Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Springtime Surprise and Bathroom en Tweet!

The Chaffinches have been surprisingly reticent in the garden lately unlike this time last year when they were visiting in hoards. I wonder if this may be due to the ever present threat of the Sparrowhawk, which although not so noticeable lately is, I suspect, still around. However this female was very happy to show off and posed prettily for me.

What a surprise I had today! After frequently bemoaning the fact that I haven't seen a Bullfinch in this area since I was a child I spotted a flash of red at the very bottom of the garden today and assuming it was a Robin reached for the camera and was absolutely amazed and thrilled to see it was in fact a Bullfinch. I didn't have time to focus properly but managed to hurriedly snap one photo just before it took off. Goodness that did give me a thrill! I do so hope it comes back.

I am starting to think that at last we can all breathe a sigh of relief in the belief that the worst of the weather is behind us and that Spring is really here....I know, famous last words!! But this beautiful Daffodil with it's lovely golden face surely bears testament to that.

This rather unassuming Periwinkle (Vinca Major or is this one Minor, I'm afraid I'm not sure) is a lovely colour I think.

Mr Blackbird also has Spring on his mind and is doing a little DIY, here he was rooting around for moss for his building work!

But where was Mrs Blackbird, was she helping? No! She was at the beauty parlour having a pampering session.

'I've lost the soap!'


'This is lovely!'

'Now where's the towel?'

All photos taken by me in the garden over the last two days.


  1. Lovely capture of the Bullfinch in flight. I've only ever glimpsed one fleetingly here. Nice sequence of Mrs. B pampering herself :>)

  2. Love the robin photo in flight! That bird bath is adorable!

  3. Thanks Kallen,
    In fact that isn't a Robin, it is the Bullfinch making a quick getaway!
    Yes it was fun watching Mrs Blackbird.

  4. Hi again ShySongbird, just loved the series of bird bath shots :-D

    Oh my... I feel am turning a little green! I wonder why? Oh... I too would love to see a bullfinch visit my garden and can well imagine how thrilled you must have been! Fantastic to get a couple of shots for proof you weren't seeing things too ;-)

    Great to see more flowers from your garden. It is a lovely sunny Spring day here so fingers crossed it will stay like this for a while. The forecast is good.

    Have a great week :-D

  5. Lovely Bullfinch shot in flight.

  6. Thank you Shirl, glad you liked the bird bath sequence, I thought it would be fun.

    You were spot on about the Bullfinch, I really think if I hadn't got a (not very good admittedly) photo of it I would have doubted myself as it was so far away and as I hadn't seen one since a child I really didn't expect to, so yes I really was thrilled.

    It is sunny here again today but with a chilly wind, yesterday was beautiful.

    Hope you have a lovely week.

  7. Phil and Mandy, thank you it was more luck than judgement to be honest!

  8. Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog... I might have gone on missing out on yours other wise.. excellents stuff.. love the black bird shots. I have yet to bag myself a Bull Finch... but I had an excellent day at the feeders today. I will be posting bird shots for about a week or so... please feel free to drop by anytime. I know that I'll be making my way back here.


  9. I know what you mean about being thrilled. The first day I saw a goldfinch (40 days after putting nyger out for them) my heart was pounding as I took photo after photo, the first hurriedly in case it flew off.

    Was only a youngster (no red on face) and it was still there when I left late for work.

    I'm hoping for similar thrills this year (bullfinch, greenfinch and/or siskin being on the wishlist).

    Nice catch of the bullfinch in flight as well.

  10. amazing photos there shysongbird.

  11. A bullfinch is a definate thrill. I have seen one twice and each time my heart nearly stopped beating. If you have fruit trees, I fell sure they will be back, they love the buds....

    I keep thinking spring may have arrived but am always cautious in case something nasty is awaiting around the corner.....

    Lovely shots of the blackbird.....

  12. Lovely to see you had some Bullfinch visiting! Hopefully they'll remember you and become regular visitors :)

    Considering they seem to be on the red list, I actually know a fair few people who have them visiting...

    Lovely spring photos, I love how everything seems to finally have that vibrant green hue, the feeling of life all around is great!

  13. Thank you Tom, hope you come back soon. Just seeing a Bullfinch, if only briefly, for the first time since a child was amazing.

    The female Blackbird did look comical and stayed quite a while.

