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How the beast from the east affects our wildlife

The “beast from the east” hit with a vengeance last week leaving huge amounts of snow and freezing temperatures in its wake. We were just starting to get the first reports of bumblebees and hedgehogs coming out of hibernation in the week leading up to it so for those individuals there are some hard days ahead. They will face a race between energy reserves running out and the weather improving. Many birds have been heralding spring too, pairing up, singing, even prospecting for nests. Over a cold spell like this breeding will be a lower priority than the struggle for survival. Many birds are dependent on people providing them with food and its especially important not to forget our feathered friends when the weather turns. On the upside, weather events like this are a great chance to see something different. Pay close attention to the birds in your garden and you might catch sight of something unusual. I’ve seen bramblings and reed buntings regularly mixed in with the usual chaffinches and sparrows. The differences can be subtle so they’re easy