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 May 2011

A Norfolk day out... and it didn't rain!

Been rather busy with boring domestic issues recently so it was great to have a couple of days break. Went up to Rye Meads on Friday but not a huge amount about except for the Swifts. About 40 (ish) down by the river; amazing sight just to watch them dipping and diving. Did catch a glimpse of the Kingfisher and I gather that the young have now fledged.

Then on Saturday, Pete and I headed north to Gooderstone Water Gardens which were enchanting. En route we stopped at Walkers for brekkie.... rather yummy. The queue was rather long as there was a Biking event on and several bikers were in the queue ahead of us... but Sausage, Bacon and Egg rolls and a cuppa certainly made the wait worthwhile.

As we walked around the Water Gardens, a new picture seemed to open up around every corner and, although amazingly it was acceptable weather for a change (normally we have anything but!), the flowers certainly added some lovely colour to the day.

This picture may look a little odd, but the Pike was very much in the water which was crystal clear and enabled us to see the fish quite clearly. I'm still surprised the picture turned out as reasonably as it did though.

OK so we had a quick cuppa and then went on to Oxburgh Hall. The wind had picked up quite noticeably by then so we were getting quite buffeted about.

There had been a scarecrow competition for local children and some amusing and clever exhibits were dotted around the garden.

The wind blew the title of this one which was...

"Woman of the Woods" (now who does that remind me of?)
(click to expand and read if you so wish)

Even the kitchen garden had amazing Turrets rather like the mansion.

A sleepy monk not far from the Chapel.
and another rather scary being....

The Parish Church had suffered damaged some centuries ago where the tower had fallen down and demolished a considerable part of the building..

This was amazing and made from Terracotta.

(and for a particular friend..... :D )

Wonderful colour in this border..

I can recommend the tea rooms and especially the Harvest cake and Coffee & Walnut (shared between us so the best of both worlds :D ) What was odd though (and I imagine it could be lack of space) is that you placed your order from the menu without seeing any food on counters. It was then waitress service to your table; the latter we were escorted to... This is the first time I've come across this at a National Trust tea room.

So two varied and quite different, beautiful places to visit, a very tasty meal when we got back and I was thoroughly spoilt. Thanks Pete :)

A great day out and not a drop of rain or sign of weren't we lucky!

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Long Tailed Tits and a Tawny

Yesterday evening as I sat at the PC, I was aware of the songs of Long-tailed Tits - all nine of them it turned out to be.. a family of very young ones with Mum and Dad.

They landed briefly on the telephone wires running to the house; so I dashed outside with the camera and looked high up..

(If you're reading this Di.... then sorry ;) )

dreadful picture but the one that, almost, got away..

Today it was beautiful and warm - I headed over to the London Wetland Centre

Generally it was quiet and these two Mallards sat basking in the morning sun.

A family of two adult and two young Little Grebes were in their usual place..

and another pair, this time Mute Swans, gave a fly past.

I saw four Redshanks out on the scrape

and a Mute Swan was preening

Damsels flew about settling occasionally

and the water lilies are now fully flowering

their leaves giving a platform to the Marsh frogs.

John then offered me a seat in his car to go and see the reported Tawny Owl at the Leg of Mutton Nature Reserve....

We scanned the trees where we thought it should be to no avail... but, having decided to walk back a bit and have another look, John then spotted, very high up, a sight of a very sleepy Tawny Owl. I'm amazed I managed a shot at all given it was very high up and so well camouflaged.

A quiet day but a rewarding one... and thanks John and Mary Anne for the lift and company.
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