For some years I've noticed that sea gull behaviour is a good predictor of the weather. A big flock in the valley means a storm is brewing. At 8:30 on Friday morning about two dozen were swooping round The Dene. At 9:00. the snow started.
|Pied wagtail, photographed on January the 19th, 2013|
One bird I always notice in the snow is the pied wagtail. They seem to become bolder in this weather, even fluttering around the Dene while the children tobogganed on the slopes.
The RSPB recommend that we give the birds high energy foods and water. In fact, I think the most important thing you can do for the wildlife is keeping a water supply free of ice. We find that apples and grapes are popular too. In previous years a fieldfare has visited our garden and munched its way through about half an apple a day.
It is always worth checking the tracks in the garden to see who has been visiting. So far, it is all birds and cats. No foxes yet. You can tell the difference between a cat and a fox trail. Cats don't like getting wet and almost jump from one place to another leaving clean holes in the snow. Foxes slink close to the ground and tend to leave lines where they have dragged their feet through the snow.