Tuesday, 7 December 2010

My Tiny Patch Is Frozen!

No, not a scene from an Arctic expedition, its Killingworth Lake devoid of life.

6th December. The garden birds seem to be making the most of the free handouts and I’m pleased to see some of the neighbors putting out feed. Not so sure that the rest of the patch birds are fairing so well during the white out!

Returning from Forest Hall today, I had noted the damage done to the guttering on many homes by snow and ice. Just like last winter icicles hung from roofs. On my outward journey I’d seen a small flock of Long Tailed Tits, but apart from corvids, pigeons, gulls and Starlings there was little else about. Any thaw had been minor indeed and it was freezing again by mid afternoon. I took the chance to look at the lake which is a white out with little in the way of ‘life’ showing. It looked as though an Arctic Fox could appear at any moment! A small area of thawed ground near the smaller lake held three Moorhens and a lone Lapwing, all making the most of any food source available. There was no sign of the Common Snipes there, seen by Sedgedunum Warbler. The large lake held only a small flock of Common and Black Headed Gulls. A Cormorant flew over, but I don’t see it doing any fishing here for a while. The Mute Swans and Canada Geese et al had gathered on the snow covered grass area at the end of the lake and I could see that they were being fed. I didn’t bother to take the walk to that area.

As I returned home I had a good sighting of one Common Snipe as it flew near me by the school. That is a new patch tick for me. My walk had warmed me up, but now the warmth was turning to a cold dampness under my layers of clothing so I was glad to get back indoors. The snow shower forecast for Northumberland this afternoon has not as yet reached here, but the temperature is dropping rapidly.

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