Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Never-ending winter

As is the norm now this year it was a cold and windy early morning walk round the reserve, dressed still in the same coat as I wore through the winter and thermal gloves. Brief, and to a degree warming sun, quickly gave way to heavy grey clouds which seemed to make the NE wind increase and become even colder. Perhaps its in the mind, but in the winter you expect it to be cold like that and you dress for it, accept it and get on with it, but in May you expect something warmer, sometimes get caught out with lighter clothing on and find that it interferes with your thinking.
There were some Sedge and Reed Warblers battling against the conditions in the wind-blown reed beds and it was good to sse them but a Whitethroat brought things into perspective. It flew up to the top of a hawthorn bush and burst into song but I only knew that because I could see its beak open and its throat vibrating, but I couldn't hear the song because of the wind noise.

It also struck me that the breeding season is slipping by and a lot of the romance of it is being missed this year with too much time being huddled against cold conditions, sometimes too much eagerness to get home and out of that cold, and most certainly, too few oportunities to sit around in warm and sunny spots and observe the breeding birds. It must be similar for birds sitting on eggs out in the open, it must be difficult to leave them for even brief spells to feed, because of the danger of them becoming chilled.

I sat for an hour this morning, in one of the reserve's remaining two hides, with a local wildlife photographer, and the wind coming in through the viewing flaps made it numbing inside. In previous years at this time he has photographed early dragonflies, butterflies and rabbits from there, none were around today and neither was I soon after, I'd recorded a few birds and bits but really couldn't hack being that cold in this springtime winter.

1 comment:

  1. I agree entirely about the cold in May Derek. You expect it in winter, and get on with it, but in May it just makes you miserable and want to get back indoors!!