Thursday, 19 January 2012

Back At Last!

No, you're not imagining it! I am back... at last :-) I have been away from here for so long that the more time passes the more difficult it seems to re-integrate and I think if I don't post something now, I never will! Thank you so much for all your kind and caring comments on my last post, they were very moving and meant a great deal to me. Thank you too to those of you who sent concerned emails, it really is much appreciated.

I am glad to report that I have had no more of the frightening incidents mentioned in my last post and all of the tests had good results but I do have to take a small dose of aspirin each day to keep my blood thin. I also have to follow a low cholesterol diet even though my levels were well within the normal range.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas and wish you all a very happy and healthy 2012. Last year was particularly bad for me, chest and allergy wise, so what with that, the no show Summer :-( and the many recent, dull days with barely any light, I haven't had many opportunities to get out with the camera. Perhaps this year will be a better one!

Anyway, I thought I would show some of the few photos I did take in the last few months. I hope looking at out of season photos won't be too does bring a bit of colour to our dull Winter days though.

Sadly, butterflies were few and far between in 2011 in my area. Even in places where I can usually be guaranteed to at least see the more common species, they were absent. In 2009 the UK was visited by hordes of Painted Ladies but 2010 saw a return to normal and I, for one, didn't see any at all! However, back in August last year I saw this one. They really are beautiful!

Painted Lady

'I like to see the butterfly extend her painted wing.'
(A Stoddart)

One of the butterflies that thankfully did do well here, in the late Summer, was the Red Admiral. With its bold and striking colours I think it is probably my favourite although I love them all. Butterflies are such ethereal and magical creatures and the absolute essence of a sunny Summer's day. How I miss them in the Winter and look forward to their return. I hope they will be much more plentiful this year.

Red Admiral

Moving forward to the Autumn, there was an abundance of berries and the birds took full advantage of them. This Robin looked like the Hawthorn berry it was eating was much too big for such a small bird!


The Squirrel in the following photo was a long way away and I don't know what it was doing with the piece of wood, possibly sharpening its teeth.

Grey Squirrel

It looked to me like it was eating a giant sweetcorn :-)

This male Bullfinch looked very handsome amongst the Blackberries.


'The bull-finch whistles soft his flute-like notes'
(Richard Savage)

I was taken by surprise by this Goldcrest and just managed to get a hurried snap before it flew away.


I'm not sure what this fungus is but think it might be one of the Russula family but can't be any more specific than that.

Russula species?

I always think the collective name of 'charm' for Goldfinches is very apt and those at the top of this post certainly did look charming against the blue October sky as did this one which I photographed at the end of November.


'A gaudy Goldfinch, pert and gay,
Hopping blithe from spray to spray,
Full of frolick, full of spring,
With head well plumed and burnished wing.'
(Dr. John Aikin)

Moving forward and into the Winter, in the place where I walk most which I suppose I should call my 'patch' and where all the previous photos were taken (with the exception of the butterflies), I saw this Fieldfare. The light was starting to fade and as is usually my luck there were lots of twigs in the way :-(


Well, that's it for now. I will try to catch up with visiting everyone and commenting in the next few days. I did manage to get out with the camera at the weekend so I will post again soon. Until then... enjoy the beauty of Nature, wherever you are.


  1. How lovely to have you back with us! I do hope that you have a full return to health.

    Your images are lovely, as usual and I hope that you'll be out and about with your camera frequently.

  2. Hi Jan. It's an absolute delight to see you on-line again and sharing your wildlife moments. (BTW I also took a 3 month break).

    Painted Lady was definitely one species that slipped past me last year ... who knows what this year will bring bearing in mind the vast drop in specie numbers.
    Bullfinch AND Goldcrest ... you are a lucky lady.

    Best Wishes ... FAB.

  3. Hi Jan,

    Glad to see you back - I hope all it well and look forward to seeing plenty more blog posts :)

  4. ShySongbird ,
    Welcome back to where you belong .
    Love the Goldfinches shot . Interesting the Robin , an insectiverous bird taking a berry . I think you are spot on with the Squirrels meal . Your fungi looks very much like one I found at Sevenoaks Reserve , and never managed to ID .

  5. Great to see a post from you at the top of my side bar :-) a really lovely surprise!

    You did well to find a Painted Lady last year I had only two all year at Sissinghurst. All the best Al.

  6. So glad that you are blogging again. I'm sorry I didn't see your last post and am glad to hear that you are doing so much better. Each photo here is an absolute delight. Wishing you a very happy and healthy new year!

