It's unusual for November, but the temperatures have plummeted here in Aberdeenshire. The lowest recorded on my personal weather station over the past week is a chilly -8°C. Currently, we're struggling to get above zero even during the daytime. However, with the clear blue skies and low sun, the days are wonderfully crisp and stunning.
|As the sun begins to set, the view from Dalmadilly Ponds overlooking the River Don ~ iPhone
The nights can also produce some amazing sights and on Friday evening the Aurora Borealis once again lit up the skies.
|View from the bedroom window looking across towards the Bennachie Hills at 10pm ~ iPhone
Recently, due to the conditions, I have been limiting my birding activities to my local patch. However, I did venture out a bit further afield to Corby Loch in Aberdeen for a few hours of birding with David Leslie, leader of our RSPB local group. Despite the occasional snow flurries, it was an enjoyable few hours with some interesting birds such as a Peregrine, a couple of Sparrowhawks, a Kingfisher and many skeins of Pink-footed Geese passing noisily overhead.
|Not my best image of Brambling but I'm always amazed how well they blend in when feeding in the leaf litter.
🏴 Monday 27th November 2023 🌤️ 4C ~ Wind ENE @ 4MPH ~ A pleasant walk around Fetternear Woodland produced eleven Brambling, mostly ground feeding on the beech mast. A few Roe Deer were also dotted around the farmland but no further sign of the four Hawfinch we spotted during our RSPB walk on the 23rd. There were the usual winter finches and thrushes, Goldcrest & Treecreeper, plus a group of around 100 Pink-footed Geese on the nearby farmland and at the Netherton Business Centre car park (8) Tree Sparrows.
|Roe Deer at Fetternear.
🏴 Friday 1st December 2023 ☀️ 0C ~ Wind N @ 2MPH ~An hour spent at Dalmadilly Ponds on a beautiful winter day revealed the east pool was surprisingly ice-free. A pair of Teal were scarce visitors along with (4) Goldeneye (3 Drake) and (13) Greylag Geese. A flock of around (20) Siskin and (7) Bullfinch, plus Sparrowhawk and Great Spotted Woodpecker before I hit on a single Chiffchaff.
|A possible Siberian Chiffchaff at Dalmadilly ponds.
Being this pale and buff coloured with next to no yellow showing, I'm pretty sure this must be an eastern intergrade. Sadly the bird didn't call which would have been the real clincher but possibly a Siberian Chiffchaff?