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Blizzards and buzzards

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Martin Aaron Martin Aaron | 10:06 UK time, Monday, 29 November 2010

Well, despite the chaos on the roads on Friday night - we all managed to survive the snow blizzards...just!

It felt like a scene from 'The Day After Tomorrow' with everyone panicking, schools closing, cars sliding off the roads, traffic jams and planes crash landing into mountain tops.

Imagine if we ever end up with proper winters like they have in the rest of Europe where -25 Celcius is common and metres of snow falls for months on end?

Getting out of Cardiff took forever with traffic jams in all directions. Once I made it onto the M4 though - it was absolutely fine? Traffic was flowing nicely and for once - everyone was driving at a safe distance.

If everyone just stayed calm, I'm sure half of the traffic problems wouldn't happen?

Anyway, that's my rant over! The dreaded blizzards are no longer happening this week but Derek will update more on that later.

I was driving to Porthcawl early on Saturday morning when I came down off the motorway and face to face with a buzzard on the wing.

He was flying exactly at eye level with me, without a care in the world - just six feet away and gave me a casual glance sideways.

We continued like this for a few seconds along the road at which point I lost my nerve fearing a collision, so braked slightly.

The buzzard banked hard left and went straight over the top of my van, clonking the roof with his wing tips as he went. Fearing the worst I slowed right down but then spotted him as he swooped up high into a tree, unharmed. An amazing, if slightly surreal encounter. I guess the cold weather clouded his judgement slightly!

Later that day I saw all sorts of raptors and plenty more buzzards out hunting rather than sitting lazily on telegraph poles.

Approaching Cross Hands - a red kite flew hovered above the outside lane of the M4. I've never seen one in this part of Wales before but it had a huge wingspan and (from a distance) resembled an approaching heron!

So, the snow does have its benefits - especially for wildlife photographers as it presents some amazing photo opportunities. Here are some of the pictures you've sent in during the recent cold snap:

A hungry sparrowhawk hunting in the snow by Sarah Bowen

A hungry sparrowhawk hunting in the snow by Sarah Bowen.

Nantgwynant Pass, North Wales by Anthony Tully:

Nantgwynant Pass, North Wales by Anthony Tully

Snowdon and surrounding mountains from Cwm overlooking the Vale of Clwyd by Matthew Griffith.

Snowdon and the surrounding mountains from Cwm, overlooking the Vale of Clwyd by Matthew Griffith.

A pheasant stays out of the snow in the hills above Carno Powys by Griff Evans.

A pheasant stays out of the snow in the hills above Carno, Powys by Griff Evans.

Cardiff Bay in the snow by Mike Fudge.

Cardiff Bay in the snow by Mike Fudge

Castle Coch in Tongwynlais by Gale.

Castle Coch, Tongwynlais covered in snow by Gale.

If you've taken any nice photos recently then why not email them to me here at wales.nature@bbc.co.uk or join our Flickr group - it's free.



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