My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
To view pictures in larger format, just click on any picture for the picture gallery....

Sunday, 27 February 2011

Birds of Prey and some favourites!

The sun came out this morning... it was a rare but lovely sight.

Having discovered the birdhide at Polsden Lacey the other day, I decided to return with my camera. I was earlier than previously which meant the sun was in the wrong place and the birds in shade. I'll get better as time goes on!!

Many blue tits coming to the feeders.

and then I heard and saw the Nuthatch.. wonderfully pretty birds.

I decided to go on to RHS Wisley as they had Birds of Prey being flown... ah, thought I, some flight shots!

As I got there the sun disappeard behind ever darkening clouds. The birds were resting awaiting their flight time in a couple of hours. So some shots whilst they had their R & R.

I really don't think that this one wanted it's picture taken at all and its expression suggested I was invading its privacy ;)

A Barn Owl was rewarded with a meal.

Decided to go onto the Birdhide. The Kingfisher was present but skulking over the far side behind trees and eventually disappeared from view. And.... by now it had started raining!!

An obliging Treecreeper appeared and was then followed by another; they flitted about for a while before flying off elsewhere.

And on my way back, this Blackbird landed in front of me - its expression defying me to overtake it!

By the time I got back to the Birds of Prey, the rain was torrential so that was it for the day... I arrived back at the car (in the now emptying car park) rather soggy for my drive home.

Pity really....... I expect we will have less rain at some time; it's just of matter of..... when?

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Frogs and a spider!

Well... I'm sorry to say it's grey and wet again!!! And it's the weekend....

Yesterday, I was watching the frogs being very active in the pond, whilst standing at the kitchen sink (I do do this occasionally ;) ), when much to my amazement a Grey Heron landed beside the pond... as I moved it flew off.. I don't know who was more surprised!

This morning the frogs were again very busy and, indeed, being very vocal too and much more spawn had been produced. I took a picture but the light was dreadful.

Despite the rain I headed over to Barnes (London Wetland Centre). It might be great for waterfowl, but the lack of light and enormous amounts of wet stuff don't do much for visitors.

So very much "water off a duck's back" today...

On the way out, Terry (many thanks for the head up :D ), pointed out this "Funnel Spider" making its home in a corner under the outside stairs... wonderful to see it! I'm not quite sure whether it's one of "ours" or not.. so if anyone knows anything about them I'd be delighted to be educated!

There was a break in the clouds by the time I got home and the frogs were still churning up the mud and water in the pond. Just a pity they wouldn't face the way I needed them to to have their picture taken...

This, taken through the water, was a bit of a challenge photographically!

I wonder what tomorrow morning will bring?

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Is it Spring? The frogs think so....

It's that time of year again. For the last couple of days the pond has been disturbed by several frogs getting very amorous! No frogspawn as yet, but for the last two years, it's appeared overnight and in the morning of 25 February - which is tomorrow.....

Today I walked with a friend around the woods and fields of Polesden Lacey.

We started out by walking down a steep slope and across the fields - slip-sliding in the mud. The ground is still very water logged.

From the new bird-hide up near the house, we watched dozens of blue and great tits, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and a Nuthatch enjoying the feast provided for them.. no pics - didn't have the right lens!

The bird song was wonderful and most obvious through the woods.

Having walked for a while we came to this bridge - it seems to be in the middle of nowhere but must have been significant in the past - it's a really solid construction albeit there are now signs asking visitors not to lean on the sides!

We look down...

We then walked down by the side of the bridge..

and under it looking back up the hill..

After a while we came to this "tunnel" through the woods..

Later on the view opens out..

and in the distance, you can see Polesden Lacey house at the top of the hill - this is where our journey had started!

A wonderful carpet of snowdrops in the woods


As we walked further, much to our amazement, we saw two yellow Brimstone butterflies! Well is was really warm in the sun and no wind today - lovely!

And finally, back up the hill and under another bridge.
The sun was glorious - I do hope it lasts into the weekend...... sigh!

A great mornings walk and really got the blood circulating with all those hills!

Friday, 18 February 2011

Dunnock.. heralding Spring..

I was down with Mum earlier in the week and the sun was shining in a very blue sky.

Perched aloft on a bush in her garden, this Dunnock was singing its wonderful song; and being replied to from another garden. Lovely stuff!!

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Great Crested Grebes - they're starting to dance...

I've been rather busy lately and this will be a brief post.... :( But the sun shone today and there was a wonderful blue sky for a little while :D

I'd been given the heads up that the Great Crested Grebes in Painshill Park were nest building and dancing... I headed off!

I found the nest but no signs of the Grebes. Did hear a Woodie drumming though... first hearing of this Spring. Then the mewing high up overhead - two buzzards... nice!

I walked around the bottom of the lake - nest building is well on the way for this coot.

A flash of turquoise as a Kingfisher shot around the corner and back again!

And then, down the other end of the lake, the courting couple. They were having a rather half-hearted head-waggling session when I spotted them and immediately stopped as I got the camera up.

They then swam around and preened but no more dancing...

The swam off up to the other end of the lake again and disappeared from sight.

Snowdrops are everywhere...

and one or two daffodils are coming into flower.

I called in briefly to Bushy Park but only the usual culprits about..
But Red Crested Pochards are always good subjects.

A brief time out but relaxing!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Down south by the sea

I'm going to be spending quite of bit of time in Sussex keeping my grandson company. I was there this weekend but the weather, initially, was not that good.

I went for a solo walk whilst my young teenage charge did what all teenagers do on a Saturday morning - stayed in bed!

It was cloudy and dull but made for some interesting conditions out at sea.

A little later, without protesting too much, we walked into the town and by now, the sun was coming out!

We walked along the pier and looked back at the turning tide..

The rounded end at the end of the pier is rather attractive..

and underneath.... interesting ...

Our stroll along the pier over we looked back into the sunlight and out to sea.

We did our shopping and then hunger overtook us... so off to a cafe overlooking the sea for eggs on toast and bacon sandwiches with a cuppa.... yummy!

Thanks for your company J - had a good time :D
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