Tuesday, 15 April 2014

I've just seen my first Swallows this year..........................................................

Travelling home from work tonight I spotted my first Swallows of 2014... only a few but wonderful to see.

These images are from last summer... along the River Weaver.

Juvenile captured during June 2013...
 ...there were plenty of nests under Acton Bridge swing bridge last year.
 Hopefully more of the same this summer.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Song Thrush singing.........................................................................................

I have a Song Thrush waking me up in the morning at the moment... singing his heart out.
It's loud as are the rest of the spring morning chorus birds.

I am woken around 4am to the sound of a Great Tit's "tee too tee too" call... 
...which is soon supported by the Robin and Blackbirds.
The Spring morning chorus... I love it.
The video clip was taken a couple of years ago.

Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Great Spotted Woodpecker.............................................................................

While we were having a rest at the feeding station at Moore Nature Reserve last weekend we saw this male Great Spotted Woodpecker.

He fed on the suet block for a good five minutes.

I only had my 18-200 lens on the camera and these cropped images were the best I could manage...
... still a nice record of the moment.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Wren............................................................................. Moore Nature Reserve

I have never had much luck capturing Wren images... even when I had them nesting in my garden.
We had a walk at Moore Nature Reserve on Sunday afternoon and spotted this one gathering nesting material.

I only had my 18-200 travel lens on the camera but I did manage to get quite close as it was preoccupied.
Lovely little birds to see... and my first bird images for weeks.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Sunday, 30 March 2014

A day out to Bakewell........................................................................................

We had a drive out to visit the lovely little town of Bakewell yesterday.
It's only about 45 miles away but I haven't been for years.
The river that runs through the town is quite shallow and full of trout.

People feed the ducks and geese and it's fun to watch as the fish snatch the bread before the birds get to it.

Bakewell is the home of the famous Bakewell Pudding... and this shop also sold some wonderful bread and local cheeses... we treated ourselves and had a great supper last night.
A nice relaxing day... and the weather was fantastic.

Our World Tuesday

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

I am still around................................................................................................

I haven't been blogging for a while due to family problems... but I have been keeping an eye on my friends.
It's been a while since I have been out and about but I intend to put that right this weekend... 
...Spring is here and I intend to make the most of it.

I have been using my spare time recently to catch up with my stamp collection... 
...ebay offer some decent bargains now and again helping me to add items to the album.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The cage feeder does keep the squirrels out............. but not the Wood Mouse

Back in October we treated ourselves to this "squirrel proof" feeder.

It's proved to be up to the job... and the small birds love it.

This morning I spotted the Wood Mouse (a good climber) having a feed... 
...protected from predators?

Linking to Our World Tuesday and Camera Critters

Friday, 14 March 2014

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

If you can't beat them.................................................... make them look funny

A work colleague shared these images today... it's a squirrel feeder.

 The squirrels look for the food placed inside the horses head...

 ...and look ridiculously funny while feeding.

There is also a big head squirrel version.
I want one!

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Interlude............................................................................................................

All's going well with the parents and hopefully Mandy's dad will be home next week.
I haven't been out with the camera for ages but hopefully will get a chance this weekend... 
...the weather forecast is quite promising.

If you have watched this video clip before I apologize but I have been asked to share it again.
It is shorter than the original and is the trailer on my Youtube page.

Skywatch Friday

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) in my garden...........................................

I've captured a few clips of the little Wood Mouse that lives in my garden.

I tried to use the tripod but found it easier to handhold the camcorder... it's a fast little fella.
All the clips were taken through the window so not so sharp.

Linking to Camera Critters and Our World Tuesday

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Where we are up to............................................................................................

 Mum is back home after fracturing her pelvis but is still in pain... getting her to just sit and rest is difficult.
Mandy's Dad is doing OK after his quintuple bypass and hopefully will be leaving hospital this week.
He will then be spending a few weeks in a local care home...
...better for everyone as the hospital is in Liverpool which is a 50 mile round trip.

I haven't been out with the camera at all during February with all that's been going on...
... so here is another shot of the Robin that followed us around the park in Keswick last month.

Linking to Our World TuesdayWild Bird Wednesday and The Bird D'pot

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The hole in my fence has gone................. last weeks storm destroyed the lot!

I know! I know! I have been putting off repairing the fence around my little garden for ages.
My excuse?... because of a small hole that appeared in 2012.

The birds use the hole to come and go from my garden... giving  me some lovely photo opportunities.

We had very stormy weather last Wednesday 12th and my part of the country was hit pretty hard.
My journey home from work took over an hour longer than usual because of road closures... fallen trees and trucks blown over closing the motorways.
It was dark when I returned home and everything seemed OK...


This was the scene when I opened the curtains this morning... the hole was in the fence panel at the end of the clip.
The two plastic Herons in my neighbours garden made me smile when I saw them... another garden tick.

Update on the Parents.
Mum is doing fine after her fall... back home and managing on her own.
Mandy's Dad had a quintuple heart bypass on Monday... he is still sedated but we are told he is doing well.

Linking to The Bird D'potOur World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Sunday, 9 February 2014

A walk to Castle Crag.........................................................................................

It's been a couple of weeks since our long weekend break in the Lake District.

I took Mandy to Castle Crag in Borrowdale to visit the cave Millican Dalton spent his summers during the 1920's through to the 1940's.
I have shared his story before the link is here: Millican Dalton

On our way back from the cave this sheep appeared and started to follow us.

Bleating away it seemed to be making sure we left his little patch of Castle Crag.

