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....

Monday, 30 August 2010

Checking up on Great Crested Grebe youngsters.

I had to go to Tesco's today which is on the way to the London Wetland Centre. I was driving along when I had a call from someone commented about Little Grebe pics!! That reminded me that I hadn't been to check on the Great Crested Grebe chicks at Painshill for a couple of weeks. Shopping done, I headed off to Painshall Park.

They were all still there but interestingly, two young ones with Dad and two with Mum in another place on the lake altogether.

These are record shots only as they seem to stay in the middle of the lake... very sensible until I want them closer for a photo-shoot!!

One parent with two of the young..

who was fishing for a meal for them... didn't seem to catch much though.

The other two young ones..

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Decisions on venue - Ham House it is then!

I was just driving away from the cash machine pondering whether to visit Ham House or Polsden Lacey when the mobile rang (I'm hands free). Pete was at Ham House and where was I ? (I'd mentioned I might be going there) Decision made and I headed on over.

There was a feel of Autumn in the air as we wandered along; the wind was making the leaves rustle. The house and garden weren't yet open so we walked along the towpath of the river.

And then into the "front" garden...

and around to the "back"

These Sweet Peas are beautifully scented..

A foreign intruder...

The gardens are very "bare" laid mostly to squares of lawn. There is little planting which is a great shame as there is definitely room for the imagination to run wild!

The building at the rear is the Tea Rooms which are very good. I was coerced into having some rather yummy cake (I was going for the soup ;) ) in addition to our sandwich, so we shared a couple of slices.... ooh it was good!

Loadsa grass - hope they've got a "sit-on" mower!

I don't remember these two statues (from previous visits).... and they looked very new and pristine.

This provided a quiet corner in the shelter..

Serried ranks of pots - the gardens are very geometrical!

and again we have someone walking into shot!! lol

The interior is interesting and very varied. Each room seems totally different from the others and sometimes, it feels like different periods in time.

A "right-royal" bed!

Our tour of the house and gardens done, we came out into sunshine and wandered along back to the car park. I had a slow drive back through some of Richmond Park and as I neared home the heavens opened and the rain pounded. It didn't last for long, but at least it stayed away for when it mattered!

Ham House is right down near the River Thames and Richmond Park; sometimes it's difficult to imagine you're so close to London itself!

A very pleasant day out :D

(I took rather a number of pictures so I've reduced the quantity for posting here.....)

Saturday, 28 August 2010

Still practicing..

The sun came out, it was warm, and there was a blue sky! I headed off for Barnes. Fairly quiet but some more birds coming in now. The water levels were quite high though.

A Hobby was seen hunting successfully.... not by me though.. And a family of Water Voles were about.

A kestrel taunted us high up above.,

A common Sandpiper wouldn't really come out into the open enough for a decent picture.,

The Little Grebe got its own back and used a Coot's nest for a quick nap :D

A Wood Pigeon was eyeing me eyeing him!

Lots of Migrant Hawkers around - some were still (ish)

and others flew backwards and forwards getting faster and faster

This damselfly sat on wood warmed by the sun
(think it's a Common Blue Drab female)

And a pair of dragons!!

And finally, another Wasp Spider. This one was very big and the nicely packaged lunch was a grasshopper/cricket!!

Sunday, 22 August 2010

Grey Heron finds brunch - back on the local patch

I awoke to grey skies, no breeze and high humidity - it's stayed like that all day. (I do know that it's much better down in Cornwall though where the sun was shining - I'm reliably informed about this)

Undaunted I headed off to BushyPark. Jenny had told me they'd seen a couple of Common Terns over the fishing lake end of the water albeit it was now a few days ago - they weren't in evidence to day.

I'd come across this Grey Heron and watched it fascinated for well over half an hour - it was very intent on fishing for its brunch!

It had caught some little fish which disappeared down its throat with great speed but..... it then shot it's beak into the water and come up with this (I think its a young Perch!). I was waiting for it to raise its beak up to swallow it but instead it just paused briefly before flying off with it in its beak!!

(It looks better enlarged (by clicking on the picture) but not if you're squeamish)

Further along it was still looking for fish so I left him to it.

Several Red Deer hinds with their young and several enjoying the water.

Sometimes the best things to eat are just out of reach...

The ears of the young seem a disproportionate size to their head!

The young are now growing up and some have already lost their dappled appearance.

Further around the pond, at last I managed a reasonable dragon-in-flight picture

and some colour from the water lillies.

Signs of autumn perhaps...

What I thought would be a stroll with nothing much happening, I was pleasantly surprised. And it's still very humid!!

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