful swans struggling towards you for their food... you are trying so hard to help them.These conditions are so harsh..:o( Severe weather due here over the weekend...temps set to be minus 8 all day.Needless to say...birds will be cared for as much as possible. Tomorrow morning getting a dish of chopped up boiled potatoes for instant energy..followed by a huge fat dish with porridge. Ray? A packet of crisps !! lol

18 Dec, 2010
Stickipuffin_avatar
stickitoffee said:

that robin made me laugh ~ he looks so cross!!

19 Dec, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Severe weather finally hit us this morning, Jane :-(( How about you? Wish I were a bird in your garden - but glad that I'm not poor Ray - :-D)

Definitely not taken of his photgenic side, Sticki! :-))

19 Dec, 2010
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jane said:

Ditto here David...started snowing at midday and has just got heavier as the day has gone on. Birds been arriving in their droves and what a job keeping a patch clear for the ground feeders !! I guess your trip to see the birds of prey was a non starter then ? :o( Hope you are keeping warm..looks like we are in for a long haul........

19 Dec, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Finally stopped about 4pm here. Have been content to watch all the bird activity in the garden, too. Have now dug out the car for what will be another slow, tedious drive to work in the morning. Estimated travel time 2-3hrs rather than 45 mins. Of course, got plenty of practice a couple of weeks ago. :-))

Did not, of course, get along to see the birds (centre was closed, anyway). Keeping very warm, as daren't reduce he thermostat. Wouldn't want to repeat that week without any! Hope you are both keeping warm, too. :-)))

19 Dec, 2010
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jane said:

Oh dear..take care tomorrow David.Heating on full blast here David but being an old cottage no double glazing..those draughts just get everywhere ! Just stopped snowing but minus 8.Made up a couple of fat dishes for the birds and put in the porch...frozen solid in half an hour so put in the bathroom overnight !!! Stay safe and drive carefully tomorrow..x

20 Dec, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Oh, Jane! Hope you managed to keep those draughts out! :-((

Hope that the bird meals defrosted for today. and that they got eaten before they froze, again. Got there, and back. The freezing fog almost all the way was worse than anything. Couldn't even see if I was on the road. Hope that the birds are keeping warm, too, and finding shelter to roost together to keep warm. poor things.

22 Dec, 2010
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jane said:

That freezing fog sounds horrendous David.Hard work last couple of days but dont think any of our birds went to roost hungry.Kept popping the fat dishes in the warm oven every half hour or so to soften..then they fell on it ! Temperature rose to a heady minus 8 today..what joy..then another 4 inches of snow !! You win some...lol.You take good care. PS Put hay in all the birdboxes in the hope that some of them roost there...its the best I can do.

22 Dec, 2010
Dipper
david said:

Can beat you by 2 degrees, Jane, lol!!! Great tip re putting hay in the boxes, btw! And very appropriate, too! Would be surprised if there was any room at any "inn", just by putting in some warmer bedding. Have done, with hay, straw, cotton,etc. (don't thpnk that our Guinea Pigs and dwarf Russian hamsters will miss some, too much, lol!). Trying to keep everything "stable"! :-))

23 Dec, 2010
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jane said:

Hi David...well done sharing your pets bedding with the birds...what a "star" ! A bit milder here today...only minus 4...lol..positively balmy ! Well just wanted to wish yourself,James and Eilidh a wonderful warm Christmas,and looking forward to lots of pics now youve mastered that new camera ! Take care and love from both..xx

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