There is no respite here with temperatures reaching -11 at night. There is no sign of a thaw and it really is cold outside.
The birds are ravenous and coming to the feeders in a frenzy. Hordes of Starlings feeding on nuts are keeping many of the smaller species from their black sunflower seeds so I will have to consider placing feeders in different places. Marsh and Willow Tits are still coming and Goldfinches were up to 10 this morning. The masses of birds gathering here have attracted predators too. No Sparrowhawk yet but Buzzards and Red Kites are hovering overhead with a couple of Ravens almost all day.
I have been asked to appear on BBC Radio Wales at 8.30am tomorrow morning to talk about the importance of feeding birds and other wildlife during this hard weather.
It is OK to talk about feeding birds in our gardens but there are many other species in other habitats that are suffering as well. Only yesterday I heard of a Little Egret which had succumbed and we should be very concerned about Cetti's and Dartford Warblers which will find it hard if this weather lasts long. We have enjoyed such mild winters in the recent past and welcomed these colonisers from the south. We must hope that they survive these harsh times.
It would be good to hear that wildfowlers have suspended their operations to give birds on our estuaries the minimum disturbance while these arctic conditions last.
All of the above is put into perspective by my son Jeremy who lives in Calgary, Canada. He called this week to say it was snowing and -36.