Two old buzzards await the thaw

Buzzard by Dave Steel

This old buzzard moved onto the icy moss which was being swept by a northerly wind and thoughts spun about my heard of the plight of the ground feeding and other birds which have to endure this tough weather 24 hours per day.

The other buzzard not only had to contend with the frozen ground denying it access to worms but spinning about its head were two carrion crow, which had taken umbrage at its perching near to their patch. The raptor moved on as did I.

The hunt for food was on and the buzzard swept east whilst my search for birds surviving this harsh landscape led me west.

My direction of travel was westward because I was in search of a couple of bird-friendly oasis out on Little Woolden Moss and, after carefully negotiating frozen farm tracks, the hubbub of life met my ears. House sparrow, blackbird and plenty more were flitting about a farmstead where the farmer’s wife must spend a small fortune in bird food. Her riches no doubt in being in the amount of wildlife she supports, including a lively flock of long-tailed tit which alighted on a feeder full of fat-balls.

A grey heron then landed atop a tall tree overlooking a nearby pond which was frozen and of no use to this hungry bird, so off it went to the River Glaze to try its look there.

My steps then took me to a crop planted as a source of food for wild birds, it brimmed with life as tree sparrow, yellowhammer and others gained food to help them survive another day of this challenging weather.

Then it was time for me to carefully trudge home in the snow with my mind slightly more settled in knowing that some of our mosslands wildlife had been given a lifeline by two caring farmers.

You can help to create and restore these wonderful habitats by volunteering for the Wildlife Trust.