Sunday, 10 January 2010

Despite the snow, I had a lovely day out in Somerset checking out places to go for two tours myself and Charles Martin are doing for Naturetrek next month on the Someset Levels. All the main roads were clear of snow and we managed to get to Wells in good time to look around the hotel where we and clients will be staying. We then ventured into the countryside to log distances between the hotel and places we want to visit, plus pubs for soup lunch!! Everywhere was still very white and near Wells you could see where the snow had drifted into the hedgerows. We even passed a snow plough - haven't seen one of those for many years!! Warm air from the east meant temperatures stayed around 3 degrees Celsius all day - you could see grass tufts appearing in fields throughout the day as the snow began the melt and thin. We didn't go down to any of the nature reserves and from the main roads there was little wildlife to see, just a few kestrels, buzzards, fresh mole hills and a heron standing by a frozen dyke. There were quite number of blackbirds and redwings feeding by the roadside verges which were free of snow however - and bizarrely a song thrush hanging dead from a hawthorn bush. Sadly some of the thrushes were looking weak and we saw at least 4 which had been hit by cars. In Langport centre a tame redwing was pecking away at the snow (not sure what it was eating) - a blackbird was doing the same a little later. After getting our tasks done we headed back to Bristol - near Temple Meads Station over 60 fieldfares were busily jostling in the berry laden trees! Got back around 4pm after a full day out and just in time to see if there were any birds in the garden. Couldn't see any but the apples I had put out had been pretty much eaten! All ready for another week!

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