Friday, 8 November 2019

On the Patch

In lieu of me not being out and about much recently I've been taking great pleasure in the garden birds, of which we have many at the moment!

In fact just yesterday morning we had a Blackcap hopping around the bushes (in the pouring rain) - this is not a bird we see in the garden very often. We even had 3 Redwing land in the Laburnum one morning.

With the shorter days the birds are out as soon as it gets daylight and the garden seems busy all day long. Though the shorter days do mean I only see the garden briefly in daylight during the week! The Hedgehogs are still out and about feeding on everything they can find, especially the smaller ones, which are out until after dawn and then back again before sunset. Surprisingly the Squirrels aren't visiting as frequently as they used to though when they do they bury nuts all over the gardens and one has a habit of just throwing one of the sunflower heart feeders on the floor!

The larger birds can be quite flappy - especially the Feral Pigeons which have finally found our garden after all these years and they often spook all the birds. This usually means they all fly about madly for a bit and end up sat on any nearby bush/tree/fence/stick......! These are a few i've caught through the window.

Robin


Wren



Great Tit


Collared Dove



Starling - it point blank refused to turn around....


Early October and I spotted this Shield Bug on a pair of (really old, cat scratched) flip flops!


The Sparrowhawk is around often and finally caught one of my Starlings


One of the Feral Pigeons, we have up to 7 sometimes but they're pretty flighty so they don't take all the food


Greenfinch & Goldfinch



House Sparrow waiting for it's turn at the window feeder


Autumn seemed to come really quick, I took these photos a couple of weeks ago but now lots of the trees are bare already.









Finally we've had a mouse in our window feeder again, it takes it's turn with the Sparrows, who queue up on the branches waiting till it's done! 




Sunday, 20 October 2019

St Aidan's

We had a couple of hours at S Aidan's last weekend, luckily we were able to pick a time when it wasn't raining - a rare thing a the moment! I'm still busy with work, which is just exhausting plus fighting a cold so we weren't out as long as i'd hoped but I was glad of the fresh air!




It turned out to be quite a nice day and got warmer as we walked. We even spotted this fresh looking Painted Lady by one of the lakes.







Quite a few Starlings were flying over the hillside, smaller groups kept joining up and then breaking away again, every now and then they'd land but not for long. 


Lots of noisy Greylag and Canada Geese too and 5 Red-legged Partridge on the same hillside, too far for a photo though.




This Whooper Swan was preening itself in the sun, I found out it's a resident due to having something wrong with it's wings, it can fly but not far, there are worse places it could stay though.........



We were just commenting on the lack of Gulls when all of a sudden they came flying in from all directions, landing on the water and the fences.


The Causeway was flooded, not that it bothered some, we watched one guy take off his shoes & socks, roll up his trousers and wade across!


We saw a few Linnets and Stonechat, Lapwing, Kestrels, Buzzard and lots of Shovelers amongst others. A good afternoon.



Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Out and About

Since we've been back from holiday we've only had chance for a couple of hours out here and there, visiting Rodley Nature Reserve and Fairburn Ings. Though at the moment work is busy, stressful and exhausting, which is not inspiring me to do much of anything right now.

A couple of hours at Rodley and it was a beautiful morning, quite peaceful and nice to escape for a little while.




There were lots of Bees and Hoverflies around, some of them were so laden with pollen, it's a wonder they could fly!





Fairburn the following week was not quite as sunny and I didn't take many photos, it was pretty quiet bird wise but it was still a good morning out and we followed it up with Fish and Chips!





The garden is as busy as ever, sitting watching the birds early morning before anyone else is up is my favourite thing, though the days are getting shorter so it's getting to the point i'm up before the birds now!

We've had lots of moths and butterflies in the garden all summer


Large White


Comma


Red Admiral


Our Fuschia looks like it's died off every year but then it comes back bigger than ever


This spider was on this poor bee in record time, spinning it into it's web before eventually carrying it off somewhere, it was fascinating to see.


We've had the odd Sparrowhawk around the garden, i've yet to see one catch anything though!


We always have a few passing Warblers through the garden at this time of year but these past few weeks since August have been the best yet with Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff almost daily and at one point a Whitethroat too, this is only the second one in the garden in all the years we've been here.



Our Magpie family has done well they visit the garden daily now including this beautiful bird below, the photo doesn't capture just how stunning the green on the tail is!


Robin


Goldfinch have done well too, lots of youngsters, I ended up having to put an extra feeder out for them, we've had up to 30 in the garden sometimes. 


We're still having visits from 2 or 3 Hedgehogs every night, 2 of them are very small so we think they are youngsters. At least one of the adult ones seems to sleep behind our shed during the day.
 

Of course we still have a Squirrel though not as often at the moment, which does save on the mess!


I have had a couple of walks in the Woods and parks - of course my walk to work is pretty scenic. There's very much an autumnal feel to everything now, conkers and leaves dropping, a chill early morning and some lovely misty sun too. 


Blackbird sunning itself





Hopefully things at work will ease off over the next few weeks and i'll be out and about a bit more.