I am currently gazing out my window at the winter wonderland of my snow clad garden and feeling sorry for my birds. They have plenty of food in their feeders and are fairly active, but it looks so cold!
As we know our British birds are well insulated, with a thick covering of feathers, and they have the ability to control their body heat. In really cold weather they will hide themselves away to stay warm; sparrows, of which I have many, will use the thick vegetation of ivy, holly or other evergreen trees.
Nevertheless, prolonged cold can be a real problem and it is important that they have plenty of food available to help keep their body temperature up. The RSPB has plenty of advice on how to help our urban birds in the winter.
For those of us who avidly follow our daily weather forecasts we know that the current snowy blast we are enjoying is caused by cold air from the northern parts of Europe and the Artic forcing the warmer and wetter Atlantic air away from our shores. This to and fro between masses of continental and Atlantic air is what give us Brits the excuse to talk about the weather so much, as it is always changing!
One constant with our weather, both here at home and around the world, is the steady rise in temperatures year on year. The last decade has been the warmest on record and tackling global warming and climate change is one of the biggest challenges of our generation. If we are to leave a cleaner and greener world for future generations then we have to face the issues now.
Later this year the UK will host one of the most important climate conferences of all, called COP26, (which stands for Conference of Parties no.26). After many years the USA will be present and the hope is to agree even more major initiatives to cut greenhouse gases and tackle our rising global temperatures.
It may seem odd to talking about this with a snow covered garden outside my window, but the reality is that we do need to act now and governments around the world are meeting to discuss how we do this.
Keep safe and stay warm!