Thursday, 19 January 2012

Varied and Sundry

The snow continues... forecasts imply a hideous day of 'freezing rain' tomorrow, whatever that may be. Water halfway between liquid and ice? Oh, so a sort of snow then.
I don't believe that's one of Kate Bush's 50 Words For Snow...
Anyhoo, I was working from home again yesterday and once again the apple tree was notably attracting many of the neighbourhood birds.
A couple of varied thrushes have pretty much taken to residing in it, pecking at the remaining fruit for hours on end.

I absolutely love these delicately patterned thrushes, easily one of my favourite North American birds. As you can see I snapped a couple of shots.

British birders of a certain vintage will doubtless recall the first, and still only, UK record of this species back in November 1982 when a 1st year bird in aberrant plumage was found in the rarity hotspot of Nanquidno, Cornwall. At the time it was also the first record for the Western Palearctic, only surpassed by a spring 2004 record from eastern Iceland. 

There has been no sign of the western tanager for a couple of days, perhaps it has succumbed to the freezing overnight temperatures and perished.
Or maybe it just realised that it's a relatively short flight down to California from here.
Anna's hummingbirds, dark-eyed juncos, golden-crowned kinglet and Bewick's wren have all been seen visiting the apple tree, while house finch and American robin have joined the queue to get a bit of their five a day.
Having taken the hummingbird feeder in overnight, I was greeted at first light by the distinctive, and rather impatient 'tick-ticking' of the resident male Anna's, eager for his first energy boost of the morning. 


  1. Probably already found out what freezing rain is by now but as an ex-Geography student, it's when the air/ground temp is below freezing but the higher air temperature isn't. So it rains (rather than snows) but then freezes instantly when it hits the ground or other surface - potentially v dangerous! Once climbing in Scotland and it was freezing rain - ended up with a complete coating of ice all over me and massive bushy frozen eyebrows!! Hope you;re both well. Greg

    1. Cheers Greg, I am enlightened! Hope all's well in Yorkshire...