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, 30 April 2015

Never take anything for granted - the fire at Clandon Park House

I was alerted to this by a friend of mine Pete (Twitter was very informative), regarding the devasting news of the fire at Clandon Park House... it used to be one of the local NT properties I visited when living in Surrey.  Firstly, and most importantly, no-one was hurt and everyone was safe!!

The BBC website is quite graphic in showing us the devastation that fire can cause.  I've caught myself visiting some NT properties stating.. "I won't visit the house today, I'll go the next time I'm here..... " - I think that's going to change..

The recent Clandon House events illustrate so well... don't put off anything .......  But at least I have some photographic reminders of a great house...

The Military Museum that was housed at Clandon, contained many uniforms but, more distressingly, all the historical records that are irreplaceable have now been lost... all that history.

I hadn't anticipated how much the loss of a great house would affect me but, affect me it has... and I suspects many others will feel the same way.

I just hope the building is structurally safe and that, in time, Clandon House can be resurrected to its former glory.....  I've never been so devastated  - this is such a great tragedy..

There has been much in the news recently to sadden me. - in addition to the foregoing... earthquakes devastating Nepal is not something that is easy to get one's mind around.  It's dreadful and on such a huge scale - the enormous loss of life.

So I'm going to try even harder..... never to take anything for granted.

In closing.... all those involved in the Nepal disaster and those dealing with Clandon House... all deserve medals for stepping up when it is needed..... their bravery and dedication is incredible.. Thank you...........

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Winkworth Arboretum - in Bluebell season..

I met a friend at Winkworth today... the weather was ... erm  very very wet.  Chucking it down when we arrived so we had a hot drink whilst waiting for an improvement.

Improvement happened in that the rain became less heavy so we set off for a wander.

Is this an 'ordinary' nettle?.. very pretty..


This always brings a smile to my face..

the resident Geese...

We stood here whilst Swallows flew close above our heads and dipped and dived into the water.. magic!!

Bottom of the Azalea steps..

This is a fallen tree that has been carved with a flight of steps leading up to a seat.... wonderful :)

and the top of the Azalea steps..

Decided we would have a scone before going off.... a Fruit Scone - a very good one ... (no pic today)

A lovely wander despite the rain and being a tad distracted for my friend who had an ominous problem with the car on the journey down.... now back home safely I'm pleased to say and contact will be made with a friendly mechanic, who's expertise will now be sourced.

Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Warnham LNR and Puborough Brooks - briefly..

I'd heard that there were two Garganeys  at Warnham LRN yesterday.. but they were not there today though.

Saw Willow Warbler, and two Grey Wagtails.. seems there are 4 Great Crested Grebes now.  And the Tern rafts are ready for their visitors... I have a record of seeing them there on 15 April last year.  But don't believe any have arrived yet.

Thought I go to Pulborough for a bit... a cheery robin.
Heard just the one Nightingale and didn't see any sign of the Little Ringed Plover in the usual place.

BUT did get views of a nice male Redstart.... far far away so a record shot only!!

A Chiffchaff singing..

Blossom was lovely.. but a lot of it going over now..

Monday, 27 April 2015

An unplanned visit to Swanbourne Lake..

Plan A...I headed off for Pulborough Brooks on my way an appointment.  Camera battery died... and spare one.. well I had it with me but....

So change of plan, and headed home for the final spare and then off to my appointment.  I was now early so I stopped off at Swanbourne Lake in Arundel... somewhere I pass every time I go to WWT Arundel....   PLAN B.. was to go back to Pulborough after my appointment... but had a message that meant had to be elsewhere for a couple of hours.... Plan C... go home as too late now to .....

John Constable painted the lake (Arundel Mill and Castle) and the lodge in 1835 just before he died..

The sign reads:
"In 1837 on the day the famous landscape artist, John Constable died he was putting the final touches to his last great oil paining "Arundel Mill and Castle". The mill has long been demolished but the magnificent view that inspired his painting still gives enormous pleasure to hundreds of thousands of visitor every year. The Environment Agency's actions will ensure water levels are maintained This will save the lake along with its unique surroundings and wildlife for future generations."  
He died on March 31, 1987 

There are about six Muscovy ducks there

Hundreds of gulls!!

Several Tufted Ducks

Mallards. .. :)

A family of 2 Mallard ducklings..

Quite a few coots..

I didn't have time to explore much, but the water was amazingly clear.. and there are also Tea Rooms there...
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