Monday, February 06, 2012

A cold snap

The first real wintery weather struck over the weekend. With the forecast of snow for the late afternoon we went out for a walk around Ravensthorpe Reservoir. We were shocked at how low the water leves are. Huge areas of mud are exposed, due no doubt to the long-term drought we are experiencing in this part of the UK.

The cloud cover rolled in early, leading to some pleasant if brief lighting effects in the adjacent woods:


Numbers of ducks and swans were gathered in the few pataches of open water:


All of that exposed area used to be under water. The volume of water absent is quite shocking. I gather Pitsford is down by 50% too and they are now pumping directly from the rivers to replenish the lying water.

You can see the frozen water in some of the feeder streams:


And this is a view from below the reeds, which themselves are normally at least in part submerged:


The bed is so dry it's taken on the look of a drought, though with the unusual addition of ice crystals:



Some birds are still around even now, including Grey Wagtail:


A final look out at the reservoir as the wind picked-up and the air temperature moved from cold to hostile:


Back at home in the garden a familiar friend, the Blue Tit, was hopping from branch to branch:


It did indeed snow, roughly half of what we feared but enough to leave the garden covered:


Some of the birds become bolder when food is harder to come by, including one of the four Robins we have in the garden:


And the Blackbirds - up to fourteen at one point yesterday:



Song Thrushes are frequenting the food now and we were delighted to be visited by two Jays this morning (though camera packed away for the working day). Hopefully the snow will melt and conditions will get back to normal soon. After all, part of the hedge is already back in leaf...

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