Thursday 11 April 2013

Small Signs of Spring

As the weather here in the UK has been bad for so long I haven't had many opportunities to get out with the camera but I thought I would post some of the photos I have managed in the last few weeks. There haven't been any spectacular sightings. I tried very hard to find the Crossbills that had been seen locally but failed on each occasion. On reflection I think I may not have been looking in quite the right place...'in the Larch trees' could apply to quite a few Larch trees in the area indicated...oh well, maybe next year!

It was good to find those early harbingers of Spring, a very welcome patch of Snowdrops.
There are a few still hanging on here but these were seen a month ago.


Most of my recent bird photos have been distant and very 'twiggy' but beggars can't be choosers.


 The winter wind howls back to Northern seas; 
And in his stead comes up the Western breeze 
And budded leaves break freshly on the trees;— 
So, chaffinch, sing:  
A happy piping pipe, the world to please; 
 For this is Spring.'
(Thomas Ashe) 

A visit to a local reservoir is convenient when short of time but not always the most pleasant  experience. Being close to a town it tends to attract rowdy youths walking their often uncontrolled dogs. The reservoir which in my experience tends not to have anything very exciting also suffers from being surrounded by a very high wire fence to presumably stop the local, drunken yobs from falling comment ;-) The fence is always a problem when taking photos and you will notice the criss cross pattern of the wire in a couple of the following ones. This small flotilla of Canada Geese were enjoying a little late afternoon sunshine.

Canada Geese

As was this Mallard.

Mallard Duck

 This Pied Wagtail was busily looking for supper

Pied Wagtail

and putting its best foot forward!


'The smallest bird that walks am I,
You know me by my wagging tail,
And my piercing round black eye;
Through frost, through snow, through rain or hail'
I stay here all the winter through,
And that is more than some birds do.'
(Thomas Miller)

While this swan seen in an adjoining field looked like it was preparing for an appearance in a certain Tchaikovsky ballet!

Mute Swan

It occurred to me to wonder why Mute Swans are so called given that they do make a range of noises. Apparently, it is because they have no actual call and emit no sound during flight other than, of course, the wonderful sound of their wings as they pass over our heads.

In the Larch trees, where I mentioned I had been hoping to find the Crossbills, I was pleased to see a small flock of Siskins mixed with Goldfinches and the odd Redpoll. I managed to get a couple of photos (one can be seen at the beginning of this post) of the Siskins but as is usually the case they were very distant, feeding high in the tops of the tall trees. The old word for Siskin is Aberdevine which was particularly used in London back in the unfortunate times when shops sold them and other wild songbirds in cages :-(


'When naming the aberdevine,
It's siskin that birders assign,
I think the word finch
Might suffice in a pinch,
And I've heard even bird would be fine.'

(Tim Alborn [OEDILF])

Although we haven't had any snow in the last couple of weeks it has been reluctant to go and just last weekend, less than five miles from home, I found there were still snowdrifts at the sides of the road.

In the woodland, where I hoped to find Violets, I was amazed to find there was a covering of snow of around 35 centimetres (12 inches)!!

 In the woodland to the right there was a deep covering of snow!

However, the day before in the same direction and only two or three miles from home there was very little remaining snow to be seen which allowed for some nice springlike sights. As a child I was always thrilled to find the first Pussy Willow of the year, that thrill has never left me.

Pussy Willow

The Gorse was looking colourful too. Gorse is very attractive to invertebrates which in turn of course benefits birds. Some scarce invertebrates are dependent on it. As it flowers over a long period it is an important source of nectar when there are few other plants in flower.


Although high in a tree and doing his best to hide behind the twigs this male Bullfinch looked very striking against the blue sky...and yes it really was that blue!


If it is a thrill to find the first Pussy Willow of the year it is even more of a thrill to find my all time favourite wildflower, the Primrose. I have such fond childhood memories of lengthy walks to the woods with my mother and brother to find them. I also remember getting into all sorts of trouble, when I was only about six or seven years old, for taking my little friend to see them which involved crossing a busy main road!! Of course what I hadn't realised, being so young, was that when we eventually got there the Primroses would have finished flowering weeks before. All that walking and a telling off by my parents for nothing! ;-)


'Now primroses, close shelter'd from the cold,
Just here and there some tender flowers unfold'.
(William Cole)

On the way back home, on Saturday, we had to brake suddenly when we spotted a Pheasant and his mate crossing the road, we were very fortunate there were no cars behind us! Of course I had to try and get a photo and managed to snatch a quick one of the male as they were making their getaway across the grounds of a large house.