  7. You're back, yippee. I love your photography, especially the Fieldfare and the Goldcrest, fantastic. I am one who shout out, "nice to have you back Jan".

  8. Na początek życzę przede wszystkim zdrowia. Twoje cudowne zdjęcia zrobiły na mnie duże wrażenie.Motyl i jego zdjęcia - śliczne. Robin z owocem w dzióbku - uroczy. Wiewiórka z kukurydzą - niesamowita. Pozostałe ptaki - śliczne . Dziękuję za miłe wrażenia i jeszcze raz pozdrawiam. *** At the beginning I wish above all health. Your wonderful photos have made a big impression on me. Butterfly and its pictures - beautiful. Robin of fruit in the spout - charming. Squirrel with corn - amazing. Other birds - beautiful. Thank you for the nice experience and I greet once more.

  9. Good to see you back and with such a lovely set of photo's too. You did very well to catch the Goldcrest :D As for out os season lovely, I am so missing the butterflies

  10. Songbirds back!!!!!!!!!!! Whahooooooooo :-) Back with some nice colourful photo's too :-)

    I see you are finding the Bullfinch and Goldcrest now, photo's too, well done !

  11. Dull grey days are fading fast
    Thank goodness they are finally past
    The brightness of a brand new dawn
    Has at last begun to spawn
    What brings about this wondrous change
    That floods across our whole domain
    It has to be the glorious words
    The musings of our dear songbird.

    Great to see you back Jan and a superb post to get things started
    love the Goldcrest and Fieldfare.

  12. Hi Jan,
    Great to see you back and lovely to see the photo`s that we have been missing!
    You have been in my thoughts and hope that 2012 is a better year for you.
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  13. Hi Jan. Welcome back. Great photos. I'm on a break myself at the moment. Best wishes. Mel

  14. Jan, I echo everyone else's comments; so good to see you back.
    Lovely collection to come back with too.

    Squirrel with corn on the cob; great shot. And the Goldcrest.

  15. Beautiful shots! The pics on your blog are gorgeous. You definitely should keep blogging:) You don't have to do it everyday:)

  16. Hi Jan, its good to know that you are back with us and "up and running", well, walking to start with anyway. {:)

  17. Welcome back to the fold!! Glad your health is well and you are moving forward into the new yr. Enjoyed viewing all your awesome photos instant FAV on the robin with the red berry love that one!!

  18. So happy you are back, Jan.


  19. The Hawthorn berry looks like a big red nose.

  20. Good to see you back and firing on all cylinders. Try and look after yourself this time.

  21. Welcome back Jan, hopefully you will have a trouble free year and plenty of good health.

  22. Yay, you're back! I've missed your posts! Really pleased to see you back and I hope your health continues to improve - take care of yourself and keep blogging :)

  23. I'm happy that you are back in good health! And you did a good job with this nice post. I'm terribly jealous about your goldcrest shot ;-)

  24. Toffeeaple

    Thank you so much for your welcoming words Toffeeapple, it's lovely to be back and I hope to get out with the camera more regularly now.


    Thank you very much for your warm welcome Frank, how nice that we have returned to blogland together :-) I hope things have improved for you now.
    The butterfly situation is very worrying, let's hope Mother Nature's resilience wins through.
    Yes, it's a great local place to walk, there are Yellowhammers there too!


    Thank you Liz :-) It's good to be back


    Thank you Greenie, it's lovely to be back where I belong' :-) I began to think I would never get back into the swing of it!
    I Have another photo of the Robin after it had swallowed the berry and you can see the huge bulge it made in its throat... greedy Robin :-)
    I think if you don't know what the fungi is then there isn't much hope for the rest of us ;-)

    Alan Pavey

    Awww! Thank you Alan, that's lovely :-)
    I was really pleased to see the Painted Lady, let's hope there will be more to see this year.


    Thank you very much Denise, lovely to see you here again and I hope you have a very healthy and happy 2012 too :-)

  25. Bob Bushell

    Thank you for your lovely welcome Bob :-) it's good to be back among friends.
    The Fieldfares are very striking birds, something to brighten the Winter days :-)


    Welcome Giga, thank you for visiting, commenting and following. Also for your good wishes and very kind words.
    The Robin did look funny with the big berry in its beak.
    I don't speak Polish but will try a Google translation, I hope it makes some sense!
    Witaj Giga, dziękuję za odwiedziny, komentarze i po. Również za życzenia i słowa bardzo mili. Robin wyglądał zabawny z dużym berry w dziobie. Nie mówię polskich, ale spróbuje tłumaczenie Google, mam nadzieję, że ma trochę sensu!


