Struggle for survival

Its been just awful weather. Days of exhaustingly strong icy winds, sub zero temperatures and now, finally this afternoon, snow.

I can understand how furry mammals living in holes below ground are coping with this, but what are the birds doing? How can there possibly be any still alive out there after all this?

I suspect that many have succumbed.

We are doing what we can to help. Smashed apple, lard pellets, sunflower hearts, chopped peanuts – all these have been liberally spread over the ground. However we have so many bully boys that hog the food for themselves and don’t allow any other bird near.

Trail camera

Trail camera

It’s only once they have had their fill that the others get a look in:

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However, all this activity around the feeder has also attracted the interest of the Sparrowhawk. So he has also been fed:

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Hopefully some of these birds are going into the bird boxes to roost at night. We think they are because many of the boxes have fresh droppings inside.

Meanwhile, the hole dwellers seem to be doing alright. Look at the luxuriant tails on these foxes:

Trail camera

And the badgers have wonderfully thick coats and burrows filled with hay. They are ok.

Trail camera

This was the scene as day became night today. Not much snow, but the photo doesn’t give any idea of the treacherous wind chill howling in from the east.

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The forecast suggests that today was the lowest point and there is an expectation that things may be a little bit better tomorrow…I so hope that they are right. Thoughts of flower-filled meadows with butterflies and dragonflies seem completely ludicrous now, yet in a few short weeks this is what we will have. We will. Everyone just needs to hang on in there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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