What a month January has been.
It started quite mild and damp with very little sunshine and a few slight night frosts. Activity at the hide was about normal with all the usual visitors.
There was one new species of note when a Woodcock appeared during the first week of the month. Also making more appearances were the local troop of Long Tailed Tits, all be it briefly. As week two progressed the temperatures began to steadily fall, and by the 12th daytime temperatures had fallen to just 3C & -3C by night.
This saw an increase in Robins up from 2 birds to 4, Coal tits remained constant as did Willow and Greats but the Blue tits disappeared completely.
My Nuthatches continued to be regular and Treecreepers became more obvious. Notably the Long Tails became more pushy towards the other resisdents.
Snow arrived on the night of the 13th (4”) and a further fall during the day on the 14th saw this topped up to 8”. Overnight on the temperature continued to plummet to a bone chilling minus 12C in fact this figure was reached twice more over the next few days with additional snowfall.
I was unable to get down to the hide during the week but had stocked the feeders up on Sunday.
Saturday 19th was my first opportunity for a week to get down to the woods, I was expecting the feeders to be empty but was surprised to find that both were still a third full.
There was still plenty of activity around the site but it seems that the birds were taking food away to store, an I guess that they had been using that stored food during the cold spell.
The Robin numbers had increased to 5 but my woodpeckers were absent.
As light levels even with all the lying snow were poor I decided to take a trip over to High Ash Farm. The cold weather and availability of food makes this a great place to see migrant finches, and I spent an enjoyable couple of hours capturing Brambling, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.
Sunday 20th and the weather got even worse, a bleak cold day well below freezing made colder with a SE wind (wind chill -8C) and heavy snow by late afternoon.
Again this week I didn't get back up to the wood until Friday and by then the snow was almost a foot deep in the trees. The feeders were in the same state as the previous week so my residents are in good nick food wise.
The thaw finally arrived on the 26th and by the end of the weekend temperatures had risen to near normal highs.