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....

Thursday, 31 March 2011

A classical concert; Italian Meal, Good company and a birthday

A little while ago, Pete and I were "chatting" and the topic was classical music; something we both like. Pete mentioned several concerts at St. Lukes - home of the London Symphony Orchestra! And as luck would have it, there was one on my birthday :D

So today, we met up for the Janine Jensen (violinist) and Itmar Golan (pianist. Prior to the concert, we had a lunch of Pizza (to which I was treated - thanks Pete :D )

Janine Jensen is an amazingly talented young lady and it was a privilege to see her today. The emotion she puts into her music is incredible and on one piece, I was virtutally moved to tears.

Here is a piece played by her that I truly love. It's called "Apres un reve" which (translated) is "After a Dream" - something we should all have.

Before we met, I'd been taking some pictures around London on my journey. The weather, I have to say, left a lot to be desired!! It was wet and windy and my brolly blew inside out and is now in the rubbish bin! (Much to Pete's amusement)

When I got to Vauxhall station, I had a wander and took picture of the local architecture. Today's modern architecture really doesn't hold a candle to that of a few centuries ago.. it lacks character in my humble opinion.

But, here you can judge for yourselves!

St. Georges Wharf

A view up the Thames

In the distance, the now defunct Battersea Power Station..

and looking the other way, the Houses of Parliament and the Wheel.

As I got to Old Street station, the rain started but I managed a few pics of the local area.

Not sure what this is other than an advertisement; don't think I like it much!

Then a pizza for lunch and the concert.

I love classical music and it's years since I've been to a concert so I was delighted with today's.

So thank you Pete for a lovely birthday :)

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

A pair of Great Crested Grebes - wildlife of Painshill Park

I had to have rather a domestic time this morning - boring! But after I'd finished the shopping and as Painshill Park was a quick sprint up the A3, I decided I'd better renew my membership which expires on Thursday. (Great value the membership.. I can visit so frequently)

It was a bright day but no sunshine as such but the wind was very light. I'd also had a heads up from Tim that the Great Crested Grebes (at least - one of the two pairs) had laid some eggs... so how could I resist!!

I headed up and membership duly renewed I went in search.

There they were, a contented couple. I'd viewed the nest from the distant bank before going around and had seen 1 egg.... I was in for a treat.

Despite the lack of sun, it was to my favour as had it been shining I would have been shooting directly into it.

Mum was in the nest when I got there.

After a while, she got off the nest and joined Mr. for a swim around

Swimming over, they both added some more nesting material. Whilst Mum was off the nest, I tried - in vain - to spot any eggs but couldn't see a single one.

She came back to the nest and decided a tidy up was in order.

Thinking she'd done enough, she started to settle but..

a bit more rearranging was necessary

before settling back down on her 4 eggs (all that tidying had revealed them!)

and then she finally settled.

What a privilege it is to see such magnificent birds.

And by now, the raindrops had started so I headed off for home - a very happy bunny to have seen what I did today :D

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Skylarks and a Wren

Saturday... wet and windy and cold
Sunday .... eventually sunny still (ish) and warm

Having got back home I headed off for Bushy... the Skylarks were singing their wonderful song - four of them buzzing about and landing on the ground. It was a testament to the good light and lack of dog walkers today that I managed to get these shots....

In the Silve Birch Glade a Wren obliged... well - almost!

Masses of colour in the flowers... but that's a post for another day...

North of the Thames...and wet Norfolk

I headed up to RSPB Rye Meads on Friday. It was GLORIOUS. The sun was shining and it was wonderfully warm... oooooh!

I sat in various hides, but from the Kingfisher hide, a pair of Kingfishers were ducking and diving. Just a pity they weren't nearer but nonetheless it was lovely just to sit there and watch them!

Further around, and this Cormorant seemed to be "taking the air"

So that was great. Then had a very tasty meal provided for me in the evening... very yummy! (Especially the pud! ;) )

Now Saturday - a different day altogether.

We headed north (with an obligatory stop for Bacon, Egg and Sausage rolls with a welcome cuppa ....) with the intention of going to Titchwell etc. for a spot of birding. The forecast by the BBC (favoured by me) was for cloud; the forecast by Metcheck (favoured by Pete) was for rain. Unfortunately, the Metcheck forecast was more accurate. (Pete, 1, Tricia 0)

We stopped first, looking for the Little Owl, at Flitcham Abbey Farm. No sign of the Little Owl, but Red-legged Partridges seemed to be everywhere.

We stopped at the road side at Chosely Barns. These are massive grain barns and obviously some grain gets left on the areas outside the barns. Whic was great at we were greeted with the sight of about 24 Yellowhammers and three Corn Buntings (lifers for me). We watched them for sometime using the car as a shelter from the strong winds. The males were spectacular in their breeding plumage.

We drove on and debated whether to stop at Titchwell. (Pete asked if I wanted to visit; think he was quite glad when I said I didn't think it was worth it!) Given that we couldn't use cameras and would have difficulty in the pouring rain seeing anything with binoculars or scopes, we decided to give it a miss.

We then decided to head south again (into much much drier weather and very dry roads, hey ho!) and visit somewhere in the dry. So we went off to Peckover House - somewhere I'd never visited before.

The house was really lovely and of a size where you can imagine living. The gardens were pretty if a bit formally laid out, but this didn't detract. There were many rose bushes and climbers and June would be great for a return visit when they are all in flower.

So... a few views..

This very friendly feline seemed to follow us around the gardens; it certainly wanted some attention and was quite glad to be made a fuss of.

There was a small greenhouse which was aglow with colour of Spring flowering plants.

And, I may add, the soup at lunch time and the carrot and harvest cake at teatime were scrummy! Well done the catering team... on a winner there :D
So, a great day out (despite the weather) and home to be waited on again.
Thanks Pete :)
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