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Tracks in the snow

We woke to a fresh and thick layer of snow coating the ground and lacing the trees.

Tracks – humans, and a mystery animal. (To the right – ‘Snow Brian’)

Frozen pond this morning, with duck tracks from the edge to the island.

This backdrop of intense white seems to throw the wildlife that braves the winter into stark relief. The birds seem busier and brighter than ever. The bird feeders are a flurry of goldfinches, blue tits, great tits, blackbirds, sparrows, chaffinches and robins, with the odd woodpecker also popping in. I’ve been trying to keep their food really stocked up – the peanuts are the clear favourite, although the goldfinches are walloping through the niger seed as quickly as ever too. They’re none of them keen on posing for photos of course. Except for the show off robin who’s always bouncing around, puffed up and photo-ready, showing her best side.

A moment at one of the feeders this morning – three starlings visiting, perhaps why the little ones aren’t hanging around for long.


Other than the birds, we don’t see much other wildlife – they’re mostly hiding away for the cold months I suppose. It seems that the nightlife isn’t so quiet though, if the tracks are anything to go by. There were loads of rabbit prints this morning – interesting, as I haven’t seen them much in the daytime lately. And quite a big bird – perhaps a pheasant. And then one mysterious one that I saw in several places and can’t figure out. There are no obvious footprints, just two unbroken parallel grooves. Could it be a stoat perhaps? It’s belly and tail rubbing away pawprints as it goes? Are the two grooves made by shuffling feet? I’m intrigued to know.



Loads of unmistakable rabbit tracks



Maybe pheasant?



What could this be? A stoat perhaps?

This afternoon the sun is shining and I think this might be the last snowfall of the week. Valentine’s Day approaches, the middle of the month, and only a few more weeks until spring. The snow is beautiful but I would rather like it to go now so I can get my hands in the soil – veggie sowing season is here!

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