Wild City: Searching for Fresh Air

Katie, surprised at the 'outdoors' in the heart of Moscow
Katie, surprised at the ‘outdoors’ in the heart of Moscow

Average temperature the last few days: -3 (Celsius)

The cold air is dry, crisp. It’s lovely, invigorating in a way, unless you are walking along a main road, when it becomes a bog of diesel fumes and cigarette smoke so dense that it makes your head hurt.

In trying to escape from this, Katie and I headed to Filievski Park yesterday. It was right in the middle of the day, after a productive morning of work, making sure we got some exercise and some air, rather than just being inside all day (which was a real threat because when you have they day off in such cold weather staying curled up in bed sounds like a wonderful idea.)

Found: Wild Walrus
Found: Wild Walrus

It was lovely- old leaves still on the ground, blue sky and sunlight streaming through the trees, river a still, reflective surface (not yet frozen, we checked). What was especially exciting was that we once again saw some more animals, and I don’t just mean the domesticated dogs that were taking a walk wearing their very own jumpsuits…

It started with a large black bird, with a red ‘mohawk’- a black or pleated woodpecker, I’m not to sure which. I tried to google this recently, but apparently ‘russian woodpecker’ only brings up results that have to do with a radio system which was used as an anti-balistic missile warning system in the Soviet Union. But it was certainly a woodpecker.

Find the Mouse!
Find the Mouse!

We also saw a variety of ‘tits’ as Katie called them- I thought they were relatives of the chickadee because they have a similar ‘cap’ (google has been inconclusive, will take pictures to compare next time), some blue-tits, (no dispute there), an actual RAT, a snowman, and many small mice with a black stripe down their back.

By this point we had been out for an hour and a half, and the cold won out. It was a lovely walk, though, and great to see some wildlife!

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