Winter Solstice 2013

Rather than have all the celebrations concentrated around Christmas Eve, Day and Boxing Day we’ve decided to spread things out a little and start by celebrating the Solstice which has always seemed just as important to us – the year turns and so on. So it’ll be the smoked salmon and trifle on Saturday rather than Christmas Eve this year.

20 December A flock of American Robins arrived early this morning as the snow was starting, to finish off the rowan berries remaining on the tree at the front of the house.

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21 – 22 December The sun set and rose again so all’s well with the world.

A weekend of blowing snow periodically turning to ice pellets with quite deep snow – the water main marker is almost buried – and the upper couple of inches is frozen crisp. As a result of truly horrible conditions, a large showing of birds: all the regulars (although less chickadees) including an unusual number of wood peckers; Downy, Hairy, Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker and a couple of brief appearances of the Red-bellied. The last particularly interesting as not seen since the spring. Both Carolina Wrens have survived so far.

30 December After plus 1C two days ago, temperatures are plummeting again from minus 13 C at 7.30am to minus 15C at 9.30am and continuing down per forecast. Early morning sightings of Northern (Yellow-shafted) Flicker and both Carolina Wrens.