Sunday, January 29, 2023

RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch

 As expected not many birds around this weekend. I think they'd flown to different gardens for a holiday.

I was ready with notebook and pencil to get on with my 'five bar gate' way of counting but not many five bar gates were reached this year.

 We eventually saw both Robins together after seeing just one at a time during the count and therefore only being able to record one they suddenly appeared at the same time in different parts of the garden.  Thank you Robins.

 Here is my list
6 Blackbirds, 1 Wood pigeon, 2 Robins, 7 Goldfinches, 1 Collard Dove, 2 Coal Tits and 2 Blue Tits.

Below is a record of my submitted count.

I was concerned to see only one Collard Dove as there are always two and always together.  I hope the second one is still around somewhere.

Did you take part in the count?  If so what did you spot in your garden?

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Thursday's Walk

Thursday morning was quite beautiful.  Very cold and yet bright and sunny.  We walked around Westport Lake not once but twice.  We stopped for a warming mug of coffee in the Visitor Centre between the two.  Second time around we walked along the towpath of the Trent and Mersey Canal and then back around the smaller ponds which lie between the large lake and the Fowlea Brook which is a tributary of the River Trent.

Westport Lake is the largest area of water in the city. The Canal and River Trust own the lake but it is managed jointly by the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust and the City Council.  It is an important site for wintering and  migrating birds.

We didn't see many unsusal birds.

Cormorants flying overhead and the usual Canada Geese, Coots and Mallards.

There were a few photographers out and about and a group of people with binoculars who looked as if they were on some sort of bird spotting course as they had an instructor with them.

Around the smaller ponds we saw mostly Robins, Dunnocks and Blue Tits.

Many of the water birds were walking on the still icy lake.

As we walked we felt as if we were being watched.

Some of the trees appeared to have acquired eyes.

I wonder if they had ears too?  If only they could tell us.

All for now.  Have a lovely weekend.

Monday, January 23, 2023


There was a beautiful sunrise yesterday morning.  The sky changed from pink to apricot and then gold in just half an hour.  It was still very cold outside with traces of snow and ice still across the garden and on the road.

I took these photos from the bedroom window.  You can just see the school building through the trees. 

I wasn't sure if I could capture the intensity of colour and light in the sky on my little camera.

It didn't do too badly.

Mr Fox visited later in the morning.  He was looking for a break in the ice on the pond so he could have a drink.  Paul had his camera handy and snapped a few photos of him.  He's still limping slightly as if he has a leg injury of some kind.  He still looks very healthy though.

A little later I saw the Great Spotted Woodpecker in the Tulip Tree and on the fat ball feeder, this time I was the one whose camera was to hand.  I just managed a couple of photos before he flew away.

We've seen him in the trees over the hedge in the school grounds.  It would be nice if he visited over the weekend at the time of the bird count, but it's extremely unlikely.

Thursday, January 19, 2023

This and That

The weather hasn't been great for taking walks lately first it was too wet and now we have snow.  This means that most of the photos below have been taken around home although we did venture to a garden centre last week just for a change of scene.

Muscari in snow.

Long-tailed Tits
Magpies - two for joy.
A shy Dunnock.

The garden has been busy with birds both yesterday and today.  The usual Blackbirds, Collard Doves and Goldfinches as well as three Robins and two Dunnocks.  The Greater Spotted Woodpecker visited again very briefly as did the Long-tailed Tits.  I've registered for the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch so I'm hoping the birds keep visiting.  More often than not they disappear over the weekend of the watch.  

There was a friendly Robin at the Garden Centre.

He or she appeared as I was trying to take photos of the Hellebore flowers.

We don't have any in the garden so I always look out for them at this time of year.

There were some lovely trees and plants but most of the colour was to be found in the primroses.

All for now.  Take care.

Update and Recent Reading

 Blogging has taken a back seat so far this year as I've not been well again.  I have another blood clot in my lungs so I'm back on anti-coagulants this time indefinitely. Thankfully  not the injections I had for six months last year but a new oral drug.  I have a medical emergency card to carry and a bracelet for my wrist which I make sure to wear if we leave the house.  

I've been reading quite a bit especially in the afternoons.

Above and below two books from the e-library.  The Pricilla Masters book has been read.  I love her Joanna Piercy books set in nearby Leek and also her Martha Gunn books which are set in Shrewsbury. This is a one off novel set in another nearby town - Stone.  I've still to read the Janice Hallet book.  I enjoyed her first two novels  The Appeal andThe Twyford Code so I'm looking forward to this one.

Below two books and an audio book from the library.  I've read the two books and have got to disc five of the nine discs that make up the book.  I tend to listen later in the day near bedtime.

Below a is lovely present from dear friends who wanted to cheer me up.

What a thoughtful gift and what a lovely book this is.  To read through, to dip into and to just sit and look at the illustrations.  You know who you are - I've already said thank you but I'll say it again.

All for now.