Reasons to love the snow

Whenever we get a decent snowfall there’s always lots of stories about all the bad things this brings. I want to talk about one of my favourite things: animal tracks.

Snow is brilliant for discovering the life your garden, or local park or reserve, holds. I take great pleasure in seeing what I can find, bird or mammal, and trying to identify it. Just this morning there was a great trackway running down the side of our house (though sadly it was just a cat). But around the feeders I could see several species, including sparrow and blackbird.

In previous years I’ve managed to have little forensic dramas too. A scatter of footprints, a splash of blood, wing-prints: better than Silent Witness!

So I’d really like to encourage everyone to get out, see what they can find, and take some photos. Don’t forget to use something, even just a coin, for scale.

There are plenty of good books you can buy tol help you identify things, or you can go to handy online guides such as HERE or HERE (pdf).

Of course, if you have a mobile phone and Twitter/Facebook, you could always share your images there. It’s a quick way to share them, and you can get ID help too. What would be brilliant, Twitter users, is to tag all these photos with #snowtracks as that will allow everyone to easily see them with a simple search: #snowtracks

Just need everyone to get using it now. I’m going to go out tomorrow and see what I can find, so I’ll share them here and via Twitter. Feel free to share what you find here.

This entry was posted in Birds, Mammals, Why watch wildlife?. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Reasons to love the snow

  1. Emily Heath says:

    Great idea, I’ve tweeted a couple. Do you think these might be woodpecker prints, or something else? And I’m wondering if this one is a bird and a squirrel –

    • David says:

      Hard to say on the birds without a scale, they look pretty big? Woodpecker prints not usually so spread-toed, more like a Wood Pigeon, maybe a Corvid?

      Squirrels have quite narrow footprints, and you tend to get the long hind-foot print too. But I can’t think what else would be that size, and snow can do weird things to prints as animals splay their feet out to distribute the weight.

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I welcome thoughts, comments and questions, so please feel free to share anything at all. Thanks, David

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