Well, I'm sure I have outstayed my welcome so until next time...enjoy the beauty of Nature, wherever you are.


  1. glad spring is finally coming your way! love the chaffinch and the bullfinch! and the geese swimming, too. beautiful!

    1. Wow is good to be back with my ex again, thank you Dr Ekpen for the help, I just want to let you know that is reading this post in case you are having issues with your lover and is leading to divorce and you don’t want the divorce, Dr Ekpen is the answer to your problem. Or you are already divorce and you still want him/her contact Dr Ekpen the spell caster now on ( and you will be clad you did

  2. You could never outstay your welcome! Such a lovely post with lovely birds to see. The snow was a surprise though - I hope it goes very soon.

  3. Hi Jan
    great post as always with some smashing images, but I have to pick the woodland scene with the two riders as my favorite its a real English classic.
    Now getting the first signs of Spring down here, and its going to warm up at the weekend.

  4. TexWisGirl

    Thank you Theresa and many apologies that some of the formatting on the verse was all over the place. I was in the process of correcting it but didn't manage to before you commented.


    Thank you Toffeeapple. The snow was a surprise for me too, well more of a shock really ;-) Apologies to you too that when you commented I hadn't completed the corrections on the formatting. I think all is well now.

  5. I always enjoy reading your posts Songbird, they pop up in my sidebar and give me a little thrill when I see them, just like my first Chiffchaff.

    Very envious of that Bullfinch photo by the way!

  6. I can't believe how long the snow stayed with you! You must be glad to see the back of it. Spring is certainly nearly here - the birds are intensely busy and the ducks are doing what they should be doing at this time of year.

    That Pied Wagtail photo is hilarious!

  7. What a pleasant and largely uplifting post Jan, illustrated as always with a lovely array of photographs :-) Nice to see the wildfowl but what a shame that the place is often ruined by loud mouthed yobs :-(

    Those Primroses are gorgeous and seem to confirm that spring has indeed finally arrived, as do those lovely soft and fluffy Pussy Willow catkins. I also enjoyed reading about your childhood memories of wandering the countryside in search of flowers and alike as it reminds me of my own sisters and I :-)

  8. Monts

    Thank you Monty :-) I must admit I quite like that photo myself. I nearly didn't bother to take it but I'm glad I did now. It's certainly time we all enjoyed some better weather!

    Warren Baker

    Thank you Warren, Well, I'm sure you know how much I always enjoy your posts :-) I haven't heard a Chiffchaff yet this year. Last year I heard one on March 23rd.

    The Gardening Shoe

    Thank you TGS :-) Yes, I really don't want to see any more snow this year...although I do remember it in late April one year!!

  9. A lovely post Jan full of different things, birds, flowers, memories and poetry. Like David, I think it's a shame that the resevoir is spoilt by a wire fence and loud youths. Like Warren, I always enjoy clicking on your link in my blogroll when I see you've posted! (-:

  10. Lovely post Jan. Well up to your usual standard. I've add a comment to my last post on the badger and barn owl. I think you should read it.

  11. Spring is coming, maybe not color of the flowers, but it is. Birds know that too, and saw a lot of them. I love the wagtails, the tail, which is still moving. Praise him. Beautiful swan dance show. Pheasant is a beautiful color. Even warmer and the flowers will soon bloom. Regards warm.

  12. that last siskin is good. latest spring for a while tho?

  13. Hi Jan!
    Spring is slowly starting to peek its head over the parapet and not before time! Spring migrants are practically non-existent and the blackthorn is still refusing to flower! The natural world is certainly suffering from this odd weather!
    Follow me at HEDGELAND TALES

  14. Lovely post Jan! Funnily enough I was going to write a post today which focused on a poem named "The Chaffinch". This poem was from a book called "The Seasons" which is compiled and illustrated by Louis Lawrence and includes a number of poems by Tennyson and Wordsworth and many other writers. I didn't publish my post because I realised that it may be plagiarising due to the note at the front?! What do you think?

    I also really love the photo of the Canada geese - I think the criss crosses add another dimension somehow!

    I really hope we have some lovely spring weather this weekend!

