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day two of the snow

Day two of the snow is when you leave the house, start to move around, test your cold weather gear and find out what transport is still working. I tried a few different boots (settling on the sturdy vintage walking shoes I "borrowed" off my mother's husband about ten years ago), piled on the christmas knitwear and set off for the tow-path.

By the bridge there were foraging flocks of long tailed tits and redwings in the alders and willows, picking through next year's catkins as yet tightly curled. The river was seething with wildfowl and a few hardy rowers. I saw three mallards and a coot squabbling over an apple bobbing in the shallows; a gull joined them, shrieking that if there was food to be had, he should have it.

snowy redwing

The real catch though, was lurking in the weirdly galled silver birch (the effect of Witch's Broom Fungus) where a clatter and a flash of green resolved into a green woodpecker! Which took one look at me and bolted across the paddock (where a solitary horse was sulking, under its blanket).

At lunch, I went out again, and nipped up the canal (juvenile Grebe, Pied Wagtails foraging on the broken ice of the canal, a Moorhen taking a snow-bath) to see if there was anyone ice skating on Port Meadow but there was no floodwater, so no ice, and no ice-skating, only people building snowmen as far as the eye could see.

port meadow