It's been another quiet month for the diary. This time, it is mostly due to the weather. It has been really cold and there's been snow on the ground since the beginning of the month.
There are plenty of birds in the garden, including our usual winter bramblings, but there have been no siskins or hawfinches this year. We're not sure why.
Today, it was cold, but it was sunny and felt a little bit spring-like - so I worked on preparing a new bird box for later this year.
Back in April, we saw this big hole in the bottom of one of our concrete Schwegler boxes. We sent a photo to Schwegler and they told us it was probably a woodpecker trying to get access to the blue tits that were nesting in there. We were sceptical, but I patched the hole with a filler and then covered the bottom with some lead flashing that I had in the shed. Sure enough, as soon as I'd put it up and some more blue tits had moved in, we saw a woodpecker trying to peck through the lead. He didn't manage it - but it showed us how determined they can be.
Our new bird box is fitted with a webcam, but it is wooden. I know this isn't going to protect our birds so I have armoured it with some mesh. I had to be careful not to make a Faraday cage which would block the wifi signal of the webcam, so it isn't completely covered with mesh. I hope it is enough deterrent though.
It has snowed heavily this week. Even so, I went for a run this morning. Coming back over the other side of the valley, beside the railway line, I saw lots (several hundred) small, red worms on top of the new snow. I've seen this once before in a previous year in exactly the same place with new snow. They're difficult to see at first - they are very, very small and thin, but bright red. They look like strands of saffron on the snow. They're not dead, but they're not exactly moving about quickly either.
Not sure what to make of it. I can find nothing about this phenomenon.