Garden birds in the snow

Posted: Wednesday 23 January 2013
by Pippa Greenwood

There is still plenty of snow and ice in my neck of the woods. The ground is so slippery that my parked car slid backwards down the drive today.

Close-up of a robin

There is still plenty of snow and ice in my neck of the woods. The ground is so slippery that my parked car slid backwards down the drive today. Despite this rather unnerving incident, I’m really enjoying the latest outbreak of ‘proper’ wintery weather.

Whenever it snows I always feel nervous seeing my onions, shallots and garlic disappear beneath a white carpet. I don’t know why – they’re entirely hardy and can cope with the plummeting temperatures.

Our plucky rescue hens also seem to be taking the snow in their stride - by running and flapping their wings at the same time they can travel at nearly the same speed as usual.

The wild birds are out in force. Like many others at this time of year, I’m spending an inordinate amount of time feeding and watering the birds. Recent visitors include 32 sparrows, three robins, masses of assorted tits and hordes of blackbirds, all happily feasting on the hedge in front of our house.

Before light the blackbirds are feasting on the cut apples, bird seed and fat packs left out for them. As I write, I’m thrilled to see the first thrush to visit our garden in ages.

In addition to spending a fortune on bird food, I’m asking friends and family to save every scrap of food that the hens or garden birds might like. And, so the birds can feast in peace, I’m keeping the cats in for the couple of hours before dusk…

Don't forget, by the way, that this weekend (26-27 January 2013) you can record sightings of garden birds in the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch.

Discuss this blog post

Talkback: Garden birds in the snow
Your comment will appear after a quick registration step

kathryn-brock 24/01/2013 at 09:24

I am in the same positon as you here. I have been thrilled to see a fieldfare, whether he will stick around for the birdwatch now all my pyracantha berries are gone I am not sure but do hope so.

Flower bird 24/01/2013 at 12:58

Hi Pippa, I enjoyed reading your blog. Our road this past week has been very icey, torville and dean would have loved it. I like the winter snow and all as long as we don't get a winter like the one we had a few years ago.
This morning I have been checking out all my plants and pots on my balcony (I live in a flat) like a mother hen. No casualties as of yet but was nice to go out their and potter around.
Even though I live in a flat, I am surrounded by trees, a wild garden and plenty of wild life. My flat is on the first floor and I feel I am up in the trees with the birds. They are all chirping a lot lately!
This week I saw the return of a Jay, haven't seen it since last summer, sometimes we get three. They are really beautiful. I have seen a black cap but not this year, never seen one before, we also get robins, sparrows, pigeons, thrushes, blackbirds, blue tits, finches, all types of birds, some I don't know the names of, but all lovely.
I hang feeders out from my window in the living room, filling them with mixed seed, sunflower seeds and nuts. Unfortunately there a lot of cats round here so I can't throw food out for the birds.
We also have a fox that comes up the road every evening checking all the bins and generally having a good nose around. It is a little bit on the skinny side though.
Today it's been nice to read what's on the website, especially your blog Pippa, it prompted me to write this, thanks.


flowering rose 24/01/2013 at 15:10

I have had a few visitors a gold crest,the blackbirds are back and in a tree all on his own ,a field fare making that clacking noise.Plenty of foot prints in the snow of birds,foxes ,rodents e.t.c.and during the day light the foxes have been out and about,they normally keep a low profile.The Badgers don't make it this far when its snowing so they have not plowed through the fence for awhile.The robin sings his heart out on top the hawthorn and only hope spring is going soon.

jeanius 24/01/2013 at 18:39

Why won't birds eat the food I put out for them

Richard5 24/01/2013 at 20:53

Hi All, I live in Wolverhampton and have been putting food out for the birds for the last few years, this year I have added a peanut feeder and a shop bought coconut feeder. But I only get a few birds in the garden and most of the time the food in the feeders go bad. Can anyone help provide suggestion what I am doing wrong?

See more comments...