Cold Spell

It’s bitterly cold in Maynooth today. We haven’t had much snow but it sure is freezing. As I write it’s 1pm and the temperature is only -4°C. I went to put some stuff in the wheelie bin just now but the lid was frozen shut.

At least I’ve now figured out how to switch this thing on, so I’m nice and cosy indoors.

Outside it’s a different story though at the moment the garden is full of birds tucking into the food I’ve put out for them. They need food to maintain their body temperature or they will freeze to death. I can tell you that these days they’re emptying the feeders at a considerable rate of nuts.

The birds seem to be getting a bit more adventurous. The other day I went out to out refill the bird feeders and the robin who seems to think he’s in charge of my garden bobbed into the kitchen through the open door. He looked around, seeming very unimpressed, did a little poop on the floor and left the way he came in.

The robin is pretty much constantly visible in the garden these days, patrolling his territory and occasionally picking fights with other birds. I saw him have a go at a jackdaw yesterday. You’ve got to admire his nerve.

I’ve seen the resident wren a few times too. Wrens only eat insects so I was curious as to how they survive the winter. I’m reliably informed however that there are still plenty of insects (and other arthropods) around at this time of year. Many hibernate in various crevices (under logs, stones etc., or in nests). Other insect species are still active as adults throughout winter, e.g. smaller flies and moths, and some true bugs.

Meanwhile the swans on the Royal Canal have been having to cope with the ice by learning to skate (not entirely successfully):

Anyway hopefully the extreme cold will keep people indoors to reduce the rate of Covid-19 transmission.

3 Responses to “Cold Spell”

  1. Great that you are feeding them regularly. I filled the feeders in the garden (all 9 of them!) about 2 hours ago, and already they are half-empty. (I also put seed on the ground for bigger birds). Will need to refill them later. Robins – for some reason – appear to be less scared of humans than finches, tits etc. We have 3 in the garden and one of them (dunno which one – might be all of them!) sometimes follows me around at a distance when I am filling the feeders.

    • telescoper Says:

      I’ve only got one. He doesn’t use the feeders but stays on the ground underneath and eats bits that fall down.

      • Our ones do both – use the feeders and eat off the ground. When in the feeders they chase off the finches and others. One reason why I have lots of feeders!

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