A cold day

Today is a cold day. Is it cold where you are?

I have been snug and warm, and productive, writing away in my office since soon after 0600 this morning. I already feel that it has been a successful and productive day and yet there is lots more of it to come (and go).

I have only taken a break to help jump-start my daughter’s and son-in-law’s car – reminding me of the cars I had at a similar age, and how one spent as much time getting them started, repaired, serviced and mended as one did driving them (or so it seemed).

Venturing out with the jump-leads, the road underfoot was icy and although the sky is bright blue, and the sun is out, it is cold. Cold, cold, cold! Their car is now at the local garage and my inexpert prediction is that a new battery will solve all their problems except financial ones.

450px-Erithacus_rubecula_scotlandAs we left the garage we stopped to watch a male Blackbird and a Robin feeding in some leaf litter. It seemed that they were feeding together but that may not have been the case. The Blackbird was the leader, tossing aside leaves, other vegetable matter and the occasional small stone to search in the dark mulch. Where it had been there were patches of dark disturbed leaf mould, where it was still to go was a more uniform, white, frosted, potential feeding area.

The Robin pecked in the dark, upturned leaf matter – it seemed quite successfully. Several pecks in the same small area each seemed to be finding tiny food items. The Robin was very close to us, only a few feet away. It obviously knew we were there and i guess it kept an eye, a dark beautiful eye, on us as it fed.

It really did seem as though it was benefitting from the work of the more active Blackbird in turning over the leaves to reveal places where the Robin could feed.

Once home, around noon, I looked down the east-west (and west-east) running road that stretches away as I look from the bedroom. Almost all the road was in shadow and was still frosty and icy.  At the top of the road nearest me, there was a portion of clear road, wet not frosty, which I realised had been exposed to the sun earlier in the day.  The movement of the sun had cast it back into shadow, but the earlier sun had melted the ice crystals.

Further down the road, the only areas free of ice were the places where cars had been parked overnight, the wide gap where a house has been knocked down and a new building is going up but at present lets the sun shine onto the icy road, and a thin gap between two houses where the midday sun had cut through and left a strip of black wet tarmac across an otherwise white frosty road.

It’s cold. Is it cold where you are?

 

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17 Replies to “A cold day”

  1. First frost-free day in Inverness for about a week. A walk down to the river with the dog this morning yielded a dipper, some goosanders and a kingfisher (which is not a common sight up here).

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  2. Yes. Properly cold in Norfolk. A bit warmer now with the sun doing its best but a hard frost first thing. I sorted out some water for the birds and then had to attend A&E with my Mum. While there, I spoke to an elderly gent who'd gone for a burton on his decking when he went out to top up the bird table. He was in for a thumb x-ray, poor bloke.

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  3. Yes, it is and we have snow on the ground and I have had great pleasure watching the birds in the garden and keeping them fed. We have had guest appearances from a Fieldfare and a Reed Bunting. We are lucky enough to have 3 Robins sparring or food. I broke the ice on the pond and found some tadpoles!

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  4. A heavy frost this morning sparkled everywhere in bright sunlight making a beautiful morning in Brighton. Had several starlings on the feeder, squabbling to get to the suet balls until they were all dispersed by a jackdaw! The local pond was frozen over too, except for a small circle of water full with ducks. Really felt like winter today!

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  5. It took until lunchtime for the frost to melt here. Even the Pied Wagtails have been in the garden today feeding on meal worms. The Black Headed Gulls keep doing fly bys checking out the feeding plank on the back fence as well.

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  6. Very cold and frosty in Bucks; -0.5 according to the car. However there are unexpected benefits: pied wagtails and a jay in the garden plus the most amazing frost designs on helleborus foetidus in the borders.

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    1. Scarlet - hi! welcome! Is this your first comment here? It seems to be.

      I've enjoyed weatching four Wood Pigeons eating my ivy berries. They are very beautiful birds if you give them a close look. but then, that's true of (almost?) all nature isn't it?

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  7. Cold enough to keep puddles and most forest tracks frozen all day. Much easier to walk on than dead leaves over chalky mud. Looked down from the Clarendon Palace ruins towards a mist-covered Salisbury. Henry, Eleanor and Thomas would not have seen, from the same spot, the cathedral spire rising above the mist in the gloaming.

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  8. In our garden today, a male blackcap visiting the fat block and eating a halved apple stuck on a twig. Its third day here.
    10 years ago we managed to keep a female blackcap with us for three months (January to March) by importing a succession of big clumps of mistletoe from a garden apple tree a few miles away. The apple was absolutely laden with it.
    The bird deftly separated the seed from the pulp, smearing the seed on surrounding branches as it wiped its beak. One seed must have germinated because we now have our own mistletoe, growing rather surprisingly on a Cotoneaster bush nearby!
    The joys of garden birding.....
    Nick

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  9. A little bit warmer today, here in Newcastle. Above freezing but still ice on the edge of the lake at Big Waters and frozen puddles on the paths. Saw a moth on the window of the supermarket - probably a winter moth but too high up for a positive ID.

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  10. Yes bloody freezing!

    We were on the beach at Titchwell at dawn and at Holkham at dusk.

    We too marvelled at a robin as it flitted on the footpath, barely visible, a pace or two in front of us, in the dark of the frozen morning.

    We wondered what kept it from freezing solid.

    Now cozy in front of a roaring fire.

    Have posted a couple of pics on twitter.

    m

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  11. Cold in Suffolk
    Loads of Goldfinches taking sunflower hearts and Niger with odd Redpoll
    Few bramblings taking black sunflower along with great,blue,willow and coal tits
    Greater spotted woodpecker loving the sunflower hearts
    Got to ensure all these birds are well fed well
    Seems to be more lapwings this way this year which is very pleasing

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  12. It was around +5 at breakfast time before sun up, and was cloudy. Later the sun came out so lovely in the sunshine. Plenty of Hse sparrows around the feeders, great spotted woody & blue & gt.tits.
    Not a bad day at all, cold but not freezing!

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  13. Worcestershire not as cold as yesterday. Also had experience of a robin today. Some how one got into the main production hall of the factory where I am employed. Pretty much impossible but there it was happily fluttering around in the warm. Not a good place for a bird as we have strict hygiene controls in place. There was much debate about how it was too be removed- one guy suggested that as I was a "twitcher" I would be able to corner it and catch it. Never "twitched" in me life and anyway the place is as big as a small grouse moor. Shotguns(!!!) had just been mentioned when we realised the robin had gone as quickly as it had appeared. Hope it doesn't come back. Happy day!

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  14. Grey Wagtail in our hilltop Suffolk village for the first time yesterday.

    Lots of Bullfinch around at the moment.

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  15. C-cold in Biggleswade yesterday and today, beautiful pinky-orange light and beautiful frost on the ground and low shrubs both mornings, (though not seemingly higher up in the trees even before the sun was up). One of the all too rare days I ditch the car in favour of my legs, well worth it - slippy slidey underfoot and glad to have the pushchair as a walking stick, but barely noticed the cold once walking and daughter well tucked up. Starlings seem especially busy, also a very active little group of house sparrows in a garden - caught sight of one wiping it's beak on a hazel twig. Also jet black carrion crow stood out on the white frosty path. Now back in the house with the shredder, some old bank statements, a cuppa and The Goon Show (the Phantom Head Shaver since you ask...)

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