Two winters compared; ” just what he needs”; a cocoon in a hat; Bucklers Hard – a disappointment; a visit to Bulcote; drawings lost – and found; the Mudds move out; fifteen Robins’ eggs, and an addition to the family.
The bitter weather of the now infamous 1962/63 winter is still making itself felt at the end of January 1963, and on February 1st, Gran says:
The snow is still with us and January’s final records are in! It was the coldest January for one hundred and twenty-five years, but, paradoxically, it was also the sunniest and the driest this century. It is certainly one that I shall remember.
And a few days later, she records the figures in more detail, comparing them with those from the equally memorable winter of 1947. The lengths of the cold spells were similar: fifty days in 1947 and forty-six in 1963, but most telling are the days of frost and snow-lie, with fifteen days the longest run of frost in 1947 compared with thirty-seven in 1963; and the days with snow lying in 1947, a mere twelve compared with forty-two in 1963.
There are several newspaper cuttings pressed between the journal’s pages concerned with the plight of birds and other wildlife during the winter, including that of the Dartford Warbler, almost, and potentially completely, wiped out in its British stronghold – the New Forest.
Natural History outings continue, including a return to Hayling Island, with friend, Doreen Peters and brother Norris, the latter very keen to see his first Collared Doves, which they do, as well as finding a new goose species for Gran, who writes:
I spotted a small party of geese in a field close to the lane and we stopped to investigate. We remained in the car to avoid disturbing them and had a wonderful view. There was no doubt about it – they were actually Pink-footed Geese, nine of them and we could see every detail. This was a new species for me.