Monday, 28 January 2013


Let me start by saying that most of the snow has melted now thank goodness, but our track has been like a river over the last couple of days, but at least you can drive up it so back to work today.

I really should have posted this about 4 weeks ago but better late than never.
My local authority's biodiversity group were kind enough to give me a Barn Owl box last March after I'd spotted one up here whilst driving down our lane. Thomas and Luke my step son's can both climb like monkey's so we chose a tree to put it on with me obviously over seeing it all hoping that we could entice the bird to firstly roost there then hopefully later on nest in it.

 So it's been left undisturbed for nearly a year. Steve Carter who holds a schedule 1 license for Barn Owls and is an authority on birds nest's and eggs told us to first monitor the box to see if any owls had taken up residance, which also includes checking for owl splatter and pellets at bottom of tree. None of this was evident so oldest step son Thomas checked the box for me and this was what we found:-

The squirrels had moved in! Although I like a cute squirrel this box was supposed to be for Barn Owls so I insructed Tom to remove the contents in the hope the squirrels would make a drey elsewhere and we'd get an Owl in there. I think it could be a bit late now but fingers crossed you never know. Steve and myself also put a Tawny Owl box up in the wood below our house. We have got a resident Tawny Owl population around our area and I have seen them flying around the house so here's hoping.

One of our resident squirrels that were squatting in the Barn Owl box.

Friday, 25 January 2013


As well as Jack our pet dog the boys have also acquired another pet which is interesting if not cuddly. This is Licky (I know it's a daft name but it was out of my hands) our Bearded Dragon. He don't do much except eat and do bodily functions but he is very tame they put him on my computer desk yesterday frightened me to bleeding death.

              Aneurin and licky our bearded dragon.

This is a couple of pic's of licky in his cage or should I say enclosure. The oldest boy Thomas made it now who's a clever boy then.

That's a face that only a mother could love.

No bearded dragons were harmed in the making of this post even though it shat on my desk!

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Had this short video sent me from my mad friends in work I think it's hilarious, there's one swear word in the video beginning with B so if swearing offends you please don't open it.
tweet tweet

Now didn't that make you laugh?


Had a short stroll outside the house so I could take some pics to show my bosses in work that our track leading down to our house is impassable and until Iv'e had my second hip operation walking to work is an impossibility.
I noticed this impression in the snow of a bird taking off, I think it's a magpie by the spread of the primary feathers any idea's?

Could it have been a magpie?

Think my bosses in work will have any sympathy?

Looking down the track towards the house. Yes it's under there somewhere! (the track not the house)

My trusted steed suzuki vitara, don't think it's going to get me off this frozen mountain.

This is the track running up from our home.

The Garden's looking all-white

Them icicles are just above our back door, think we better use the front.

Wish I had a bulldozer.

Lets hope the thaw sets in this weekend.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013


We had another substantial snow fall last night so Iv'e booked the rest of the week off. The snow on the track has drifted to 4 ft. in some places so there's no way I'm getting out so here I am with another blog.

I had another first at the feeders today this Mistle Thrush popped in for a quick feed although it didn't stay long. Iv'e seen them around about the place either singing in a distant tree or in small parties in trees and bushes sometimes calling loudly as they go about their business.

Although it's great to have something new to photograph we have to think of the reasons why they coming in to my feeders. Well obviously with so much snow on the ground and in the trees there's a massive lack of food and with the below freezing temperature's we having at the moment the birds need to eat a hell of a lot so they can build up their fat reserves and so hopefully make it through these freezing winter nights. With the wet spring and summer which meant the birds had  pretty bad breeding success and now this prolonged snow fall and freezing conditions I should imagine a lot of bird numbers will be down quite considerably by the start of this years breeding season.

This Robin so desperate to feed its trying to peck at the fat ball hanging at the feeding station.

This blackbird looks like it's swallowed a cricket ball and is well fat. Infact it's plumping out it's feather's to keep warm and to try and preserve it's fat content for when it goes to roost later.