  15. I'm in love with your Pheasant and Swan! Very nice finds! My absolute favorite shot is of the horses moving through the woodlands. Magical and awesome shot!

  16. Some lovely images Jan. The Pheasant is great and the Pussy Willow. That snow is ridiculous isn't it.
    Anyway the Southerly winds are arriving so things will get better now.

  17. David Turner

    Thank you David :-) Yes, it is a shame about the situation with the reservoir. I always feel rather vulnerable there with my camera etc. Such a shame we should have those concerns. It seemed odd that there were Primroses and other clear signs of spring but just a couple of miles further on there was all that snow!


    Thank you for your very kind comments Jenny :-) There really aren't very many large bodies of water in my area particularly within a short distance of home so sometimes the reservoir has to suffice. I hope to be able to post a little more often as the weather improves.

    Mike Atwood

    Thank you Mike, I actually saw your reply on Wednesday evening. It certainly did seem a strange and unpleasant incident. I hope there are no more such occurrences.


    Thank you Giga, We certainly have waited a long time for spring this year but things do seem to be improving slowly. I expect when the weather does get warmer everything will speed up. The Pheasant is a beautiful bird, such a shame that people shoot them! Sending warm hugs :-)
    Dziękujemy Giga, pewno czekali długo na wiosnę tego roku, ale rzeczy wydają się być poprawa powoli. Spodziewam się, gdy pogoda robi się cieplej wszystko przyspieszy. Bażant to piękny ptak, taki wstyd, że ludzie ich zastrzelić! Wysyłanie ciepły przytula :-)

  18. Hi Jan:)
    Some really bright and sunny photos
    of birds and flowers with your distinctive style of writing and editing with beautiful verses:)

    It's been a pleasure to see the Siskin, a most difficult bird to photograph in my experience because of it's preference for perching high in the tree tops.The Bullfinch is also a very pretty capture, the swan is so beautiful, and I had almost forgotten how colourful the pheasant is until seeing it here, what a perfect ending to your day out:)

  19. Lovely to see that Siskin. Beautiful spring photos....they've cheered me up no end. Really dull still here.

  20. These are beautiful photos SB. I tried photographing Siskins in trees near home last year- hopeless. I was thrilled therefore when they started coming into the garden to eat from the feeders and I could take photos of them close up thanks to the kitchen window! I love the description of "twiggy" photos- fits many of mine perfectly! CT x

  21. 'Small Signs Of Spring' and very welcome signs they are too Jan! Lovely poems, script and images again from you.

    I have just checked and they are still there.....drifts of snow are still visible on Wychbury Hill which I can see from my house! It just shows how deep the drifts were and how cold the temperatures have been!

    Mild and wet for the weekend but that will do for me.

    Enjoy whatever you are doing at the weekend Jan.

  22. Hi Jan :) What a lovely post to brighten up my day :) The photos, poems and words, as always, are beautiful :)

    Your problems at the reservoir rang a definite bell with me. There are several places I won't even visit or have cut down on visits for similar reasons especially as I am usually on my own. Its so annoying because there are some promising wildlife sites very local to me but I just won't go:( Its the main reason why I stick to places like Brandon Marsh or National Trust properties.

    I loved your pussy willow photo - they always bring many so many childhood memories for me too. We always used to pick a few to bring home to put in a vase although I wouldn't do that now.

    Primroses to me too bring back memories - we used to visit grandparents in the country and in those days grassy lane verges and churchyards were so full of them. One of the reasons why I was so thrilled last year to discover St Giles :)

    I really liked your woodland photo - what a shame about such deep snow. Do hope you are able to get out and see some violets soon.

    Sorry for such a long comment :)
    I am wittering away again. But thanks for such an enjoyable post :)

  23. Great set of images Jan, it's good to see, at long last, that the weather is taking a turn in the right direction, I was just on the verge of getting a little fed up of those grey, snowy and cold days!,,lol.

    Now looking forward (hopefully!!) to seeing, and photographing, a good showing of wild flowers along with a good crop of butterflies, dragonflies etc. And some nice warm sun, of course!!...[;o)

  24. Lovely photographs of birds and flowers in some spring sunshine. The swan does look beautiful with those pure white feathers - and I love the finches, too, especially the siskin and bullfinch.

  25. Wow, that pheasant is stunning! His coloring is so much different from the pheasants that are native here and much more brown.

