Saturday, 17 January 2015

Normal Winter Weather?

The temperature gauge showed 16* on New Years Day.. I would have tapped the glass a few times for confirmation except that walking around the garden,  it was necessary to remove an outer layer of clothing to cool down as I went about tidying up a few corners.  Today's Irish Times reports that 2014 was the hottest year on record.. in fact it was the 38th consecutive year of of above average temperatures, meaning no one born since 1976 has experienced a colder than average year!

The last week brought what I would consider normal winter temperatures for these parts, -1 at dawn and a steady 1 to 3 degrees all day.


This current weather regime has brought the birds back to the feeders in numbers, but the Grey Wagtail from last month has chosen to move onwards to a slightly less exposed locale, no doubt.

Our Robins are attracted to both 'traditional' fat balls and the new star product: peanut butter with meal worms. As Ireland's most widespread garden bird, its not really surprising that they are quickest to adapt to feeding opportunities that might give them the edge over other insectivorous species such as the Wagtails, Dunnock and Wren.

Goldfinch & Chaffinches clean up (c.OOS)

Other movers include our nyjer hugging Goldfinches and the party of Redpolls that often station themselves on the fallen seed at ground level.  The Chaffinch flock expands each week, though I haven't seen a Brambling yet this winter.. the nomads from Scandinavia, including showy Waxwings have cancelled a winter visit to our shores, the Rowan and Beech crops up North are sufficient for their needs this time out.  Irruptive migration is a perilous enough survival strategy that is only carried out in locally dire circumstances.

Redpoll battles its way onto the Nyjer feeder (c.OOS)

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