Well, the title says it all. It’s been a windy week and right now, I’m almost wondering what the silence is. Ah, yes, that’ll be the lack of howling gale roaring round your ears, for a change. Almost inevitably, we had a few trees down in the wind but most had the courtesy to fall away from the path. Those that didn’t – well, that’s why we’ve got a chainsaw and Mr Tirfy Wirfy the Winch (look, if the British Antarctic Survey can have a submersible called Boaty McBoatface, we can have winch called Mr Tirfy Wirfy, all right?). And thanks to Daryl, too for, helping get these cleared up.
I was quite glad we weren’t putting up the goldeneye boxes in the worst of the gale…and that Daryl and Simon are both a foot taller than me for getting these into the trees. let’s hope that something – goldeneye or other birds like owls or stock doves – come and nest in them.
It’s generally been a mild winter – not every day, more of that later – but that may well mean that spring comes early. Some of the trees, like hazels, already have catkins open, but it’s striking how different these are on different parts of the reserve. Compare and contrast these hazel catkins from a cool shady spot and a lovely sheltered sunny area.
However, when the wind drops and the skies clear, we are getting some hard frosts. It is January, after all! Plants like ivy, that can provide cover and food through the winter are really important for wildlife. If you look closely at it, you’ll notice the young leaves are three-lobed, while the mature, ‘adult’ leaves are, well, leaf-shaped.
The birds are super-hungry in the cold. The peanut feeder had been the subject of a tit feeding frenzy most days, with blue, coal, great and long-tailed tits all being seen on the feeder at once.
We’ll leave you this week with some frosty pictures from around Loch Davan. Appropriate, given this is the Year of Coasts and Waters….as well as being fantastic places for wildlife, wetlands can be absolutely beautiful too.