Thursday, 20 May 2021

In Memoriam


On the afternoon of the 10th of April my darling husband passed away. He was my true love, the love of my life, and the deep wound in my heavy heart and the sense of loss greater than I can bare at times, is what I feel every day when I miss seeing his loving smile as he said "Good morning darling" at the start of each day.

We had known each other since our college days, and had been together ever since. We understood each other, and had the most loving relationship. We were partners, and good friends, enjoyed the same things, took great enjoyment from our love of nature, our pets, photography, art, music, travelling in our youth to every continent in the world. and as we got older we still took little excursions  to discover the joys of nature with our cameras and binoculars at the ready. After our 60th Wedding Anniversary we slowed down somewhat, because we no longer had the energy or good health to do what we used to, but we sat side by side at our computers, enjoying the nearness, and the companionship whilst listening to the music we both enjoyed, sometimes in silence, sometimes laughing at something on screen because we shared the same sense of humour.

Thank you for your caring comments, although I'm not sure that the black symbol was understood by everyone, but you still knew something was not right. 

 Condolences have been many, and in every case his joyous smile was mentioned, also what a lovely easy unassuming manner he had. He was a humble gentleman, and I am proud to have been his wife. Rest in peace my darling, until we meet again.

Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Tuesday, 6 April 2021

Birds at the feeders

Sometimes I'm surprised at number of the birds that visit my feeders. Many are from the Tit family, but once in a while a Tree Creeper will come, the Jays are never away, the Robins and the Black birds are regular visitors, but this year a Gold Crest came several time, and I'm only mentioning the birds that come to eat my wall-nut cake, not seeds or nuts. Here are a few images, taken recently on my bedroom balcony and in the garden.



The Coal Tit eats seeds as well as cake, but on the whole I think it eats more cake than seeds. It's looking upwards because there is another feeder higher up, with a Great Tit.


A Coal Tit with a Sunflower seed in it's mouth, These birds eat peanuts, seeds, and cake.



The Robin only comes for the wall nut cake. Most Robins eat from the ground, These have no problem eating from the wooden box, although there's not much left in this one. I only fill them in the morning. For the rest of the day, the birds have to find their own food. I will refill them in the morning if the Squirrel comes first, and eats everything.


      

The Great Tit, is the bird that comes most often to eat both peanuts and cake. it  rarely eat the seeds.


The Gold Crest, was so difficult to photograph, It seemed to hover over the box, It didn't linger, and only came at certain times of the day, when there were no other birds around. It was just lucky that I was looking outside the window, when it came. I fell instantly in love with this delicate petite beauty, and was on constant alert afterwards.

                      .


This Blue Tit is unusual, as it has a patch of yellow feathers on the head, above the beak. I have never seen this on any Blue Tit before. It looks very pretty.  Has anyone seen this before?


Usually the Blue Tit looks like this, a pretty bird, without the addition of the yellow patch. Whenever another bird is at the feeder overhead, they are either curious or uneasy. 



The Robin is a welcome sight, any time. It must already have chicks, as it has been taking more cake than usual, returning again and again,  and leaving with a full beak.



Knowing that the Gold Crest came late in the afternoon, when most of the cake had been eaten, I started to put a little more so that if it did come, it would have something to eat. I waited each day, and most times it never appeared, or had already been. I was determined to see it again, so repeatedly filled the feeder and waited until on two consecutive days it came, and I was rewarded with a few successful captures.


Another Coal Tit. They are a little braver than the other Tits, and less likely to fly away if they see me, and one has even eaten from my hand. A wonderful experience.



At last it came back, my hand was shaking, this was the moment I had been waiting for.



   With a piece of Wall-nut in it's beak, it flew away immediately, but I got it on camera.       



Sometimes you are so used to seeing things like watering cans and hose pipes, that you don't notice they are there when you take a photo. Like this old hose pipe. It would have been a better shot without it, but I'm happy it was in focus.



I see the Jays every day, either in the garden or on my balcony. They are extremely shy birds. and are easily spooked by the slightest movement. I take great care not to be seen.




This shot makes me smile. The Black cap is all eyes. It looks like a young male bird.



Thursday, 1 April 2021

Garden Birds

Today I am sharing some of the birds I see in the garden. The first photo is the female Black Redstart. Phoenicurus ochruros. The following photo is a juvenile Black Redstart.




                                                        The Juvenile Black Redstart 


                                                        The Greenfinch Chloris chloris 





                                                        The Jay   Garrulus glandarius.






                                                    The Woodpigeon  Columba palumbus






                                                      The Male Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla 






                                                            The Blue Tit  Cyanistes caerulleus






                                                    The Crested Tit  Lophophanes  cristatus



                                                The Collared Dove  Streptopelia  decaocto.



        Our Lookout,  where I captured the Collared Dove perched on the right hand side of the top stone.



                                            The above photo and this one, were taken yesterday.    


Thursday, 25 March 2021

The Wood-Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus

Last Wednesday afternoon at 5.30pm, I saw the most amazing thing. Two little Wood mice were chasing each other up and down the 6 . 25 meter length of my bedroom balcony. 

There are two large windows, so I had a very good view of both mice, which in itself was amusing to watch, but the one that was being chased suddenly leapt in the air and did a huge summer-salt, then continued running. It was so endearing and funny, that I couldn't stop laughing. They were playing catch me if you can, having fun, and so was I.:=)

I thought it was only in animated films like Disney, that mice did this, but the artists had done their research. Has anyone else seen this behaviour? Sadly I can't show you a clip of what I saw, but have a few photos of a Wood mouse in one of the wooden boxes that I use  as bird feeders. I was so entertained that I didn't even think to get my camera, and they ran so fast that if I had taken any photos, they probably would have been blurry. The next photo is out of focus, but it gives you an idea as to it's size.



The wood mouse has a sandy-brown coat, has large ears and eyes, and the under parts are white. It has large hind legs that help it leap about,  and they are very good climbers, and run extremely fast. Oh yes, they run like the wind.


Their alternative name is Long-tailed field mouse, due to it's long tail that is approximately the same size as the total length of it's head and body. They inhabit forests, cultivated fields, and grasslands, although they are primarily woodland creatures.


They live in burrows, and build nests of grass and other green plant matter. They eat nuts, seeds, insects and green plants in mixed deciduous woodland in winter, bud 's in Spring, caterpillars, worms, and centipedes in early summer, and blackberries and fungi in autumn.



They are clean creatures, and spend a lot of time grooming, and male and female will often groom each other. They wipe their face and ears with their fore feet, and pass their tales through their mouth. They are nocturnal creatures , so it's surprising that they ventured out during daylight. They are native to Europe, and North Western Africa.


Sunday, 21 March 2021

The Male and Female Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

The Male and female Chaffinch are regular visitors to my garden. This pretty sparrow sized finch is perhaps one of the most common garden birds I see.  All mages were taken at different times on, and from my bedroom balcony. The next one is of a young female .











                

                                Photos of the Female Chaffinch were taken in deep shade


                Female seems to like my wall nut cake, and probably taking some for her chicks.



                                                        Male  in same tree as young bird













So sorry I haven't done any visiting lately. ...same old problem. I will do my best to visit as many of  you as possible tomorrow, when I have rested, and can sit once more at the computer.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

A Robin Erithacus rubecula

A few Photos of a Robin today, perched on a rose wood branch, which by now must be a familiar sight, and will feature prominently on my blog because it's where all the birds perch, on my bedroom balcony. It's the only photo I have taken this week, as I haven't been outdoors, so it's all I can share.
















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