    Thank you very much Chrissy :-) I wish I had had longer with the Goldfinch and that the light had been better but they are never easy to photograph. Yes, it will be lovely to have the butterflies back.

    Warren Baker

    Thank you very much Warren, what a lovely welcome :-) :-)
    Yes, it's a good place for Bullfinches , just a shame that such a lovely place to walk will for ever have the horrible memory of that disgusting Larsen trap :-(


    Awwwww, Monty thank you for such a very special welcome, you are a sweetheart :-) Really lovely words, so clever!! I'm sure it's that glorious Cornish air, I shall make a (virtual) visit to you soon ;-)


    Thank you John, you are very kind. I look forward to visiting your blog very soon :-)

  26. Mel Lloyd

    Thank you Mel, I'm so glad you told me you are on a break as I had checked your blog a few times and was a bit concerned. I look forward to your return.


    Hi Keith :-) thank you, it has been lovely to have such a warm welcome from everyone.
    The Squirrel was having such fun with that 'Corn-on-the-Cob' It was fascinating to watch, just a shame I wasn't nearer.


    Welcome! Thank you for visiting, commenting and following, a lovely present for my return to blogland :-)
    Thank you for your very kind words, I do hope to be able to blog more regularly now but I don't know how people manage to post every day, I struggle to manage once a week or even once a fortnight!
    I will be over to take a look at your blog soon.


    Thank you very much Roy, yes, more like walking than running at the moment but maybe a gentle trot before too long :-)


    Thank you for your kind words Sondra, it's good to be back.
    I really don't know how the Robin managed to even open it's beak that wide!!!

  27. Wilma

    Thank you very much Wilma :-)

    Beyond My Garden

    Thank you Nellie, it did indeed.


    Thank you Adrian, I'll certainly try!

    Derek Faulkner

    Thank you very much Derek.


    Thank you so much Marianne, I have missed all my blogland friends, it's good to be back.


    Thank you very much Chris, I hope you are staying well, not too much laying in the snow I hope :-)
    It is always so difficult to get a Goldcrest, they never stay still!

  28. Really pleased you are recovered enough to be back with your lovely mix of photos and poetry quotes.

  29. Hooray!!
    It's like the sun has come out.
    Welcome back and happy new year Jan.

  30. Welcome back Jan, Nice to see that you have lost none of your sparkle.

  31. Hi Jan! So nice to see you posting again! And with such beautiful colors. Love the birds and Butterfly and that squirrel. He sure is enjoying that corn. I wish you the best of health this coming year. We all love your beautiful photos. Hugs!!

  32. Hi Jan,

    Welcome back my friend, I have missed your quiet calming posts :)

    I to had a shortage of butterflies last year. The damp summer weather in the South East did them no favours. I did see a lone Red Admiral during the autumn. I hope she finds somewhere safe to overwinter :)

    I have Redwing and Fieldfare in the garden each day. They come to eat the haws. I love to hear them amongst the trees, such a pleasure.

    The little Goldcrest is beautiful....hopefully this milder winter will be kinder to them.

  33. Midmarsh John

    Thank you John, it's lovely to be back :-) I hope Bobby is improving.


    Thank you so much Phil, that's a lovely thing to say :-) All good wishes to you and Carol for a very happy and healthy 2012.

    Mike Atwood

    Thank you for your very kind comment Mike :-) I hope you continue to enjoy your visits to see the Red Kites this year.

  34. welcome back!! you saw more Painted Ladies than I did last year!! nice set of pics!

  35. Hi Jan...I to am so glad that you are doing well and feeling like blogging again...
    I was so excited when I saw you had posted but I have had a stomach flu and haven't done much commenting...
    Lovely way to come back with these lovely photos!!


  36. Wonderful to see you back and know you are doing well. Your photos and accompanying words are wonderful, and I will be back to look at this post again :)

  37. Ginnymo

    Hi Ginny, Thank you for your very kind comments. It's lovely to be back at last.
    The squirrel was having a grand time and was fun to watch.
    I hope 2012 will be a good and very healthy year for you, you have done so well... BIG, BIG HUGS :-)


    Dear Cheryl, thank you for your lovely comments, I have missed them!
    I do hope the butterflies do better this year. I read that a blogger had seen a Red Admiral in December, quite exceptional I should think!!
    How lovely to have the Winter thrushes in your garden regularly, I have only seen them in mine when there is snow on the ground.

