Sunday, 17 May 2015

Blackbird...................................................................... enjoying the new birdbath

The new birdbath has been a success... all the birds are using it.

This male Blackbird had a merry old time this afternoon.

Just filled with fresh water... he was making the most of it.

Having a good old splash around.

All spic and span... now where's that bird table?

This is the bird bath if you haven't seen it before.
"The Three Graces"... it weighs around 10 stone.

Our World Tuesday

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Garden bird species No. 40.................................................................... Goldcrest

I was in the garden taking pictures of my weekend handywork (scroll down to yesterdays post) when I spotted a flash of yellow in the bushes... it turned out to be pure gold

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus)

I managed to capture a couple of record shots when it landed on one of the bird baths

The smallest British bird... and a new garden visitor.
Species No.40 in or seen from my little garden... and a wonderful little bird to boot.
The yellow blobs behind the bird are dandelions... I need to start weeding.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, 4 May 2015

The garden is getting a makeover..............................................a bit more formal

I have decided to go for a more formal look in the garden this summer.
I bought this stone circle yesterday and also got some new planters...

... plus a new bird bath "The Three Graces"

Today I've added pebbles to compliment the stone circle.
I will be adding loads of colourful bedding plants in a couple of weeks... watch this space.

Our World Tuesday

Friday, 1 May 2015

The world's first postage stamp....................................... is 175 years old today

May 1st 1840
The worlds first postage stamp was issued 175 years ago today... the penny black

I am a keen collector of pre-decimal stamps of GB and I have a few penny blacks in my collection

Printed in sheets of 240 each stamp has check letters in the lower corners... AA to TL
I only collect penny blacks with the check letters AF... my initials
Happy Birthday to the oldest stamps in my album.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Male Eider............................................. Wildlife and Wetlands Trust Martin Mere

One of my favourite ducks... the Eider.

Eider (Somateria mollissima) male.
It's the UK's heaviest duck and it's fastest flying...
... the females breast feathers (eiderdown) have long been harvested for pillows and quilts.
Now largely replaced by down from domestic farm geese or synthetic alternatives.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Just had a dip!..................................................................... Red-crested Pochard

Another image of the Red-crested Pochard at Martin Mere.

Seconds ago he was underwater and soaked.... feathers plastered to his head.
A quick shake!
Look at him now... it's water off a ducks back.

Linking to Saturday's CrittersCamera CrittersThe Bird D'pot and Wild Bird Wednesday

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Red-crested Pochard........................................................................... Martin Mere

I captured this image a few years ago at the Wildlife and Wetlands Trust reserve at Martin Mere.

Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina).

My son Craig lives quite near to the reserve so I have no excuses for not visiting more often... 
...and I also get to meet up with the little fella below.

My grandson Arthur is now two and a half years old.
He loves the outdoors...  and it's about time I got him interested in wildlife.

Monday, 20 April 2015

I am dodging loads of pheasants on my commute to work.................................

It must have been a good year for the pheasants... I am seeing loads on my way to work.

Unfortunately I see plenty of  roadkill.
It's close season for shooting these lovely birds... traffic is their biggest enemy at the moment.

Wild Bird Wednesday

Thursday, 16 April 2015

OK! so you can climb up a sheer face........................................ too much talent

I went into my garden earlier and got really close to this squirrel before he noticed me.

I said "Boo!" he freaked then just shot up the brickwork of my house.
I relented and took a pace back... he slowly climbed back down then scarpered.
They really are amazing creatures.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Yippee! I've won some more bird feed with one of my photos........... fantastic!

During January I was delighted to hear I had won a prize in a photo competition.
A voucher worth £25 for a choice of wild bird products.
I chose a selection of bird food which went down a treat with my garden visitors.

Well guess what... I've done it again in their March photography competition.
For my prize this time I chose a sack of Sunflower Hearts.
This big bag of Sunflower Hearts arrived today... the squirrels will be delighted!

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Blackcap in my garden................................................. only the third in 10 years

I had this lovely little warbler feeding in the garden this morning.

