07.45., Tuesday, 3 Feb.
Its minus 5 degrees, bright and still: a heavy white hoar frost confirms to my slowly waking mind that the cold air enveloping my legs is perhaps the coldest this winter.
A solitary Blue Tit is hugging the peanut feeder, but no others join this early diner. However, there is clear song, not from one bird, but two: Mistle Thrushes singing strongly and plaintively, from unseen high perches: its a little surprising to observe nature planning for the future, in spite of the cold, harsh conditions of late winter, these birds are putting down a marker for the future. A more tuneful Song Thrush joins in the chorus, this one visible in the top branches of a bare Ash tree.
|Mistle Thrush: picking the highest point to defend its territory (c.OOS)|
Likewise, Great Tits and Coal Tits sing strongly, despite the fact that an egg will not be laid before the end of April.. The all important action now is to plan and mark out a territory for the future season. A good territory increases the chances of attracting a mate and raising a family successfully.
Though some of our garden and woodland species are still down in
Africa, for another 6 weeks or so, Chaffinches deliver short snatches of song,
Dunnocks and Wrens likewise.. it wont be a silent spring!