ShareMondays2019 – What’s The Difference Between A Weasel And A Stoat?
A weasel is weaselly recognised but a stoat is stoatally different! Boom Boom!
Sorry, but I couldn’t resist a bad Christmas cracker joke. This is the first WILD weasel I have ever managed to catch on camera! What a way to celebrate the festive season. I know it’s a weasel, not for the aforementioned reason, but because it’s REALLY small and the tail is only about 3cm long, with no black bushy tip! I only actually caught very brief glimpses of the tail as they’re also REALLY, REALLY fast. My photos with the full body and tail are unintentionally motion blurred!
Anyway, wishing everyone a fun and joyful festive season, whatever and however you might celebrate! Here are the festive feathered friends that I went to photograph, who actually alerted me to the presence of the Wisley Weasel. A redwing in a cherry tree and rockin’ robin!
I managed to get out of the house last Thursday to visit some of my favourite tree decorations, at RHS Wisley Gardens, fieldfares and redwings! These two birds are members of the Thrush family that fly south from Scandinavia, to overwinter in the UK and other parts of southern Europe. They won’t take long to strip the cherry trees bare of these sweet treats! It’s a spectacle I love seeing every year. They are so busy feeding that I can get just a little bit closer to them than in some other areas where they are gathered.
Boxing Day is a day for snacking and sharing. The redwings suggest you place a few tasty treats on your tree (out of the reach of pets!) to feast upon during the day. Remember to put a few treats out for our feathered friends too!
It’s Christmas Eve and hopefully your tree is fully dressed and festive! This helpful Wisley redwing is demonstrating the perfect way to hide a few gifts among the branches and decorations on your tree. When you leave some food out for Santa and his reindeer don’t forget to top up the bird feeders!
The redwings suggested that while you’re dressing the tree you check the balance of the decorations, every now and then, by taking a step back and looking at the overall effect. Although berries are still plentiful, please keep feeding the birds over the coming days and weeks. I’m scheduling a few more posts from the Wisley redwings so that I can take a break over the rest of the festive period. I hope you’ll enjoy them and have a very Happy Midwinter Feast, wherever you are in the World, and however you choose to celebrate at this time of the year.
The Wisley redwings have a very important message for everyone today! Small decorations and their parts can be a choking hazard to pets and young children, as demonstrated by this helpful redwing. Try to place them out of reach and if you have dogs, please don’t hang chocolates on your tree as it’s toxic to them. We don’t place any decorations on the lower part of our tree (including the lights) and we place the tree in a corner, with gifts and other obstacles around it to protect our cats. Tinsel is well known for causing intestinal blockages in pets so it’s best left in that box! Even the pine needles on live trees can cause intestinal problems. If you see your pets chewing branches please try to block off the tree from their reach or do as we do and get a synthetic tree. It’s still very pretty! Holly, mistletoe and poinsettia can all be poisonous to your pets. Mistletoe is also harmful to humans, so please keep it well out of reach of children and make sure you clear up any fallen berries. You can educate your children about the dangers of toxic plants when they’re old enough but I haven’t yet found a way to educate my cats!
Finally the redwings would like me to remind you all to keep feeding the birds!
The Wisley redwings have their third bit of advice for dressing the tree this Christmas! Once the tree is perfectly placed the next step is to start hanging the baubles up. All the birds agree that red is an excellent colour 😉
Hope you’re all having a cosy winter solstice. The shortest day of the year was a dark and dismal one here! Don’t forget to feed the birds, you may get a lovely song of thanks as I did today from our local robin.
The prettiest decorations I have seen this year are birds and berries! My Christmas gift to you all is a series of images of the redwings, and other winter visitors, at RHS Wisley Garden. I’ll be posting one a day. They’ve been gathering in flocks to feast on the many fruits and berries throughout the gardens. As we all prepare to gather together ourselves, for the midwinter feast, I hope that you will all have some time to appreciate the gifts of nature. Better than any expensive games console! Although the berries are plentiful they won’t last all through the season, so I hope you will all join me in feeding our birds this winter. Nature is one particular gift that we need to invest in so that it keeps on giving for future generations.