This was the sky colour on Saturday and
on Sunday morning!
And today? The day dawned cold and frosty but with glorious sunshine. Where to today? I needed to stay within easy reach of home so I looked up a couple of National Trust sites that are close together and not far from me - and guess what? Yes! they were closed on a Monday.
So off I went to RHS Wisley.
Started by going up to Battlestone Hill to see what bird life was about. Around the feeder area were a few Siskins, Great, Blue and Coal Tits; Robin, Chaffinch and a Nuthatch. Wandering around the gardens I heard Great Spotted Woodpecker and saw (down by the River Wey) a Green Woodpecker. In the Pinetum I saw a few Long-tailed Tits dashing through the trees.
Siskins on Battlestone Hill
Wandering along the path at the bottom of the Rockery, other visitor were throwing bread into the ponds - which the fish obviously appreciated!
In the Pinetum, my first Red Admiral of the year - whey hey!
A pink Magnolia had suffered in the morning frost
but this Camelia seemed OK.
A Honey Bee (first one I've seen this year) was enjoying this Rhododendron flower
and buds about to burst!
and in deepest Surrey (and Wisley in particular) we have a Brown Bear!
(No doubt a bit quieter than OC's real life visitors!)
After a chat with Frank I headed off home. I'd had a phone call from my friend Hugh as I arrived at Wisley and, as he's hoping to visit Bushey Park to see the Grebes, I felt I should check to see if they were there and yes - they were.
As was this Mute Swan who was travelling at some speed having taken exception to a group of three Canada Geese who'd obviously wandered into his space. There's a female Swan on the nest nearby so this may be the cob!
And yes - the breeding pair of Great Crested Grebes were there and again their activity ensures the continuation of the species!
When I arrived, the male was down one end of the Boating pond whilst the female was around the nesting area. Her plaintiff calls went unheard for quite some time until finally the male arrived from the other end. After a while they started the courtship ritual with necks being stretched and some head swaying. All this was behind the two lateral branches that appear in the following pictures. A pity really as they looked splendid!
The female was reaching up to the branch above - I'm not sure why but if anyone knows.......
Just not to disappoint Roy, I shall be returning to Grebe HQ!
1 hour ago