I popped into Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens for an hour on Wednesday - it was bitingly cold and I rather wished I hadn't forgotten my gloves!
I saw several robins as I walked around - they seemed to be following me in that way they have and it was a shame I hadn't got some birdseed or breadcrumbs with me.
Birdfeeders situated in a clump of trees near the South Pond and Stumpery were attracting quite a few blue and great tits plus a coal tit - the first time I've seen this species here. A sparrowhawk flew through the gardens and there were loads of blackbirds on the plentiful holly berries (I seem to remember reading there is a shortage of holly berries in parts of the country but we seem to have loads here in the West Midlands/Warwickshire). I was pleased to see a flock of redwings - presumably feeding on berries too.
Lady Bridgeman Garden
Several gardeners were still busy working around the Gardens
Lots of mistletoe and holly stacked on tables
West Pond - looking through the West Claire-Vole towards the Hall
There were loads of these toadstools on the edge and within a small wooded area. To give an idea of scale they varied in size from a tea plate up to a dinner plate. I've had a look through my field guides and my best guess is a Brittle Gill or Funnel species - Giant Funnel??? One thing is certain I am unlikely to be trusting my id skills to serve up foraged toadstools/mushrooms for tea!
A few vegetables remain in the South Kitchen Garden
The Lower Wilderness
Castle Bromwich Hall Hotel
6 hours ago