A thaw in the middle of January gave a break from the cold of winter and gave birds a chance to recover a little. Bird feeding still went on but there was less urgency. Today the freezing weather has returned.
People have been helping feed birds in a lot of ways
At the Potteric Car nature reserve surplus fish from Doncaster Market was left on the ice for bitterns. The fish attracted one bittern within an hour.
At Far Ings Nature Reserve on the Humber whitebait and sardines were left for bitterns.
Some birds will fare better than others. All types of birds have been affected by this raw, cold winter.
Bearded Tits eat seeds in the autumn. At Blacktoft Sands bearded tits have been eating reed seeds. This winter the reed heads have been frozen or covered in snow.
Wildfowl have been looking for any open stretches of water. Six white fronted geese have been seen on a pond near Scarborough in North Yorkshire.
Two long tailed ducks, a Slavonian grebe, six brent geese have been seen at Filey Bay.
I know for a fact that Fieldfare have been starved off the fields because of the snow and ice and have arrived in gardens for food and sanctuary and survival.
I wonder how birds survived in the winter of 1947 – when it was freezing cold. I’m sure people did not put as much bird food out then as we do now.
Does anyone know?