  38. Pete

    Thank you very much Pete, it's good to be back. Well, I saw one more than in 2011! :-)

    grammie g

    Thank you so much Grace, I began to think I would never get back into the swing of blogging.
    Sorry to read you have been unwell recently, I hope you are feeling much better now. I will be popping over to see you very soon, it is taking a while to get round everyone!


    Thank you very much Glo, it's lovely to be back among all my blogland friends :-) I look forward to catching up with your blog soon.

  39. Witam i bardzo się cieszę, że mnie odwiedziłeś i zagościłeś też u mnie :-). Tłumaczeniem się nie martw, bo ma ono sens. TŁUMACZ GOOGLE raz lepiej, raz gorzej ale daje radę. Bardziej się obawiam tłumaczenia z polskiego na angielski, niż z angielskiego na polski . Będzie dobrze. Pozdrawiam. *** Hello and I am very glad that I visited and also zagościłeś for me :-). Translation not worry, because it makes sense. GOOGLE TRANSLATOR sometimes better, sometimes worse, but it gives advice. The more I fear the translation from Polish to English than from English into Polish. It will be good. Yours.

  40. Dear Jan,
    So happy you are feeling better. I do know how difficult it is to be under the weather.
    I was sick for a long time. The birds kept me joyful while I regained my health.
    I so love seeing your butterflies. Painted Ladies are lovely and the Red Admiral is one of my favorites too. I brought in to my house 18 Black Swallowtail caterpillars last Autumn. They made their chrysalis and a few have emerge this winter. Taking care of butterflies is wonderful therapy!
    Love seeing your birds....The Fieldfare is a lovely bird.
    Happy JAnuary.
    Glad you are back.

  41. Great to have you back Jan and I'm so pleased to be reading your blog again! :D Let's hope 2012 is a better year for you.

  42. Welcome back Shy. I look forward to reading you future posts!

    P.s. Beautiful Painted Lady photo. I only saw 2 in the whole of 2011

  43. A lovely return post, Jan – welcome back! I’ll keep my comment uncharacteristically short ;-)

    Best wishes for good health in 2012 :-)

  44. Giga

    Thank you for coming back, I am so glad you understood the translation and I look forward to visiting your blog again soon :-)
    Dziękujemy za wróci, jak ja się cieszę, że zrozumiałeś tłumaczenie i czekam na odwiedzenie blogu wkrótce :-)


    Thank you very much Sherry, lovely to see you here again. I am so glad you have returned to good health and that the birds helped your recovery.
    The Swallowtails are so beautiful, we only have them in one area of the UK and I have never seen one, ours is slightly smaller than yours I think.
    Happy January to you too :-


    Thanks Tricia, it's good to be back :-) I hope 2012 is good for you too especially with your impending house move.

    Jason K

    Thank you very much Jason.
    You saw one more P L than I did then :-) let's hope we have another influx like 2009 again this year... we can but hope...


    Thank you very much Shirl :-) I hope you have a much better 2012 too and that your husband is now in much better health than recently.
    I will visit your blog very soon :-)

  45. welcome back!!! glad all is well, and you can share lovely birds once again!

  46. Lovely to see you back again! Hope 2012 is a good one for you :)

  47. Hi Jan, I though I'd pop over and check out your blog, I'm glad I did, you've posted some great blogs and photographs and I look forward to seeing many more.

    I hope 2012 will be a super year for you especially after your recent setbacks...[;o)

  48. TexWisGirl

    Thank you very much Theresa :-)


    Thank you very much Pam, I hope 2012 is good for you and yours too :-)

    The Herald

    Hi Trevor :-) Thank you so much for visiting and following and also for your very generous words. I do hope you visit again, you will be very welcome.
    I wish you a very happy and healthy 2012, full of glorious Nature moments which I look forward to sharing :-)

  49. I happened upon your blog and liked it immediately. It's neat to see birds that I don't have here, and some I do. Love the butterflies, which are present in Arizona also.

  50. Carol DeAngeli

    Welcome Carole! Thank you very much for visiting and following and for your lovely comment :-)
    What a coincidence to have two new followers from Arizona in one week! It is such a pleasure to meet so many like minded people in blogland.

