I’ve been spending some time updating the site making it easier to navigate and find things. Clicking on the titles across the top of the Home page, will take you a page with links to posts that are relevant to the title.
If you search my site you will come across a few posts for “My Patch”. This is the one I’ve mentioned before just behind my house. It used to be farm land and much of it was sold off and was turned into a golf course but these two fields remain. This filed is full of buttercups, clover and various grasses. There is a spring that bubbles from the ground on occasions, creating a very small stream, but it has dried up considerably from when we first arrived here in the 80’s. There is a wet area which becomes a pond when theres plenty of rain and many rabbit burrows. I’ve spied roe deer and foxes here. There are many varieties of birds and it is awash with birdsong. My favourites are the magnificent red kites which are regulars over the fields and my house.
Fantastic weather again-so glad I work part time. Busy day in the garden yesterday, tidying up and seeding lawn. Its very patchy and full of moss. Raking it left a huge pile of moss for the birds building their nests. Here’s half of my garden – it’s only small, with my summer house that I absolutely love and sit in as often as I can and watch the birds on my feeders. We actually jokingly call it my Wendy house! Does anyone know where that name came from for a child’s play house?
Here you can see some of the feeders I have.
And two of my very contented companion animals.
Walking my dog through the woods at Golden Acre park at the weekends is one of my most favourite activities. Watching Sparky hare through the trees after squirrels that he’ll never catch, seeing the birds and rabbits and the new growth as spring really gets going.
These photo’s all taken with my iphone. Pretty amazing piece of kit – I love it! Don’t love itunes though!!
Anyway, click on the thumbnails if you want to see the bigger version in all it’s glory.
I’m off now to have a blast on my motorbike. Kawasaki EN500
Sorry no photos since the amazing barn owl. Nice bit of news is that today I have had two siskins on my feeders. A first for this year.
This is a typically British post! Other nationalities know that us Brits like to talk about the weather. To be honest, it’s a bit of a joke isn’t it? We know ourselves we do it – hardly a day goes by when I don’t hear someone (myself included) talk about the weather! It’s really not surprising though is it? We live on a small island and have one heck of a lot of influences on our weather – it is so unpredictable, that the weather forecasters rarely get it right! (For Leeds anyway). The BBC weather on the internet site, is updated regularly throughout the day. Temperatures can go up or down within a mile!
This week we’ve had strong winds, gales, freezing temperatures, temperatures of 12 degrees, sunshine, blue sky and fog, all within days of each other. If you’re British, you just have to say “to hell with the weather” and just get on with it. It is hard to plan what you are going to do though – we often say , “let’s see what the weathers like.”
There are signs that spring might just be around the corner though. The snowdrops are blooming and the crocus and daffodils are peeping through. Plenty of birds singing at the park this morning in the rain. Watched a pair of common crows flying, chasing, some lovely agile acrobatics with each other.
Golden Acre Park is the next part of what I consider to be “my patch”. Carry on following the path from Paul’s Pond and you will reach the park. It is a really well managed park for children, adults and children, with fantastic plants and trees, a lake with plenty of wildfowl, woods and a more open area. It is well frequented particularly with dog walkers within the woods and open areas. You can nearly always fine a quite spot to watch the birds, of which there are plenty.
I am fascinated with trees! So many shapes, sizes, height, width, colour, bark, patterns and leaves. I love the different seasons, seeing the deciduous trees change with time. I love it in the autumn when there are such gorgeous colours. Golden, brown, red, yellow and various shades of green.
Then spring when the leaves bud and start to uncurl. The beautiful fresh new born light green leaves that take up their own particular shape and pattern of veins underneath their surface.
In summer, the sunlight filtering through the leave paints dappled colours on the forest floor and in winter the snow coats the branches with pure white crystals.
There is a clearing in the park where some trees have been chopped down and the stumps left. This has become a favourite area to feed the birds and squirrels and get some photos. I have had great tits, robins and squirrels feeding out of my hand here.
The squirrels are quite tame and even though a lot of people see them as a menace, I love them, they are so funny and cute. Although it has to be said that our native red squirrel in by far superior in the looks department. More of that in another post. Its a real thrill having a wild animal eat from your hand.
There are some resident jays here who also will come quite close in order to pick up monkey nuts that I bring.
I love Golden Acre!
This is a map of my patch ie: the place I can walk from my home and where I go regularly.
I can walk out of my house down the path onto Holt Lane and onto what used to be Holt Farm land and a piece of land that I believe was included in some sort of covenant, when the High Farm land was sold to make way for the Holt Park estate development. It was to be left open as common land.
Great for us and brilliant for wildlife.
There are loads of different varieties of trees. Deciduous and conifer.
There’s hedgerow a plenty and plenty of cover within the scrub and brambles.
As I’ve mentioned before, I know there are plenty of foxes around here and I see one regularly on Holt Lane. I think I may have found a den but I am not certain. I am surprised because it is so near the path and people like me walk there dogs past.
There were plenty of berries on the trees and bushes this year, as well as plenty of blackberries. they say its a sign of a hard winter and by gum did we have some snow.
Trees always look fabulous in the snow.
The sky can look really magnificent or menacing.
It was great for seeing tracks in.
I never realised how many rabbits there were.
I think I found fox tracks as well but its quite hard to tell the difference from some dogs paw prints. I know they are narrower and they were in places i wouldn’t normally see dogs.
The birds seemed pretty quiet whilst the snow was around, but I saw all the usual : blackbirds, finches, tits, thrushes, crows, gulls.
Thats when I saw the single waxwing in the trees. Brilliant first on my patch.
Well the 6-7 inches of snow turned into about 10 inches, I reckon and minus 9C on Wednesday night! Brrr! Those poor outdoor creatures! Made sure the feeders were topped up but was no use putting out fat balls as they just froze. Did put out some suet blocks which the starlings devoured in no time.
Its been thawing today and there’s been lots of activity at the feeders:
goldfinch, greenfinch, bullfinch and chaffinch, great tit, blue tit and coal tit, starlings, blackbirds, pair of collared doves and robin.
However, I soon saw blackbirds eating the berries still left on various bushes and trees.
The chaffinches were nowhere to be seen, but a dwindling flock of goldfinches were about.As I walked across the golf course I noticed a small family of four greenfinches. The younger ones often fool me, as they are not very green at all, but you can tell they’re finches by the bill and greenfinches by the flash of a yellow bar on their wings.
Next to them on the same tree were a couple of bullfinch.
I am almost certain that I have found a foxes den/earth on my patch and keep meaning to get up before dawn, to see if I can confirm this with a glimpse, but guess I’m just too lazy!
I will one day.
I have always loved animals and nature but have only just found a love of birds and birdwatching. This coupled with more time for walking and photography, is brought together in this here blog! It will serve as a diary/log of what I have done and seen with a display of some of my better photos.
It may interest others to know about the walks and wildlife/birds that are around where I go.
Please feel free to browse and comment and maybe share some of your walks and nature sights.