Thick Ice and Feeding the Birds

Yesterday we visited Kingfisher Marina to check how the things were with Albert, with the cold weather persisting and the threat of more snow. The marina is now heavily frozen. Maggie picked up a lump of ice from the marina that appeared to have been broken by debris falling into the water. It was about 2.5 inches (64 mm) thick.

Construction on the marina extension has slowed significantly with the contractors unable to work on the new longer staging on the far side of the marina because they need to move boats (and of course they are firmly stuck).

We chatted to Ralph and Betty, who look after the moorings. It appears that a new moorer coming from Wilton is stuck because of ice. We also know that NB Lily Maud was coming down from Crick over the Christmas period to moor at Kingfisher. Since they didn't make it, we presume the ice was too much for them.

Today we got significant snow. We are regular feeders of the birds in our garden. We find that sunflower hearts are particularly attractive to goldfinches. We get them in flocks. Today their colours looked very attractive in the snow. I couldn't resist taking some photos.

Goldfinches on our bird feeder

Goldfinches bickering over their food!

I also managed to photograph some long-tailed tits who were feeding on a fat ball. Other birds we saw in the today's snow included greenfinches, blue tits, chaffinches, a robin, collared doves, pigeons and a wren.

Long-tailed tit feeding on a fat ball

When the goldfinches, which appear to be the top of the pecking order, eat sunflower hearts they are quite messy and often leave seed debris which litters the ground below the feeder. We often see large birds, such as wood pigeons, taking advantage of this but in the snow just before Christmas we were treated to the sight of a cock pheasant mopping up!

Cock pheasant eating the discarded seeds