Friday, 30 December 2016

An Afternoon in the Freezer

After an incredible cold start to the day on Thursday (-5.6°C or 21.9°F) I expected it to finish up with the lowest average temperature of the year. However, the coldness relented a little in the evening and Wednesday's -1.1°C (30.0°F) remained the coldest and the lowest average daily temperature since 17 January 2013 with -1.9°C or 28.6°F. Thursday’s low was the coldest December temperature since 22 December 2010 when it fell to -5.8°C or 21.6°F.
The freezing cold weather has brought with it some lovely sunny days. We decided to wrap up well and make an afternoon visit to RSPB Fairburn Ings.
In the afternoon sunshine it didn't feel too cold even though most of the ground was covered with the day's frost. Out of the sunshine it was very different with most of the water still frozen over in the middle of the afternoon.
Part of our walk took us along the banks of the River Aire where mist still hung over some lengths of the river.
It was as we walked along the path by the river that someone asked us if we'd seen the deer. It took a while to spot them as they were in the distance on the opposite side of one of the large lakes on the reserve. Cameras trained and lenses at full reach it was a job to see the deer clearly.
It certainly merged in with the background very well. It was the first time we had seen any deer on one of the nature reserves that we visit. There are always reported sighting of deer and occasionally a photo will be posted on Facebook but I certainly didn't expect to see one on a freezing cold December afternoon. It's easy to forget that Fairburn Ings was once a mining area and isn't far away from major cities like Leeds and Wakefield. Parts of the reserve still have signs of that industrial past.
As we headed for the visitor centre in the late afternoon the sun was already setting on what had been a very cold day.

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