My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Last day's birding of 2011 - a great one it was!

Well - the last day's birding of 2011 and it wasn't bad!!

 I started off at Pulborough Wildbrooks where I bumped into a groups of people that I know from the London Wetland centre.

As I arrived in the car park I heard, then saw, a male Great Spotted Woodie drumming. He was shortly joined by a female who hotly pursued him. The flew off over the horizon but it was great to see.

We all stood and watched for sometime hoping for a sighting of the Firecrests..we dipped! Loads of waterfowl and numerous Wigeon etc. etc. The light was awful so not any pics from there today. Saw a Treecreeper which was lovely and also stood and watched a Weasel who was having a mouse for brunch! My do they move fast!!

 Went into the cafe for a bite to each at lunchtime but, with sandwiches costing in excess of £4.00 and jacket potatoes the same, I chose a very nice piece of Coffee and Walnut cake.. naughty but very nice!

On the way home I decided to try for the reported Short Eared Owls which were nearby.  The directions I was given were excellent and I found the spot near the river without problems.

I climbed the style into very boggy terrain (oh for my wellies which were in the car.  A way over in the fields was a guy with camera on tripod. As I neared I could see a SEO perched on a branch. In conversation with my new found companion I gathered said SEO had been perched there for at least 3/4 of an hour. I managed some very poor pics in dreadful light and the best of these (record shot only!!) is present here. A great way to end a birding 2011 and if 2012 is as good or better then I shall be a happy bunny.

Just a record shot, but my very first picture of a Short Eared Owl...

Happy New Year to you all and hopefully it will be a "wild" one for you all.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Sheffield Park... and the sun shone for a bit!

I'd planned to go birding today but wasn't sure the weather was going to be up to much.  So after a quick trip into town I headed of for NT Sheffield Park and Gardens.

I've been many times before in the Spring and Autumn but never in the winter.  Today, as I drove there, the sun came out and, for a while, the wind dropped - it was lovely.  Unfortunately it didn't last for long and after a very nice lunch of Roasted Vegetable Soup and a piece of Carrot Cake, the heavens opened and that, as they say, was that.

I took a few pictures ;)

The House is not part of Sheffield Park Gardens and is not open to the public.  I've often wondered about its ownership and today I discovered this information about it.

Around the gardens there were Christmas decorations... this was the first one!

Previous versions of this view on my blog have
 been in full  Autumn Colour

Standing on the bridge looking down; the top of
this picture is the bottom of the waterfall

I found this sheep family when I took a detour to the top of the woods; they were at the edge of the cricket pitch!

Monday, 26 December 2011

A quick walk to Cisbury Ring

I needed to get some exercise after eating a rather splendid meal of Roast Beef and all the trimmings yesterday (thanks brother David) and managed a very quick walk to Cissbury Ring.  Cissbury Ring is an iron-age Hill Fort and been there since about 300 bc. (so a little older than the author of this blog!)

I parked at the base (didn't have time to walk from Mum's) and then took the steep, and very muddy, climb to the top.

After about a couple of minutes, I'd started the climb and the beginnings of a view...

Getting nearer to the top,  the "shape" of the hill fort becomes more apparent - this is looking along part of the curve.

At the last stage, just a few more steps - almost vertical now! phew!!

and now over the surrounding "wall" you can look back down from whence you came
(see car park bottom left of the picture - my starting point!)

But the 360 degree views from the top make the climb, not only enjoyable, but very worth while!

Very many sheep everywhere it seemed..

Looking through one of the gaps in the surround of the fort

and even more sheep! 

 and more steps..

and back to Mum's to start the lunch.... great to have a walk to blow away the cobwebs
(rather bird-light however; perhaps there will be more about when we get some much needed sunshine!!)

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Happy Christmas

Wishing all of my friends and fellow bloggers
A Very Happy Christmas
and every good wish for a peaceful New Year

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Birding - twas the day before Christmas

Firstly - Blogger, in its wisdom!!, has changed the presentation of blogging.  I don't like it!! So I'm afraid this is very hit and miss!!

I went back to old haunts today... The London Wetland Centre and Bushy Park.

I'd left in brilliant sunshine but by the time I reached my first port of call, the sun had gone and clouds had thickened.

But nice to see four Pintails.  Two of the four males seen here

Feral Pigeons were being affectionate

A couple of Little Grebes

Onto Bushy Park where it was more about birds in flight!

And finally, some seasonal mistletoe!!
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