    Your photos are beautiful, Jan--the woodland photo is picture postcard-perfect! But I enjoyed your narrative just as much, the information about the mute swans and other birds as well as your observations. Too bad those "rowdy youth" spoil the bird-watching at the resevoir. Your childhood escapade reminded me of the time my youngest daughter went off in search of her sister. We were frantically looking for her everywhere and were so relieved when she came home. Only later did I realize she had crossed a railroad track in her search! We laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny at the time, and I'm sure your parents were just as worried about you.

    Spring has finally arrived here, I think, but so has the rain--now it's warm enough to be outside, but it's too wet!

  26. Pete

    Thank you Pete, I was starting to think we were going to go straight into summer without having any spring at all but things do seem to be moving slowly at last.


    Thank you John. It does seem like things are beginning to change a little at long last. I had hoped that after the disastrous summer last year things would be more normal this time for the sake of the widlife but so far it seems not to be the case.

    Lou Mary

    Thank you Lou, Without seeing the book or knowing exactly what you were going to use from it, it is difficult to answer your question. If you were to reproduce any part of it and pass it off as your own that would indeed be plagiarism but I suspect you may be concerned about copyright which is something I am always aware of too. My understanding is that if you only use an extract from say a poem and clearly acknowledge the author then that is acceptable. I think also that the older the work, the eighteenth or nineteenth century for instance, the less likelihood there is of copyright problems. Sorry not to be more help. Google may supply more of the info you need. I have to tell you that you have cost me money!! Never one to resist a book, I was curious about the one you mentioned, looked it up and it sounds really good. Brand new it was very expensive but I have ordered a secondhand copy which is apparently in really nice condition and with delivery costs around £7 :-)


    Thank you Chris, The Mute Swan and Pheasant are common sights here but are both beautiful and always lovely to see. Unfortunately Pheasants are shot here...they call it sport! But happily this is the closed season, they are not allowed to be shot between February and October so the one in my photo should be safe for a while :-)

    Roy Norris

    Thank you Roy, The snow situation really is ridiculous, I was amazed that within a couple of miles there could be such a contrast. It does look like things are changing at last though which is very welcome although I suspect that will bring rain with it...we can't win in this country ;-)

  27. Lovely post ShySongbird, the walks as a youngster and the thrill of the first pussy willow and primroses, I can certainly relate to and I to still love seeing them. Love the Siskins, the light is stunning on them :-)

  28. A great set Jan, as always. I never tire of your posts.
    The picture of the riders in the woods, is just beautiful. It would make a great print for the wall.

  29. Beautiful birds and springtime flowers, cheers Jan.

  30. Breathtaking

    Thank you for your lovely comments Sonjia :-) The Siskins were very high in the tree and as my lens is not very long I had to crop the photos heavily which always affects the quality but as my heavier lenses are not comfortable to carry around with me I have no alternative. Pheasants really are beautiful creatures.

    Em Parkinson

    Thank you Em, I'm glad they cheered you up. We've had rain on and off this afternoon, April showers I suppose.

    Countryside Tales

    Thank you very much CT :-) You are lucky with the Siskins. The only time I have had them in my garden was about four years ago and before I had a camera. 'Twiggy' is the bane of the birdwatcher's life I think ;-)


    Thank you very much Pam, Thankfully, I can't see any snow from my windows but I strongly suspect there is still some not far away. Mind you, we have had a lot of rain today so hopefully the remains of the snow will be gone soon. I hope you enjoy your weekend too Pam :-)

  31. Ragged Robin

    Hi Caroline :-) Thank you for your lovely comments and please don't ever be worried about the length. I always look forward to hearing from you and after all I'm the queen of the long comment ;-) It is such a shame that we (particularly females) can't walk in safety wherever we like. I don't know why people have to spoil it for the rest of us. We too used to pick Pussy Willow, Primroses, Bluebells and all sorts of wildflowers but of course it wasn't illegal then and of course we didn't strip places bare or uproot them to sell commercially. I was hoping to get out this weekend but it looks like it's going to be pretty wet and not what was originally forecast!

