The Joy Club member Anna Treasure shares her winter wildlife snaps, all taken from her mother’s garden – which seems to still be bustling with wildlife activity, despite the cold snaps. You can peruse Anna’s previous wildlife photography here…
It has been such a strange winter; first the big freeze followed by warmer, wetter weather and all after such a scorching summer. I was excited to see the frost and snow because it meant that I could get some proper winter photographs. So often our winters are chilly, but with little or no white weather, and that makes it difficult to capture those moments associated with this season.
Out in the garden, we made sure that the bird-feeder was well stocked so that the birds always had something to eat. Did you know that small birds can lose up to 10% of their body weight on a cold winter night, so putting out food is important as the temperature drops. To keep warm they will fluff up their coats, to trap in the warm air, so you might see them looking a bit more fluffy at this time of year.
On the first frosty morning the birds were happily feeding when I went out into the garden. Some of them were using the Stag Horn Tree to sit in while waiting to get to the feeder or they would bring their food to the tree to eat. One Blue Tit sat particularly still on a frosty branch and allowed me to take a couple of shots.
But I really wanted to get a shot or two of the Robin. It’s such a well known symbol of Winter and Christmas that it would be a shame not to get some photos while the cold weather lasted. Luckily, it was also keen to use the same tree as the Blue Tit and I got my frosty shot.
Then, a couple of days later, the Robin was back and this time he hopped onto the garden table that was covered with a light sprinkling of snow. He hopped about a bit, looking at the bowl of seed I had left for the smaller birds.
Even the Sparrows were getting out and about in the snow. They would peck at the snow to get moisture when there wasn’t any other water. We tried to keep some water available for them in the bird bath but it would freeze shortly after we had defrosted it. They looked so sweet with the snow on their beaks.
Then, on another misty, frosty day, we had a big surprise. We had a visitor that we have only seen once before: the Sparrow-hawk. It was sitting, majestically, on the top of the bird-feeder and had obviously been unsuccessful in getting any of the little birds, which was good for them but not so good for the hungry hawk. It only sat for a few moments and I was lucky to have been able to grab my camera and take a few photos before it flew away to try its luck somewhere else.
It never ceases to amaze me how many different creatures we get in the garden. Some, like the foxes, pass through so quickly that I can’t get to my camera quickly enough and others, like the Robin will sit and watch me, patiently, while I take numerous photos. The buds are already appearing in the garden and, although spring is a couple of months away, I can’t wait to see what I can capture with my camera in 2023.
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