If we stopped the sheep stopped... it became a bit of a game of cat and mouse.

As we reached the path following the River Derwent...the sheep jumped over a stone wall to make sure we really were on our way... a fun end to our walk.

Mandy's Dad is scheduled for his triple bypass op tomorrow morning... 
...he was in good spirits when we saw him today.
 Mum is enjoying being back at home after her fall and has now has a panic button around her neck... 
...83 on the 10th of March she took some convincing she was old enough to wear one!

Our World Tuesday and Skywatch Friday

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Some of the Homing Pigeons I have come across on my travels.......................

My encounters with Racing / Homing Pigeons

This little fella was the first...

...he stayed in my garden for three days during 2011 and made the most of my hospitality.

I spotted this one resting on the highest point of the Sandstone Trail... Raw Head.

We saw this one at South Stack on Anglesey... above the seabird colony on the cliffs.

This handsome chap stayed in Mandy's Dads garden for a few weeks last year...

...he made himself quite at home...

...the coal shed became his bedroom...

The the one from my last post... wading on the edge of Derwentwater in the Lake District.

 Linking to Camera CrittersThe Bird D'pot and Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, 3 February 2014

I always seem to bump into Homing Pigeons....................................................

I had a homing pigeon stop off in my garden a few years ago... resting up and enjoying my hospitality.
It was the first time I had come across one... but since that first encounter I seem to attract them.
We had one in Mandy's Dads garden last summer that stayed for a few weeks... one then became two for a few days before they both decided to continue their adventure elsewhere.

We have had encounters with others out walking locally and even on the coast at South Stack Anglesey.
The image above is of Derwentwater in the Lake District... the hill to the left with two bumps is Catbells.
Catbells was the home of Mrs Tiggy Winkle in Beatrix Potters childrens stories.

Among the ducks geese and gulls I spotted this little fella having a paddle... yet another homing pigeon.

He had the biggest bird bath in the world and was making the most of it...

 ...and no fear of me... I'm sure I could have handled him had I wanted to... 
...I hope he found his way home.

A bit of good news for today... my Mum is back at home after her fall and Mandy's Dad is doing well.

Linking to Our World TuesdayWild Bird Wednesday and Skywatch Friday

Sunday, 2 February 2014

It never rains but it pours..................................................................................

Just as my Mum has started to get mobile again after her fall with hopefully a chance of returning home in the next few days Mandy's Dad has had a heart attack. 
He is 72 and has never been in hospital in his life... a fit man who still climbs trees with his grand children.
 This has come as a real shock to everyone who knows him.
He will be having a triple bypass operation in the next few days... scary but he is in good spirits.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Thanks..............................................................................................................

Many thanks for all your kind words and comments for my Mum after her fall.

A few more images of the Robin that followed us through the park at Keswick on our break last weekend.

He landed on the arm of the bench next to the one I was resting on...

...then decided to come a bit closer.

Mandy captured the moment.

Friday, 24 January 2014

Blogging taking a back seat for a while.............................................................

My Mum (almost 83) has had a fall and broken her pelvis but I must add is doing well and is very cheerful.
I am juggling work and hospital visits so my leisure time is nil at the moment.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Robin.................................................................................. Hope Park Keswick

Just back from our long weekend away in the Lake District...
...plenty of fresh air and far too much to eat and drink.

I have loads of images to sort through but just had to share this little Robin who followed us through Hope Park in Keswick as we made our way down to the lake yesterday morning.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Friday, 17 January 2014

A change of plan........................ we are off to the Lake District in the morning

I had intended to go to North Wales for my long weekend break but we have decided to head up to the Lake District instead.... Bed and Breakfast booked for three nights in Keswick.

It's my default place for a short vacation... and feels like home whenever I visit.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

My garden Robin is still puffed up against the cold...........................................

A few more images of my little garden Robin in his puffed up winter coat.

 I am trying to capture a better image of him from behind...
...he has a white tail feather so is easy to identify out of the four Robins I have fighting over my little garden.

We are off to North Wales this weekend for a bit of rest and recreation so won't be commenting for a while...
...the camera gear is going with us so weather permitting I will have something to share.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

My little garden Robin thinks he's a tennis ball.................................................

We had a really cold night last night and woke to see a lot of frost and ice in the garden.

 My garden Robin with the white tail feather is all puffed up to keep himself warm.

 By puffing up his feathers so they almost stand on end he traps warm air next to his internal organs.
Air is an excellent insulator so even a few millimetres under the feathers will keep him nice and warm.

I think he looks a bit like a worn out tennis ball.

Linking to Camera CrittersOur World TuesdayThe Bird D'pot and Wild Bird Wednesday

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Great Spotted Woodpecker in the garden.........................................................

I've had a lovely visitor to the garden and it's only the fourth time it's happened...
... and this time I managed a few record shots.

 A male Great Spotted Woodpecker  on the "Twister" feeder.

All captured through the window and not even close to the glass as I was afraid if I moved he would be off.

I had a female visit a couple of times over Christmas but never had the camera to hand.
These images were taken with my 18-200mm lens at 200mm and cropped.... 
... my best garden visitor so far during 2014 and will probably remain so for the next twelve months.

Linking to Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year................................................................................................

Just a few of my garden birds from 2013

 Great Tit

Sparrowhawk

Magpie

 Blue Tit

 Goldfinch

 House Sparrow

Siskin

and last but not least... Robin
I hope 2014 brings me more of the same and hopefully a few new species to add to my garden list
I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2014

Linking to Wild Bird WednesdayCamera Critters and The Bird D'pot