Again I wasn’t able to expand my roaming range due to the weather. We had another 2 cold spells with snow and temperatures below freezing, and a lot of dark, cloudy, windy, rainy days. Again not a lot of good photo opportunities, but I managed to take some good bird pictures.
This Winter is one of the most severe ones in Belgium for years. We had more days with temperatures below freezing than previous years. How many more will probably be announced when the Winter is officially over. However, it wasn’t a really bad Winter, but the mild Winters of the past years even decade left us unprepared for a real one.
There is plenty of evidence that this Winter was severe that made the headlines in the news: days with snow, days with temperatures below freezing, traffic jams, people spending more on heating, …, but there are other signs as well:
- Blue Tits and Great Tits are usually very shy, but this month I could stand in the garden and take pictures of them hanging on a fat ball.
- The past 2 months I took several pictures of birds gathering on chimneys for some warmth.
- For the first time in probably a decade I saw a Fieldfare in my garden. They usually forage in groups on the fields, but in severe Winters they overcome their shyness for humans and end up, individually, looking for food in gardens.
- For me Spring starts on a nice sunny day in February with temperatures around 10°C and when I hear the first Black-tailed Godwits in the creeks of Ostend. This usually happens around mid February, but I haven’t seen or heard any Black-tailed Godwits yet. Hopefully they will arrive next week. I am really longing for Spring.
Now you know what to expect in the slide show: garden birds and some more Winter pictures, but there is more:
- They are building a new pier in Ostend and they will provide an observation post for birdwatchers. About time. It has been more than 5 years since the previous one became inaccessible.
- Photos of three different species of Stints on the beach of Ostend. Yes, more birds.
- Some landscape pictures of the creeks of Ostend, my favorite place to go birdwatching. The observation post is only 6 minutes from my home by bike. The pictures were taken during the only sunny moments (3 hours) last week. It would have been perfect and the start of Spring if only I would have spotted some Black-tailed Godwits. Did I mention before that I live in a flat country?
All photos were taken with my Canon Powershot S3 IS. For the long distance shots I used the Canon Teleconverter TC-DC58B 1.5x with the Conversion Lens Adapter LA-DC58E.
|No place is boring, if you’ve had a good night’s sleep and
have a pocket full of unexposed film an empty SD card.
| Robert Adams (modified by me)