A male Blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla)
I have lived here for 10 years now and had only seen one male and one female before.
This is also the first time I have got a record shot... captured through the kitchen window.

The Bird D'pot

Friday, 10 April 2015

Georgie the Harris Hawk..........................................................................................

This is Georgie... the female Harris Hawk from our Hawk Walk Experience.

It was amazing to see this beautiful bird flying free then landing on our hands.

Here's another shot of Mandy with Georgie... It really was a wonderful day.
I will definitely do it again one day.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

The only image of us together................................................. on our Hawk Walk

This was the only picture taken of us together on Sunday.

Pam the falconer was unsure how to use Mandy's camera but I think she's caught us well.
How pleased do we look to be so close to this wonderful Harris Hawk... and yes I am smiling!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A few more images of our Hawk Experience.......................... on Easter Sunday

 A few more images from our day out at Stockley Farm on Sunday.

 We got to hold this magnificent Ferruginous Hawk... a native of North America.
 There were just six of us in our Hawk Experience group during the morning.

We stayed to watch the public display in the afternoon... here is "Spike" entertaining the kids.

They also had a Buzzard in the display... called "Buzz" (the last two images are Mandys)

 It was quite noisy and "Buzz" decided to do his own thing for a while.

...landing on the cowshed roof... giving me a great photo opportunity...

 ... he had a roam about for ten minutes or so before coming back to Pam his handler...

Here he is with Mandy after his exploits... he's a beautiful bird.

Stockley is a working farm and a wonderful place for kids to visit and learn about farm animals.
...more images to share soon...

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday and Sky Watch Friday

Sunday, 5 April 2015

What a wonderful day.............................. we've had our Hawk Walk Experience

Our Christmas present from my grandson Arthur was a one hour Hawk Experience at Stockley Farm.
I know it's now Easter Sunday but today was the day we had our experience... and we loved it.

It wasn't just hawks we got to handle... this lovely Barn Owl was called Spike.

We had a walk through the woods with this Harris Hawk...

... she was free to fly along with us and spent a lot of the time up in the trees looking around.

We also got to handle this 5 week old Barn Owl... how cute is he?
I have hundreds of images to go through so these are just a taster.
Many thanks Arthur... what a fantastic Christmas present.

Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Goldfinch............................................................ a splash of colour in the garden

A wonderful bird to see in the garden... and the most colourful.

Goldfinch on my garden feeder enjoying the sunflower hearts.
"Picture of the Day" on the company's website today so feeling quite pleased.

Monday, 23 March 2015

Solar Eclipse..................................................................... from my office window

This is the best shot of the Solar Eclipse I managed to take on Friday (20/3/15)

Captured with my little point and shoot through the office window around 9.30am.
It was very cloudy in Manchester but we were lucky enough to get a glimpse of the event.
It won't happen again here until 2026.

Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Action camera on the feeders............................................................ first attempt

I bought this little Action Camera on Amazon... it's a Qumox SJ4000.

A GoPro lookalike...

 ...it came with loads of accessories including this waterproof case... all for just £69.

The bracket is for mounting the camera on bike handlebars... and of course bird feeding stations.

I captured this little clip of a Starling within minutes of setting it up.
It's played at half speed.
The plastic lid on the feeder is usually lower to keep the bigger birds out...
 ...a bit of tweaking and hopefully I will get some nice close up videos.

Linking to Saturday's CrittersCamera CrittersThe Bird D'pot
and Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, 16 March 2015

Arthur (my grandson) came to visit this weekend........ oh my he's a busy one!

My son Craig visited this weekend with my grandson Arthur.
Two and a half years old and a right handful... he was into everything.

We walked up to Mandy's new house to show Craig around.
 The only time the little fella sat still was when we put the television on.

A kids cartoon with singing birds kept him quiet for a few minutes.
He told us who the characters were... but his attention span didn't last too long.

His love of birds still needs to develop.
He was soon looking out at the garden... asking to go outside.

 Then checking out how the curtains worked.

 My favourite moment was when he asked me if I wanted a cup of tea... priceless!