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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Wednesday, 30 April 2014

La Traviata - in a word - excellent

La Traviata today so, having met Pete, we wandered off to the Royal Opera House across the River.   There was a tube strike today which made the journeys.. a little different.

Always enjoy seeing the horse-drawn drays of Young & Co carrying the beer supply :)

Perhaps overworked as a result of tube strike!

A shop was being refurbished and this was the window screening... took me back to my childhood!

Keen-eyed Pete noticed this moth fly in.. I THINK it's an Angle Shades?

A (James) Bond exhibition was taking place... this was our view from the doorway..

And after, a lovely lunch at Delaunay's Counter (a much happier occasion than our last visit when I discovered my purse had been nicked!!) we had a short wander around Convent Garden before the opera

Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata - the typical love story with a sad ending was amazing. A brief synopsis of the story can be found here.

The scenery and stage setting were some of the best I've seen.  Beautifully costumed and orchestrated on stage; at the end of one scene, the curtains came and across and re-opened to show a beautiful tableau of the end scene.. no-one on stage moved a flicker... fantastic.

And the singers - well!! Diane Damrau - on stage for about 80% of the production was superb.. even in the closing scene where her character (Violetta) is dying, she managed to convey such emotion whilst acting wonderfully as her character was dying...  Her voice is beautiful and captivated me completely.  Francesco Demuro gave an excellent performance as Alfredo Germont, (especially the Brindisi -  or more well know as the "song)W" but, for me, he was a little overshadowed by the performance of Dmitri Hvorostovsky as his father, Giorgio Germont - the passion and emotion he portrayed was quite moving.  Damrau and Hvorostovky together made a pretty formidable team!!

And the music played by the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House could only add the enjoyment of the production overall.

So in summary, an amazing production and a thoroughly enjoyable 3 and a quarter hours... could watch this again quite easily!!

Slight downside, was the 'idiot' a few rows in front of us, whose mobile phone rang during the performance which necessitated a member of the ROH staff having to have a word!!  And later on, yet another mobile phone went off!!

And the weather was warm and sunny which made the walk to the station along The Mall even more enjoyeable - resisted the temptation to nip into one of the parks as passing  Buckingham Palace was hard, but it was getting late for trains

Monday, 28 April 2014

Warnham.. a quick Monday visit..

Went shopping via Warnham this p.m.

This morning the baby robin visited my garden again..

Warnham... a Grey Wagtail stopped briefly on a post as I arrived in the hide

Feeder station was very quiet... time of year I spose.

Out on the lake, 5 Great Crested Grebes at one time; there are 6 (3 pairs) I'm reliably told..

A grey heron dropped in ..

Male Mandarin Duck - there's a female and it's been suggested she's on a nest on the reserve..

Another Heron landed on a post... and wobbled a bit..

One of the happy couples... all the minimal courtship dancing was done far far away..

Good to get a breath of fresh air at my 'local'

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Pulborough, Arundel, Songsters & Warblers.

The weather this morning was foul!!  However, I was determined I wasn't going to stay in all day, so I headed off for Pulborough Brooks.. it was dry when I arrived although uniformly grey.

Loads of songsters today and glad to hear a Cuckoo..

A Whitethroat greeted me singing away as I started around the reserve.

It was in chorus with this Greenfinch.

and a little while later, a Chaffinch was singing its song..

Nothing much happening that I could see... but I could hear a Cuckoo for sometime as I wandered..

As I walked up Adder Alley, a Blackbird gave voice.  I'd heard at least 3 nightingales by now, but they were well tucked away so no sightings today..

Goldfinches trilled..

Saw quite a few of these around the reserve.. this one not shy at all.

A bluebells added some welcome colour....

In the distance, a few Fallow Deer..

And one of the many wrens I saw and heard... just managed a quick shot before it shot off into the undergrowth..

By this time, the heavens had opened and it was chucking it down... and I was getting very very wet!  By the time I reached the car it had stopped and it still wasn't that late, so I went over to WWT Arundel.

After a cuppa and a quick bite to eat, I wandered through the 'collection' birds... these two looked rather cosy..

Many young ones about...

and a group of these rather strange looking birds.. no idea what they are...

Several Mallard chicks..

And many warblers in the reed beds, their song was constant, and this Sedge Warble was in competition for the best song with another Sedge!

A couple of Moorhends faced up and had a bit of a ding dong..

before indulging in some parallel walking!!

ANd..... woo hoo, a picture of a Cettis - my very first and probably never to be repeated.. rather pleased I got this!!

and to end.... lots of 'aw' for some Canada Geese goslings!

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