  51. Terrific images! I especially like the robin with the berry in its mouth photos!

  52. So nice to have you back blogging again. Your photos are super. I love your Fieldfare!

  53. I've taken a while to catch up but you're back fantastic..... can I recommend a fabulous low cholestrol meal.... whisky and maybe a soda. Have that every meal you'll feel chipper in no time :-) Loved the robin with berry and the squirrel eating sweetcorn, I see a lot of eaten sweetcorn cobs here, it's the badgers, they love them. Welcome back and keep blogging...:-)

  54. Noticed you were back from your comment over at hedgeland tales. And back with a treasure trove of great photos! Best wishes for 2012.

  55. Bardzo, bardzo dziękuję za bardzo miłe komentarze u mnie . Czekam na Twój nowy post. Pozdrawiam. *** Very, very thank you for your very nice comments from me. Waiting for your new post. Yours.

  56. Larry

    Welcome, Larry! Thank you for visiting and for your very kind comments. I do hope you visit again and I shall visit your blog soon.


    Thank you very much Dawn, it is lovely to be back. I just wish the Fieldfare had been in better light.

    The Wessex Reiver

    Thank you very much Andrew, it's good to be back but taking me a while to catch up with everyone!
    Your low chol meal sounds very cheering and delicious, not sure how much the doctor would approve though ;-)

    Susan Scheid

    Hi Susan, thank you so much. It is taking me longer than I expected to catch up and I have to confess I have only just associated you with Raining Acorns! I shall visit you very soon.
    I wish you a very happy and healthy 2012 too :-)


    Thank you very much for visiting again. It has taken me longer than I expected to catch up with everyone which means my next post is later than I had planned but I do hope to publish it soon.
    Dziękuję bardzo za odwiedzenie ponownie. To miało mnie dłużej niż się spodziewałem, aby dogonić każdego, co oznacza mój następny post jest później niż było planowane, ale mam nadzieję opublikować je wkrótce.

  57. Nice to have you back and to see your beautiful photos again :O)

  58. Country Mouse Studio

    Thank you very much Carole, it's good to be back :-)

  59. Dziękuję :-)i pozdrawiam. *** :-) Thank you and best regards.

  60. I was very happy to come across your blog. Looks like I stopped by in time for your return. I love your birds, especially the beautiful Goldfinches. Great post, have a wonderful day.

  61. eileeninmd

    Welcome! Thank you so much for visiting, following and for your kind comments. I love the Goldfinches too, they are so colourful.
    I will be over to visit your blog very soon :-)

  62. Bonjour je trouve vos photos si belles et j'aime les oiseaux et la nature aussi
    Je repasserai regarder vos photos BYE

  63. France

    Hello and welcome :-) Thank you very much for visiting and for your very kind comment. I do hope you will visit again.

    Bonjour et bienvenue :-) Merci beaucoup pour votre visite et pour vos commentaires très gentil. J'espère que vous visiterez à nouveau.

  64. Je viens de regarder de nouveau phots superbes photos votre blog est magnifique et calme aussi
    Pour moi c'est primordial ce calme que je trouve chez vous
    A bientôt

  65. France

    Thank you for coming back again and for your kind comment :-)
    I know exactly what you mean regarding quietness, it is very important to me too and I love solitude and simplicity.
    Je vous remercie de revenir encore et pour votre gentil commentaire :-) Je sais exactement ce que vous entendez en ce qui concerne la tranquillité, il est très important pour moi aussi et j'aime la solitude et la simplicité.

  66. Hi jan
    lovely to see you back on full song,its always a real pleasure to see your posts. Although I love my Photography I also believe Nature first and then images if possible.
    Good to have you back.

  67. Monts

    Thank you very much, Monty, you are very kind :-)

    Sorry, I meant to answer this before now! Hope all is well with you and yours. We had more snow last night, I wonder what happened to that early Spring that seemed to be on its way :-)

  68. Beautiful pictures of the day, but I can not resiustir to ask what food you are using for the Long-tailed Tits

  69. Hello again Tomas :-) Thank you for commenting again. I think you may have missed the answer I gave to the question you left on my post called Fieldfares in the Garden. I think you really intended to leave your comment and question on my newest post :-)

    The answer is that Long-tailed Tits eat fat cakes with unsalted peanuts. Also seed mixtures. In Summer they eat insects of course.

  70. So I decided to go into your past posts just to say hello:) and read some of your older work. And I'm glad I looked because a lot of your shots are really beautiful. The Goldfinch in the pine tree or the Robin eating the berries. I hope all is well and that you've had some good birding lately out and around your area:) All my best. Chris


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