Sunday, 12 February 2012

More feathered friends

According to French météo the big freeze is on its way out and from tomorrow we will have milder temperatures. This is relative of course.  What it means is we will go back to night-time temps of around freezing rather than the bone crunching -16C we've had recently. Last night was another perishing one!

Yesterday we took some more wood off the woodpile to replenish the woodshed which was looking rather empty and at -6C, with a northerly wind, the cold really bit at our ears and noses.

messy eaters!
Round the bird tray things are now very messy with seeds scattered far and wide by the grateful visitors. We had some new faces this morning:- goldfinches with their lovely red masks and acid yellow wing flashes.

goldfinches at the feeding station
We also put some seeds out on a window sill to see if we could lure the birds up close. They have happily obliged and ignore Katinka. She sits balanced on the radiator with quivering jaw trying to 'hide' behind the orchid plants. Shadow is too large to squeeze himself into the space; he tried, we laughed, and he hasn't attempted it since!

checking out the seeds

Katinka occasionally bumps against the glass trying to 'pounce', but the birds are cleverer and wiser, they know there is glass and pay no attention.

eye to eye with a blue tit
Now we wait for what is being called the 'dégel'. Worryingly, the forecast for tomorrow is for freezing rain. With the ground as frozen as it is, any water will immediately turn to slick ice. We experienced this weather in the Netherlands and it is treacherous. The only the way to even have half a chance of staying upright is to pull on an old pair of woolly socks over your shoes. One winter it was so thick people were able to skate on the roads and pavements. It is beautiful in its own way though -- even the tiniest leaf or branch becomes encased in a crystal clear coating of ice -- however, the weight of it causes real strain on trees and plants.

23 comments:

the fly in the web said...

Poor Shadow...mocked!

I enjoyed the bird pictures...not worried one little bit, are they!

Good luck with the degel....

Tim said...

We have had Great Tits that have come down to the window when the see Baron sitting there and hover just in front of his face until he pounces at the window!
The "peasants" have now plucked [not sorry for that one!] up courage to use the area under the seed feeders outside the house... Baron 'stalked' onto the windowsill this morning and then sat there quivering with excitement... poor sod!
A blue tit even came to say hallo, but didn't stop to tease.

WV is "prommeat"... beef jerky in the Royal Albert Hall?!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - I know ... and as a teacher I should know better ;-). He did get some tidbits at dinner by way of apology.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - silly kitten nearly concussed herself when a robin wound her up!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

It is strange I have not seen any gold finches though they are around in summer. The blue tits and the robin have discovered the extra supply of food on the window sills, so we really have them close by thought at the slightest movement they are gone.
Our roads around here are already icy so rain will be the final touch!!
Diane

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - the D roads are all dry and clean. The snow's been removed by all the cars driving on them [no snow ploughs here] but our little chemin is compacted snow so will turn into an ice slick!

LindyLouMac in Italy said...

Just like you we have been experiencing this big freeze weather all month. We have some experience of this type of weather and are coping but the locals are struggling not having experienced such conditions here since 1985! Lovely to see the birds on your sills, we have been unable to lure them closer, too much food still available in the trees I suppose.

alex said...

Hi, my name is alex, i am a 28 years old man originally from cléré du bois ( i guess you heard about this vilage)but actually i am living in oslo,norway. Three month ago, i was looking informations about the "la ribaloche" forest and i found your blog, i was really surprised, i didn't know that blogs about charlizay existed!I find your blog very interesting, clear and full of informations, even for a frenchman I am learning a lot.I think it's nice that foreigners are comming in small french villages, and giving back a bit the life that they had before.Thanks to your blog i keeping update about the life in the small villages where I am comming from (it is not easy everydays to be abroad, i miss so much climat, frenchfood,...)just keep going on with the blog!!!if you need information, traduction or whatever, ask me it will be a pleasure to answer.

SP said...

Don't you wish it was Spring?

I bet the birds do...lovely photographs.

SP

the cuby poet said...

I am always amazed at how close to the window the little birds will come. It is always a delight. England has had a lot of very cold weather but Cornwall has escaped and we have only had one very sharp frost. Take care.

MorningAJ said...

I like the woolly socks idea. I use a blanket and use it 'Walter Raleigh style' to cross the icier patches I encounter.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Alex - bienvenue! Pour nous il est vraiment tres sympa d'avoir un commentaire de quelqu'un qui est d'origine d'un village proche de nous.

Depuis le debut du mois le météo est le meme qu'on trouve normalement en Oslo. Mais le dégel a commencer.

Dans les années '80 j'ai vécu avec mes parents a Olso. J'ai vraiment aimé.

Antoinette

Niall & Antoinette said...

@SP - it would be nice to get to the stage where we could drink our morning coffee outdoors.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Liny Lou - same here. they say it hasn't been as bad since 1985. Slightly higher temps today so the thaw has begun--slowly.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Cuby - be glad; the very cold weather and snow arent't too bad. It's the rain and black ice which will probably come with the thaw which will be nasty!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@MorningAJ - an elderly neighbour told us about the socks and we did have occasion to try it out. It really did help :-)

Niall & Antoinette said...

@LindyLou - ooops typos sorry :-)

Perpetua said...

I love the way birds thumb their beaks at cats behind glass. :-)

Glad to hear your thaw is on the way, though freezing rain isn't good news. We had some a week ago here in Mid-Wales and our steeply-sloping lane had ice an inch thick next morning. No going anywhere until it melted.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - just fog today although about an hr ago the cats came in damp so it is probably drizzling out there ....yuk!

Jean said...

The woolly socks are a great idea - I must remember that one.
The photos of birds are lovely. It's a total joy to see them feeding and the variety of birds that turn up for their share is fascinating.
We are thawing out here but the weather is still unpleasant. February is having the last laugh after such a mild early start to the winter, I feel.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean - thaw here too; it has gone up to a balmy 5C! Squirrels were out today.
Don't think we'll be sitting out with our morning coffee for a while yet.

ladybird said...

ooooooh, that banner photo is super! So different from the snow picture. Can't wait to see that view for real! Martine

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - thanks :-) Snow's all gone now. It's the view down towards the Aigronne as one walks out of Charnizy along the Azay-le-Ferron road.