Friday, 18 March 2011

First Blossom

I came out of work, this afternoon, and there was blossom draped over the postbox.  It was a surprise!  I didn't realise there was any blossom actually in flower, in my neck of the woods.  Yes, I've seen yellow Forsythia and various Viburnums but I don't count that as Blossom!  I've also noticed the tight, white-ish buds on the Wild Plum in my garden, (which will be blossom) but I hadn't seen anything fully out.   And I don't go around with my eyes closed.  But there it was, so I stopped and took pictures.  I can never resist taking photographs of blossom, always in macro mode!  I think this is Blackthorn - I did find a couple of thorns on one of the branches.  

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I Love Mr P.

There have been Peafowl in our village for some years but they weren't always here.  I presume that, originally, someone brought them in as pets; I don't know if the present ones belong to anybody.  There have been requests for the owners to declare themselves!  The birds were not welcome; their shrieking kept people awake, or woke them up too early, and they were committing one or two other misdeeds.  

I suspect that some of the offending creatures were dispatched elsewhere.  I don't know for sure but I think that was the plan.  Apparently, Peafowl are not easy creatures to catch, hence the village is not entirely free of them.  This pleases me!  I have always been fond of them!  Their eerie caterwauling makes me smile and does not disturb my rest.  'Our' Mr P., who I have mentioned before in another post, is currently visiting regularly to share the bird food and display his sumptuous plumage in the front garden, in full view of the windows.  He has taken to perching on the old rabbit run, as in previous years, preening and calling between whiles.  His rabbit audience is no longer there, if he was ever truly aware of it, but he has fans in the house!

William Sitwell, who clearly does not share my viewpoint, has written at some length about the traits of these birds, here.

Thursday, 10 March 2011


We have two Goldfinch visitors that come quite regularly to the nyger seed feeder and stay a good while each time.  Thus it was not difficult to get some photos and video today.  My ambition now is to capture them both on the feeder at the same time.  I didn't use a tripod, or edit the video; neither did I enhance the stills.  Keeping the camera steady can be tricky - the image stabilisation feature helps!

You may note the breezy weather.  You may also note the amount of nyger seed that gets wasted, although I have watched other birds clearing it up.  I should like to get a more expensive nyger seed feeder, complete with tray to catch the bits that would otherwise fall to the ground, but I think such a one would not work in this situation: a thorny, clipped hawthorn conveniently positioned outside the window.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Here's one I made earlier...

...almost 2 years ago, in fact.

I had been in the garden - out the back - and came indoors to be told that I had just missed a mighty kerfuffle in the front garden, when a Sparrowhawk turned up.  It had caught a Blackbird and was currently devouring it in the hedge bottom, just outside the window.  I grabbed a camera and took some stills but then, as I realised the bird would be there for some time, it dawned on me to try and get some video, albeit through the glass.  It turned out reasonably well and I'm pleased that I have a lasting record of the event.  I don't often see Sparrowhawks in the garden and the only other casualty I can remember is a bird (I seem to recall it was a Starling) that was attacked and then left behind by the predator.

I did not know if the Sparrowhawk in my film was male or female; I was initially advised that it was male and later (in the You Tube comment) informed that it is female.

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