    The Herald

    Thank you Trevor, I think we're all fed up with the weather now and as I said in the last reply to Caroline, this weekend doesn't look like it will be what we were promised, at least not where I live :-( Ah! Butterflies and to my ears! I do hope it's going to be a much better year for them this year...and for us of course :-)


    Thank you Wendy, Spring sunshine seems to have been in very short supply this year. I do hope it improves soon! That swan was taking great trouble over its ablutions :-)

  32. Hi Jan,

    beautiful spring pictures with this series. The spring is still really started and that also shows you the burgeoning buds of the kittens and trees. the many birds and birds you see everywhere now again to roam.
    nice weekend.
    Greetings, Helma

  33. ShySongbird ,
    Love the shot of the 'butterflied' Mute Swan .
    I knew it wouldn't be long till you posted your favourite flowers .
    Why do birds always manage to get amongst twigs when the camera comes out ?
    A really great set of shots , with your own special way of telling the story , most enjoyable .

  34. Nunca dejaran de sorprenderme tus fotografias, cada vez mas bonitas y llenas de poesia. Son todas muy bellas querida. Besos

  35. Rose

    Thank you Rose, The Pheasant did look splendid, I always feel rather sorry for the female whose plumage is very nondescript. Your daughter's escapade must have been really scary for you and as you say mine was for my parents, they certainly never forgot it ;-) I could have written your last sentence myself! It has turned a little milder here st last but we have had rain for the last couple of days and there is more forecast so no sign yet of any opportunities to get out with the camera!

    Alan Pavey

    Thank you Alan, I'm sure if youngsters are encouraged to notice and enjoy Nature from a young age it will stay with them for life. I just wish I could have got my lens closer to those Siskins :-)


    Hi Keith, You're very kind and coming from a wonderful photographer like you I am very flattered by your comments :-) The photo was really a snatched afterthought as I don't take many landscapes! I do quite like it myself though :-)

    Bob Bushell

    Thank you Bob and particularly for finding the time to comment in your present difficult circumstances. I continue to keep you in my thoughts.

  36. Nice light filled pictures Jan.Good to think that Spring is finally arriving, despite the remnants of snow still hanging around in your neck of the woods.
    Thank goodness we've moved on from selling wild birds in cages, although, unfortunately, there are still those who keep birds in cages as a 'hobby'.No point in being a bird if you can't fly free!

  37. Helma

    Thank you Helma :-) It is a little milder here at last but unfortunately we have rain now! We really could do with some warm and sunny spring days. I hope you are having a good weekend.
    Dank je wel Helma :-) Het is een beetje milder hier eindelijk maar helaas hebben we regen nu! We hebben echt kon wel wat warme en zonnige lentedagen. Ik hoop dat je een goed weekend hebben.


    Thank you for your very kind comments Greenie, That's a good description for the swan :-) Yes, I was so looking forward to finding those first wild Primroses of the year. As for 'twiggies', I think they spot the camera and think I'll make this as awkward as possible!

    Eva de Dueñas

    Gracias Eva, eres muy amable :-) Me gustaría que mi fotografía era tan hermosa como sus pinturas! Disfruta de tu fin de semana. Envío de besos y abrazos :-)


    Thank you Phil :-) It was lovely to actually get some reasonable light in some of the photos at last. I completely agree about caged birds. We had budgerigars when I was little but I couldn't even think of it now! I look through a lot of old books in my search for poetry for the blog and it is amazing how many different wild birds were kept in cages in the sad.

  38. I've been surprised how quickly nature is making up for lost time recently. Plants almost seem to be springing up overnight. A bit of Sunshine and warmth makes all the difference - to be as well.

  39. Thank you for your help! I just think they are such lovely poems and it seems a shame not to share them! It is a lovely book and I think you will enjoy it :) Very sorry that I tempted you haha!!

  40. Lovely series of images, Jan! The birds and spring scenes are all beautiful. I do love the colorful Siskins and Bullfinch. And the poem is pretty. Wishing you a happy day and week ahead!

  41. An absolutely delightful reminder of the joys of spring, Jan. Thank you for sharing.

  42. Midmarsh John

    Thank you John, Yes, I think it makes a difference to all of us. We have had a lot of rain here over the last few days though :-( It has been better today but very windy.

    Lou Mary

    Thanks for popping back Lou :-) I'm sure I will enjoy the book. I will let you know.


    Thank you Eileen, Spring is my favourite season but it has been a long wait this year! So glad you enjoyed the poetry, I know it's not everyone's thing but poetry and Nature do seem to go together. Hope you are having a lovely weekend!

