Before we start may I just say I love snow, it makes me think of log fires and skiing but its starting to annoy me a little. For the umpteenth time today I went to Tophill to do some dissertation research and the Teal were all on the O res due to the weather. Rats! Right now im watching the snow come hurtling down endangering tomorrows uni and completely stopping any proper birding.
Oh and Ange is ill. Not fake ill but not serious ill either just worn down moany ill. Which is fun. And I have to provide sympathy and regular chocolate (which i have to try desperately hard not to eat myself) as she can't have anti-biotics or much else in the way of meds. So its fun fun fun in chez Spencer right now.
Anyway back to Tophill (because thats all I seem to do right now - so much for deciding not to have a locla patch). I, along with a couple of lecturers guided some second year ecology students around and was on hand to answer questions about how the site had been managed and shaped. 2 questions I was asked by them - do the ponds have fish in? and are there badgers? Quite how these relate to land management I'm not quite sure but hey ho. I tried to point out the management of the marshes and the snake piles but they were so obsessed with scooting on the ice pools that they idnt notice. The muncher is in at Tophill now though busy destroying the overgrown hawthorn and willow scrub, saving us volunteers much neeed work. Birdwise the reserve was very quiet with only a Brambling and Siskin noted.
Can I just ask you all to check out Marcus Conway's photo of the week on birdguides. You may or may not be familiar with this fellas work but my gosh his picture today is incredible - better than last years puffin, I cant hurl enough superlatives at it. Also a rather cute picture of some Snobs on his blog as well.
Also for those that don't know - it is the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth today so have a look at Buckton Birders latest post, a fitting appraisal of his life.