Cold weather and birds

The weather is changeable. We’re back into another cold spell for the next few day. Birds that hang around in the local area have to work harder for their food. Some birds just clear out to warmer places but plenty still hang around and there are lots to see around the trail.

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The blue represents the open water on the loch last week. We did not quite get to 100% ice coverage. To get this the temperture has to be well below freezing with no wind.

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Plenty of Reed Buntings are feeding in the fields

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Yellowhammers also feed on spilt grain and other seeds

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This handsome Stonechat feeds on invertebrates it finds hidden in the vegetation

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This Buzzard was feeding on some entrails at the RSPB

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These Greylag Geese are searching at the bottom of tussocks for nutritious green shoots while the Heron searches for mice and voles.

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These two pairs of swans sit it out on the ice. They are protecting their territories. They have chased away last years young and will start to nest build in March. Meanwhile they just sit it out on the ice.

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We saw in the last posting that Little Grebes swim up the burns where the water is always clear. During the cold winter of 2010/11 many birds flew onto the ice-free water of the River Leven. I counted 250 Goldeneye to the east of the bridge from the causeway. A spectacular sight with them so densely packed.

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In this picture there is a tight flock of Goldeneye and Goosander with a few Red-breasted Mergansers. They are working as a team trying fishing. Always good to see and a good way of spotting the more scarce Smew, which will join these birds to feed. These birds are also great to watch as they are displaying and squabbling much of the time.

At night time on these cold night the Tawny owls are singing and if  food is available they can even be on eggs in February.

Last nights dump of snow was not as much as expected but there are bound to be a few snowing pictures on the blog in the next few days.

About @jeremysquire

Naturalist living in Kinross-shire originally from Gloucestershire. Twitter @Jeremysquire
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One Response to Cold weather and birds

  1. Anne kerin says:

    Glad to hear that these birds are doing okay this weather.

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