    Richard Pegler

    Thank you Richard, The joys of spring seem to have been a long time coming this year!

  43. Great to see signs of Spring after such a long Winter - lovely shots. Know what you mean about rowdy types with dogs making life unpleasant - I went for what I thought was a quiet walk in the woods the other day, and ended up being attacked by a Pit Bull!

  44. Indeed small signs of the spring ShySongbird, a nice series with few outliers such as the cytisus, the pheasant and the bullfinch. I hope it is now spring quickly.

    Have a nice weekend,

  45. Jesteś kochana i dziekuję bardzo. Pozdrawiam.
    You are loved and thank you very much. Yours.

  46. Jan, what a sweet story of trying to show your friend those Primroses and getting ticked off. Sadly many of the drunken yobs you also refer to, have nobody bothered enough to teach them right from wrong. That Pied Wagtail poem made me smile; I know I've said it before but thanks for the way you combine poetry, prose and pictures in such a special way :)

  47. Ah it's so nice that Spring is finally here, I thought it was never going to arrive. Some really nice photos there too- especially that Siskin one. Such a characteristic pose for a Siskin. I'm amazed that you've still got a bit of snow lying around where you are, maybe it snowed more recently there.

  48. Jeremy

    Thank you Jeremy, Ouch! That sounded a horrible incident! I hope you weren't injured and that it didn't further aggravate your back problems.


    Thank you Ad, Spring really does seem to have arrived today. We have lovely weather, sunny and warm. Not so good again next week though according to the forecast.
    Dank je Ad, lente echt lijkt om te zijn aangekomen. We hebben prachtig weer, zonnig en warm. Niet zo goed volgende week weer wel volgens de prognose.


    Thank you are in my thoughts. Sending many warm and sympathetic hugs.
    Dziękuję Giga .... jesteś w moich myślach. Wysyłanie wiele ciepłych i sympatyczny uściski.

  49. Jerry

    Thank you Jerry, I'm rather surprised I managed to find the Primrose woods all those years ago, they were about three miles away(!!) and as an adult I have a worryingly, almost non-existent, sense of direction!
    Yes, I agree. Even more sadly, they will go on to have their own children and the problem will continue in perpetuity.
    So pleased you liked the poem, I really appreciate any comments regarding it as I know it's not for everyone but I do think Nature and poetry just fit together perfectly :-)


    Thank you Joe :-) I hope you have enjoyed your holidays and recharged the batteries before returning to uni. I was definitely thinking Spring was never going to arrive but thankfully, things are improving.
    I have learnt to keep an eye on those trees as they often attract groups of mixed finches.
    I too was amazed about that snow! It was less than five miles up the road from us and there was barely any at home!

  50. Oops… has 2 weeks really passed since I saw your post out via my phone (I don’t comment from there)… hanging my head now. It’s always wonderful to hear that you’ve been out with your camera – I know what pleasure that gives you.

    A great selection of images again, Jan. I love your longer shots and close-ups of the gorse. Of course, I am envious of the Bullfinch photo opportunity – OH spotted one in our garden when I was busy at PC during a snow spell – it was just outside my window! I was too late grabbing the camera :-(

    I love the Siskin with the cone. I do enjoy my Siskin visitors and I am grateful that they come regularly all year round and they have brought with them many surprise visitors like then ones here now – very special ones they are (I think so anyway). I’m hoping to capture a few more images before I make my video and post but if I don’t get them over the weekend I’ll go with what I’ve got (which is a lot to sort through) :-D

  51. I missed this until now - lovely spring-filled post. That shot of the riders in the woodland is just gorgeous!

  52. Shirley

    Thank you Shirley :-) and apologies for the late reply. I've had all sorts of problems with broadband recently :-( No worries re the comment, I often look at blogs when in a hurry and then take a while to go back and comment. Sadly, I have been unable to get out with the camera throughout the current spell of beautiful weather due to being unwell :-(
    What a shame you missed the Bullfinch, I only see them in my garden very occasionally. You are lucky to see Siskins in your garden regularly, I know they are regular all year round in Scotland but in much of England we only see them in the winter.
    I have had a sneaky peek at your latest visitors, what a treat!!! I will be over to comment very soon :-) Hope you're having a wonderful Bank Holiday!


    Thank you Marianne :-) A lot of people seem to like that photo, I'm glad I included it now, I nearly didn't!

