Woke up on Saturday morning to see a sprinkling of snow covering the garden.
Temperatures dropped to - 7.8 on Saturday night and it hasn't got above 0 degrees centigrade since.
The cold spell has failed to bring any of the more unusual species to the garden so far although numbers of birds are increasing daily at the feeders. I've scattered apples on the lawn but only blackbirds have been eating them - we have had visits from fieldfares and redwings in the past but I think its probably too early in the winter as there is lots of natural food still around.
A collared dove has started to visit the garden occasionally - we used to get several collared doves feeding daily but a decrease in sightings in the last eighteen months seems to have coincided with an increase in feral pigeon numbers. There were 5 wood pigeons feeding today and goldfinch numbers are in double figures. A pair of robins are still having daily territorial disputes and blackbirds seem to spend more time chasing each other round the lawn than actually feeding.
I gave my son a lift to work in Solihull this morning and checked out a site where waxwings had been seen on Friday near the town centre. There were several rowan trees with berries but definitely no waxwings! It was worth the journey though as the countryside looked absolutely beautiful in the frosty weather with the fields and trees laced with silvery hoar frost. I wished I had taken my camera with me.
Later I took a drive out to the business park but although there were blackbirds feeding on the many berries there were still no fieldfares or redwings and again - you guessed it! - no waxwings. Reports of sightings in Warwickshire are increasing so hopefully I will get a glimpse eventually! I think you have to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
Dungeness mid-May birds
1 hour ago