It’s been cold this week. Very cold – minus 10 on Sunday-into-Monday night. But oh so very beautiful in the frost. It’s been a few years since we’ve had such a prolonged cold spell and this has made for bejewelled mornings as the frost splits the sunlight into thousands of red, gold and blue lights.
The sunrises have been worth getting out of bed for, too. The sky was an amazing pink colour this morning during the goose count. Even the snow on Morven was tinted pale pink.
Mind you, it wasn’t easy to count the geese. There is hardly any unfrozen water on either of the lochs and all the birds are crammed into a very small area. We had 440 pink-footed geese and 250 greylag this morning, while there were over 240 mallard on Monday- all in an area about the size of a dozen car parking spaces. Not to mention the fact that it was -7, so your binoculars steam up instantly when you take them to your eyes, and you can’t feel at least two of your fingers…..
The birds are easy to see in the cold. They are so intent on feeding, they don’t really care too much about you- unless you’re bringing them food. the coal tit were taking peanuts from our hands by Friday, they were so hungry. Except for the winter thrushes- they are still shy and you always get spotted by the sentinel bird- the one that sits up high watching out for sparrowhawks-or people.
We’ve been continuing to remove dead trees close to the paths. It’s actually ideal weather for this work….chainsaw gear doesn’t half make you sweat, even in sub-zero temperatures. The main risk is dehydration – the water out of your bottle, or even the tap, is so teeth-achingly cold, you often don’t drink enough!
We also had a visit from an old friend this week. Paul,who used to work here, popped in to say hello and to do some photography of the frost. He’s kindly shared some of these with us, and they’re spectacular. So, thanks to Paul and enjoy the frost show.