Nature Report – W/e 29th Dec 2013

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there within me lay an invincible summer.
Albert Camus

Weather

Sunnier days are blasted with winds and gusts reaching over 70 miles per hour.  Three storms have been recorded in the UK in the last week alone and there seems to no let up.  The wind blasts your face so hard it’s impossible to walk far by foot at the moment.

One very chilly, but bright blue day befell just after Boxing day here in Grimsby, and another yesterday as well, but as soon as the light goes down the winds get up again.  Still a lot of rain during the evenings and nights.  We are very fortunate here not to have suffered with floods nor power cuts.  I keep my fingers crossed it continues that way, especially as notification of more storm have been had for next week!

The northern hemisphere has now passed Winter Solstice which means the days will once again start to draw out (thank goodness!).

Temperatures continue to be fairly amiable although extra layers of clothing are required when venturing out and about nowadays.  One frost last week and no sign of snow but the paths leading to the countryside were extremely icy in places yesterday.

Habitats

The gusty weather and rain draws me close to home.  Just before Christmas I spent some time wondering through a couple of local parks and  yesterday I took a walk along the river Freshney, both of which were very pleasant walks.  It’s certainly been nice to make the most of the sunny hours and breath in some fresh air.

Birds

The wind and rain is hampering the ability for any tiny birds to feed well on the hanging feeders.  However I often see the Great tits in the garden.  No sign of the robin at all this past week and the Blackbirds are continuing to still feed from the tree fruits away from our garden more the pity.  I am pleased I planted that pyracantha as I hope this will go someway to feed blackbirds in future winters.

On my walks I spotted a few robins so hopefully they are doing okay food wise at the moment.  Along the river I spotted many ducks – mostly mallards, and a pair of swans that took great delight at swimming up to me on the riverbank and then proceeded to hiss.  I couldn’t see any signets so presume they have all flown away now.

There are plenty of seagulls in the fields as they try and top up their food menu’s and apart from the odd bunch of starlings I haven’t seen anything further to mention.

Trees and flowers

Still no luck finding any red holly berries, nor mistletoe but as I haven’t ventured far I’d be lucky if I had.  I did come across some beautiful flowers pink in colour, from a Viburnum x Bodnantense shrub at People’s Park this week.  It even smelt delicious and sweet.  It was stark in colour against it’s bare, leafless, branches.  I’ve never seen anything so colourful nor beautiful to smell in such cold months and yet as I looked further around me I could see there were quite a few shrubs of this variety all blooming away.

Mammals

On my walk with Mouse, yesterday a fox – largest one I’ve ever seen, casually stepped in front of our path, crossed the road and headed on into a thicket of Scott pine trees by the road.  He was beautiful to watch.  I think he was heading home for the morning to catch up on some sleep.

 

5 responses to “Nature Report – W/e 29th Dec 2013

  1. Brilliant Camus quote. Used to like reading him when I was much much younger than I am now, but I had either forgotten or never come across that sentence.

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