We have been looking out for the redwings, a winter visitor, who pass this way in February, but sadly these little birds often starve when the snow is too deep to let them scratch for insects which they love to feed on. They have never been known to come to a bird table or take other food offered to them as they are very shy. We thought we saw a fieldfare yesterday - they are like thrushes, but larger and more blue in colour. The redwings are halfway in size between a thrush and a robin and they tend to fluff out their feathers so that they look bigger than they really are.
Peter Rabbit and his family have been rooting around in the leaves at the bottom of the trees in one of the few unsnowy patches. They have gnawed at the bark from the young beech trees too. Barney must be hungry as we have seen his white shadow flit by in the day - hopefully looking out for an unwary small bird or a mouse that might have ventured out to smell the upper air. Mr Buzz too has been scanning the fields in the hope of finding some unsuspecting creature in the open. Most of the mice are safe under the snow and find their food in the moist, soft earth. Maurice Wood Mouse hasn't visited the bird table at Wattlebury Cottage for a couple of months - and although he doesn't really hibernate, he becomes inactive and is no doubt ploughing through the store of seeds and grain he gathered during last year - which is lots!
Mr Fox walked through the garden of the Big House at lunchtime yesterday. Luckily he didn't come round to see us, and Harry the Peacock kept his watchful eye on him from a safe distance. When Dad let us out this morning Truffle and Harvest showed him where the fox had walked up to their stable door during the night. His footprints could clearly be seen using the paths that Dad had made us, so as to avoid the deep snow. He had investigated quite thoroughly in the Log Shed too - no doubt in the hope of sniffing out an egg or two, as that is one of the girls' favourite places to lay them. He would have been disappointed however as it is far too cold to sit in the Log Shed laying an egg just now!
And Kizzie very kindly volunteered to go to the Mobile Library for Harvest last week. I was greatly relieved about this, as were we all. She drove there in her car - she calls it Alan - and despite having to jump start it in the car park - was back in a fraction of the time that it would have taken us. Love Gordon xxx