The coldest day

Last week in the UK we endured freezing temperatures with thermometers dropping as low as minus 10 degrees here in Wales, certainly the coldest I have known it to be in the twelve years we have lived here.

Whilst it may have been uncomfortable and inconvenient for us, spare a thought for our wildlife struggling to survive out in the elements with no escape from the bitter cold. Birds are particularly vulnerable, with some of the smallest species of song birds needing to eat up to 30% of their body weight each day, simply to have enough energy to keep warm and make it through the night.

With the ground frozen, natural food becomes even more scarce and the supplementary food on offer in our gardens can become a lifeline to birds during these tough times. My own feeders were kept well stocked with high energy suet, nuts and mealworms which were soon devoured by an ever increasing number of hungry visitors.

A robin staking his claim to the fat balls
Blue tit landing on the frosty fence

Despite it being the coldest day of the year, the lure of the garden was irresistible and I was soon huddled down in many layers and several pairs of socks, patiently waiting for birds to appear. With a fresh scattering of mealworms on the lawn, birds were soon tempted down to the ground allowing me to photograph them against this beautiful wintery backdrop.

Starling in the snow

Pied wagtail foraging

A female house sparrow collecting scraps

Starling squawking

Robin in a patch of sunshine

A starling with bulging crop after the feast

Pied wagtail in classic wagtail pose

Starling collecting mealworms

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Photographs copyright of Claire Stott/Grey Feather Photography © 2022

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