Sunday, January 30, 2022

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch

We sat down on Friday lunch time and decided to start counting whilst eating our sandwiches.  Earlier, through the kichen window, I'd seen four magpies having a bit of a tussle.  Three of them had the fourth backed up against a shrub with flapping wings. open beak and its claws in the air it looked quite distressed.  It eventually got away from them and flew off.  The other three stalked across the lawn as if to say 'job welll done'.

It was the appearance of three Long Tailed Tits on one of the fat ball feeders that decided us to start the count.

Paul's photo
I'm really glad we did the count on the first day as the wind yesterday kept many birds away from the feeders. 

My Photo

In the hour we counted nine Sparrows. one Robin, five Chaffinches, three Long Tailed tits, one Blue Tit, one  Dunnock, three Wood Pigeons, two Collard Doves, six Goldfinches, three Bullfinches and three Blackbirds.

 Where were all the Goldfinches? We usually have at least fifteen of them gathered around the feeders and earlier this month we had eight and sometimes ten Collard Doves pecking around  under the feeders especially when the Goldfinches were feeding and dropping seed to the floor.

My Photo

 It was a joy to have the Long Tailed Tits and the Bullfinches  (two males and one female) visit during the count.

Paul's photo

Paul's photo  

 Did you take part in the bird count?  If so what did you see? Anything different, or your usual visitors?


Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Still Here

I'm still here.  I've not been using my laptop very much as a couple of weeks ago I had a small operation or proceedure to remove an area of skin on my right forearm. This has left me unable to do a lot of things as I'm right handed.  The wound is feeling easier now and the stiches come out on Friday. Hurray!  Biopsy results will be a little longer. Apologies if I haven't commented on your posts for a week or two.  I will get around to visiting you all again.

A few days ago we visited the small M&S in Stone and they had a bucket of bunches of Daffodils for £1 per bunch at the end of each till area. I coudn't resist a bunch of these, bright and cheerful signs of Spring, even though we have a way to go yet.  Further in the store I was half amused and half bemused to see rows of Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies for sale and also, in the bakery area - Hot Cross Buns.  Sigh.

On Sunday morning we walked to the local park. 
The sky was grey, almost colourless.

The air was still, not one jot of a breeze. It was very quiet too as the cool temperature discouraged most early morning dog walkers.

The winter trees were stark and rather beautiful.

The path turned towards home.

Where a bowl of butternut squash soup was warmed and enjoyed.  Just what was needed after a  long walk in the damp, chilly air.

Red Tulips almost as cheering as the Daffodils.  
I'll be taking part in the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch over the weekend.  We've done it for years and as is usual I expect the numbers of birds visiting the feeders won't be as high as earlier this week. This always seems to happen, they just don't want to be counted.  We've had lots of birds on the feeders over the last few days, last week we were filling up the feeders twice a day.  Robins, Blackbirds, Sparrows, Dunnocks, Blue tits, Long tailed tits, Chaffinches, Goldfinches, Collard Doves and Wood Pigeons being the most frequent visitors and Golfinches and Sparrows the most numerous.  I wonder how this will change over the weekend?  I'll report back next week.

Saturday, January 08, 2022

A Wintry Wak

Our walk on Thursday took us to the woods on the Trentham Estate.  We followed the monument walk.

It is also part of the Two Saints Way.

The Two Saints Way is a long distance walk between the Cathedral Cities of Chester and Lichfield.   The two saints of the walk are St Chad and St Werburgh both of Saxon nobility who spread Christianity across the Kingdon of Mercia.  More info here

Back to the walk.


 The muddy paths were frozen solid and crunchy underfoot.

It was very cold and snow was in the air.
I spent time looking at the frosty leaves.

  they were quite beautiful.

Frosty Ferns

Above Oak leaves and then a Bracket Fungus.  Amazingly still undamaged by either human or animal.

The monument to the first Duke of Sutherland through the trees. 

A distant cottage across the fields.

As we headed back to the car the snow was quite heavy. Fingers and toes were cold. By the time we got home it was white over, by late afternoon it had all gone.  Last evening, after a hail storm in the afternoon, we had another covering of snow, this morning it had all gone and it has rained continuously, how weird the weather is at the moment.

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Into the New Year

It's 9.30a.m. in the morning on New Year's Day.  The sun is gently lighting the house roofs and upstairs windows on one side of the street and the sky is showing several shades of blue. The weather is mild and has been for a few days.  No wonder the little beauty below is slightly confused.

I took this photo a few days before Christmas but thought I'd save it for today as for me snowdrops are a sign of peace and hope.

Best wishes to everyone for the New Year.