Woody


You can tell that the weather is warming up. The ants get busy and then along comes this great little guy….

Woodpecker

European Green Woodpecker

This very smart bird is a European Green Woodpecker, Picus viridis

He and his pals visit our front garden fairly frequently since we seem to have more than our fair share of ant nests.  This member of the woodpecker family spends much of its time feeding on ants, on the ground. Unlike other species of woodpecker, he does not often ‘drum’ on trees.

They are supposed to be a shy bird but I have found them to be fairly tolerant so long as you don’t make any sudden moves. When they fly away they usually do so whilst emitting their very loud and distinctive call.

Nut Jobs


Given the current cold spell I don’t begrudge these little fellows a few peanuts. Midday and -1 outside even though the sun is shining. A few snow sprinkles falling too, although too few to bother anyone.

Squirrel_Feb2

Grey Squirrel

Although I put the peanuts out for the birds, the squirrels (and Wood Pigeons) eat the bulk of them. They are always cute and entertaining, so small price to pay for their company.

Since filling the feeders this weekend we are being visited by tits of the Blue, Great and Long-tailed varieties.

Longtailed_tits

Long-tailed Tits

This morning, there was also a Nuthatch getting his fill of sunflower hearts.

As always, the Robins are policing the garden. In the summer they typically, aggressively, chase off any other visitors to the feeders. Perhaps, due to the cold, they are being a little more magnanimous and just observing from a distance.

The Wood Pigeons sit like vultures in the trees. Observing the comings and goings of all the other birds. Since they can no longer land on the feeders, they are relegated to hoovering up the scatterings of their smaller brethren.

 

View From The Conservatory


I was both astounded and disappointed to discover that my last “View” was posted just over a year ago. I know that we have been busy and there have been other more recent posts.

Admittedly, the conservatory has been rebuilt and we did take off to Australia for three months followed by a month in France and a fortnight in Antigua. There have been several lesser UK based jaunts. However, we have also spent time at home and I have had my camera to hand. So, feeling suitably ashamed, here is a compilation of pictures taken over the last few weeks. We are now into the UK summer season and the garden plants are growing like crazy.

First up then is a regular subject, squirrels. Once again we are being visited by the albino variety.

Albino

Albino Squirrel

As you can see they do have the requisite pink eyes.

Albino1

Albino Squirrel

Here in the UK squirrels are sometimes referred to as tree rats. The example above is the most rat-like squirrel I have ever seen.

Of course we do have an abundance of the grey variety. Just a few days ago there were four greys in the garden. Of course my camera was out of reach and since these guys were raiding the bird feeders, any movement on my part just scared them away.

I thought that the pure grey squirrels would have attacked the albino, but apparently not. Judging by the shenanigans going on, high up in the trees, I believe the albino may have found a partner. Maybe we’ll see some piebald babes around this year.

As I mentioned earlier, there are many flowers on show already. So, just a few snaps ….

Iris_Flag

Iris

This Iris was discovered in a shady overgrown area of the garden. It was not planted by us and, as we are the only owners of this property since it was built, we have no idea how the Iris arrived. Pretty though.

We have a few rose bushes, which we did plant….

…… and a few other plants that we bought as plugs for potting on ….

And finally, for now ….

Lilac1

We don’t know what this is. The plant is a climber and for the moment it is in a pot on our deck and is entwining itself around the handrail.