Thursday, 30 January 2014

Snow stops play

With a couple of days off work, I jumped at the chance of joining Jim, Duncan and Tom at the winter feeding site at Granby this morning. The site is affectionately known as the Granby Fridge Experience (for reasons that become painfully obvious to anyone who goes there) but for the most part, it didn't live up to its name today…that was until it started snowing!!!

The nets were up by about 07:30 and we feared a quiet morning as there had been little calling or flying along the former railway line as we set. The first round did nothing to dispel this fear as it returned only a few birds. The second round was better and this was the point at which our fingers started to disagree with the rest of us about the temperature.

As we finished processing the birds, a few flakes of snow started to fall. Hoping it was our imagination we carried on regardless. By the time we were extracting the birds on the third round, we were being covered by large snowflakes and we had no choice but to close the nets. The birds (in bags) took shelter in Jim’s landrover and we did our best to process them with painfully frozen fingers.

Snow soaked chair

Birds keeping dry in the landrover
We took the nets down at 10am and packed up. By the time everything was away, the snow had stopped and we were debating whether we had been too hasty to pack up but we decided to stick to our decision. The drive out of the site became a little eventful when the landrover decided to drive sideways instead of forwards! A little digging and a little pushing later and we were on the move again, just as it started raining.

Oops. It really shouldn't be at that angle!
Despite the shortness of the session, it was nice to be out at Granby again. We caught 30 birds of seven species, with the majority of individuals being great tits, blue tits or yellowhammers.

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