    I will certainly be visiting you again soon.

  14. Thank you very much Steve, Sheila, Cheryl and Liz.

    Steve: Yes it was so unexpected and a real thrill. I too remember the thrill when I first saw Goldfinches in the garden and now along with Greenfinches (sorry! I will try to send some your way) and Blackbirds they are the most common birds in our garden.
    We had two or three Siskins visit for a short time last winter but none this year.

    Sheila: Thank you very much.

    Cheryl: I do so hope the Bullfinch returns, they were frequent visitors to my childhood home where they regularly stripped our fruit trees of buds which my parents found very frustrating!

    I share your feelings of wariness regarding Spring, it is so easy to be lulled into a false sense of security only to have our hopes dashed by a cold spell. But the signs are there and we must hold on to the thought that soon we will be rewarded with longer days and milder temperatures.

    Liz: I have noticed, and been envious, to see that Bullfinches are regular visitors to some bloggers gardens, perhaps their numbers are picking up again. I do hope so.

    You are so right about that 'vibrant green hue' it is such a lovely hopeful time of the year.

  15. I loved seeing Mrs. Black bird in the bath, so cute!
    You take the most beautiful pictures!
    Love Lou xxx

  16. I've just spent a good 10 minutes reading the posts and looking at your shots and very impressive they are too shysongbird, lovely shots and lovely captions to go with them, the blackbird was particularly amusing - well done and thank you for sharing!!

  17. Thank you Lou, you have me blushing! Mrs Blackbird certainly provided me with some entertainment.

  18. Jayne, thank you for your very kind comments. I have found in the short time I have had this blog that it is lovely to be able to share my interests with like minded people.

  19. Thanks for visiting my blog, and your kind comments.

    I had a sparrowhawk visit my garden for the last 6 years! The birds wouldn't feed from the floor at all. The last two months though, something must have happened to the hawk, as I have not recorded it at all. The birds have quickly adjusted to the situation and now take food from the ground again.
    Nice to have a Bullfinch in the Garden, a thrill indeed. I'll drop in to read more, when time allows!

  20. Beautiful bullfinch- I'm a little jealous :-)

  21. Hi ShySongbird.
    Your a lucky lady having a male Bullfinch visiting your garden. Congrats with the pictures. Keep it up.

  22. Thank you: Warren Baker, Natalie and Jodie the GSD and Ken Browne.

    Warren: I'm so pleased you have found the time to visit. The first time I saw the Sparrowhawk in the garden I was torn between awe, and distress on behalf of it's 'victims', it really is an impressive bird but watching it tear to pieces one of 'my' songbirds is not pleasant to say the least!
    I haven't seen the Bullfinch since, but I do hope it returns.
    Please do come back any time you will be very welcome.

    Natalie: I still can't believe my luck, I just wish it had been nearer the house and that I'd had longer to take the photo.

    Ken: Thanks very much, not having seen a Bullfinch since I was a child I do feel very lucky indeed.
    I'm still quite inexperienced with the camera but am enjoying trying to get to grips with it.

  23. Your Bullfinch is a handsome fellow. Your garden looks alive with birds and blossoms. Lovely!

  24. Morning Glories in Round Rock: Thank you so much for visiting again, yes the Bullfinch certainly is a striking little bird and I do hope it returns.

    Spring is definitely all around us now with birds looking for nesting material and bulbs flowering but we have had a chilly wind today and the nights are still quite cold so Winter may not have entirely finished with us yet!

  25. Hi...I found you through The Early Birder...great blog! I so enjoyed your series of captures while Mrs. Blackbird pampers herself!

  26. Hi spookydragonfly and a very warm welcome, I'm so pleased you found me.
    I did enjoy putting the Blackbird sequence together and she certainly enjoyed that pampering session!
    I am off to visit you now, please do come back soon.

  27. Ya did good on the Bullfinch flying off. Great picture. And I loved the bathing pictures where you can see the water drops in the air from him splashing. Great job!
    Thanks for stopping by my place and looking around.

  28. RainGardener, thanks very much for visiting again and for your kind comments. The Bullfinch flying off was definitely more luck than judgement but perhaps I shouldn't admit to that!!
    I was quite pleased to get the water drops showing on the Blackbird photos too.
    I shall definitely be visiting you again soon, it was fun.


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