Lets hope we get a thaw soon so I can get back to work and the birds can find plenty of food to see them through the rest of this winter.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013


We finally got out yesterday my trusted steed AKA my Vitara got us through the snow and down to civilisation. We bought some essential supplies salted some of the snowy pathway and thought great we can get back to normal. Got my sandwiches made, working clothes ready, then went to bed nice and early for my 5 O'clock alarm call (I supposed to be days this week). Alarm sounded up I got looked through the window and there it was another 2 foot of the white stuff, effing snow if your not keeping up. So we're trapped again my trusted steed couldn't make it this time through the 3 foot drifts that had reformed at the steepest part of our track so that's why I'm sat here once again blogging. Didn't have my camera this morning so no pic's of the snow and I wasn't going back up there to do so. I ask again can anyone lend us a bulldozer!?

 Well there was I complaining about no new species are coming to my feeders when this turned up:-

What do you mean is that it! It's a beauty and the first one Iv'e had at the feeders, this Starling was all alone so no murmerations were seen but I was so glad to see it.

It did have a good feed and stayed at the feeders all afternoon.

The white spots on the Starlings winter plumage is just the tips of the feathers that are white. In spring and summer they moult into their glossy black plumage and bright yellow beaks.

You all may think I'm mental but I'm well pleased. Here's a Blackbird for comparison:-

Well I was photographing this Robin and suddenly the wind blew and I thought I had another rarity (honest)

The crested Robin {Erithacus rubecula cristatus?}

Monday, 21 January 2013


Edited some more of my snowy bird photo's, well I'm stuck up here at the moment and it's stopped me from going stir crazy. So rather then just file them away to look at when I'm bored thought I'd share them with you here (why should I be the only one to suffer) so here you are snowy bird pic's part deaux (I hope that's the correct French way to spell 2).

Here's another of my female Brambling she still here in amongst the Chaffinch's

A female chaffinch this time, as you can see they really don't look that much alike.

A male Reed Bunting, this one still in winter plumage.

female Blackbird

And a handsome male

A pretty and common bird to my feeders the Goldfinch

The Nuthatch

The Great Spotted Woodpecker comes to the feeders regulary both male and female birds have started coming in at the same time since the cold snap.

Another Jay, although a shy species I get loads of Jays down to the feeders I've got more Jay pic's than you can shake a stick at but I love em!

No I haven't kept the best til last this is another one of those rubbish Buzzard pic's.

Sunday, 20 January 2013


Took some snowy, icy bird pic's over the weekend more of the same bird species came to the feeders so I think I need to go looking for some different birds which I won't be able to do until after my hip operation which seems now won't be for a few weeks yet. Having said that, I do enjoy the one's that I do have and in bird photography you never know what will turn up. My mate Steve the nest finder Carter noticed massive flocks of Finch's and Thrush's on Tuesday afternoon 15th and looking on the local bird websites there has been large movement of birds lately they must have known the snow was on it's way. The lucky bleeders can fly away from the weather, can anyone lend us a bulldozer?!

A female Brambling that's been with the main finch flock for some time now.

Male Chaffinch

Here's a Nuthatch wonder it doesn't choke.

Havent seen one of these for a while a female Blackbird

Great spotted woodpecker.

Reed Bunting

This male Reed Bunting is almost in it's summer plumage.

You cant have snow without having a picture of a Robin.

This Jackdaw looks fed up with the snow.

Think this Jay does as well.

This Chaffinch has nicked a peanut whilst the woodpecker is feeding, he's taking a risk!

A Great spotted woodpecker sticking its feet and beak into the snow. Brrrr!

A Jay

This Buzzard landed on a lampost nearish to our house, the photo's aren't good (actually they're rubbish) these birds are in good numbers around our wooded valley's.

This Carrion Crow looks on.

You might have noticed that I havent put my signature on these photo's, there's that many great bird photographers out there that I can't see why anyone would want to use mine. Also I think they spoil the picture (suppose that's why people do it) and quite frankly I can't be arsed.