  53. Magnificent psot. I would love to see a bullfinch again. You got nice pictures of siskins too, I never managed to get one.

  54. You take such beautiful pictures. I love the one with the two people on horseback. There's something almost magical about it.

  55. Chris

    Thank you Chris, I just wish I could get closer photos of the Siskins and Bullfinches!


    Thank you OC, That photo has proved popular. I included it as an afterthought really! Hope 'himself' is still doing well and will be back home very soon.

  56. Just came over to say Hi, and I hope you feel better soon:=)

    You are missed:)

    1. Thank you very much Sonjia, that's very kind of you. I haven't been well for some weeks now but am gradually improving. I have also had intermittent broadband problems and found blogging difficult to keep up with. I hope to get back into it before too long. Thank you so much for thinking of me :-)

  57. Great note. Super pictures! :)

    + Please visit our blogs. :)

    "Everyone needs to dissolve the mean time, not only in words."

    1. Welcome and thank you for your comments :-)

  58. I had to send you this link after your comment! I have a desperate longing to see David Rintoul in action again. I'd forgotten how long ago it was made. The best Elizabeth too...

    1. Thanks Em, I fulfilled that same longing when I bought it three or four years ago :-) David Rintoul's haughty aloofness was just superb and Elizabeth Garvie was, in my opinion the quintessential Elizabeth, again just as I imagined her to be in the book.

  59. I run a blog for Smestow Valley LNR. I have started a nature network to protect our patches and coordinate wildlife surveys. Please could you email me at and I can send you more information. Regards, Chris Millward.

  60. Gdzie jesteś, stęskniłam się za Tobą. Pozdrawiam serdecznie.
    Where are you, I missed you. Yours sincerely.

  61. Merry Christmas to you and yours :) Hope all is well, and all the best for 2014!

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    "I'm absolutely fed up with living payroll to payroll! When will I finally make it?"

    You've been a part of those those thoughts, ain't it so?

    Your very own success story is waiting to be written. All you have to do is in YOURSELF.


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  64. Wow is good to be back with my ex again, thank you Dr Ekpen for the help, I just want to let you know that is reading this post in case you are having issues with your lover and is leading to divorce and you don’t want the divorce, Dr Ekpen is the answer to your problem. Or you are already divorce and you still want him/her contact Dr Ekpen the spell caster now on ( and you will be clad you did


  65. My name is Mr TONY DWAYNE,my wife was having affair with a senior secretary in her office. I love this woman so much that i would not want to share her with any body. i told her to retire from the job and i would take care of all her needs but she would take it because she is been embraced by everybody in her office, this normally leads to quarrel every-time. i tried all i can to please her and she will promise to be good , some days later she will turn back to her normal way.
    i was nearly loosing out, i could not focus in my job, my whole life was full of sorrow and i was thinking i should kill the other man my self and put an end to all this until i saw a testimony from a blog on how IKHIDE could cast a love spell to bring lovers back no matter what is behind the disappointment. so i decided to write him via email:- and now all my wishes are exactly as i wanted. She told me everything that has happened secretly in the past and i forgave her as DR IKHIDE instructed me to and she loves me and care for me as i ever wanted. i know there are many spells that do not work but i want to assure all you out there no matter what you have been trough to have faith and believe that this is the final solution to your problem.
    Even if my job is taking most of my time, the little free time i have , i will share the good news to everyone in the world because i know that with love brings happiness and hope for a long life.

  66. Hi everyone,I’m so excited my husband is back after he left me for another woman. My husband was having an affair with a co-worker and i love my husband so much but he was cheating on me with his co-worker and this girl i think she use witchcraft or black magic on my husband to make him hate me and this was so critical and uncalled-for, I cry all day and night for God to send me a helper to bring back my husband! I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr.Wealthy can help get ex-boyfriend back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it, then he did a love spell for me. 22hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me so much, Oh My God! i was so happy, and today i am happy with my man again and we are joyfully living together and i thank the powerful spell caster Dr.Wealthy, he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the here. if you are here and your Lover is turning you down, or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact Dr.Wealthy for help now..Here’s his email,
    He also do the following spell
    Pregnancy spell
    Love spell
    Penis enlargement spell
    Winning spell
    His email,
    Or his WhatsApp +2348105150446


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  68. Beautiful Springtime images. Hope you are well! J.


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