"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."

From "Auguries of Innocence"

by William Blake

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Snowdrops at Baddesley Clinton

I gave David a lift to Baddesley Clinton last Sunday and, as the House and Gardens weren't yet open when we arrived, I decided to walk towards Hay Wood. It was freezing cold and starting to snow!

No sign of any lambs yet amongst sheep in a nearby field

Fungi (as yet unidentified) growing on a tree stump

The Church of St Michael

Snowdrops covered the churchyard

Finally, arrived at Hay Wood - looks an interesting wood to walk round although I didn't have time today as it was time to return and meet David from his meeting.

After looking round the second hand bookshop (somehow resisted temptation of making several purchases) we went into the newly refurbished restaurant for coffee and cake.
Lovely to see pussy willow and daffodils on the tables.

The Lemon Cake was delicious

I also paid a brief visit to Millennium Wood recently in the hope of spotting Bullfinches or Redpolls. None around just the usual species - Blackbird, Wood Pigeon and Magpie but this friendly horse in a nearby paddock came to say "hello" !

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Snowdrops and Aconites at The Gardens

"Fair Maids of February"

I made a brief visit to Castle Bromwich Hall Gardens last Thursday to see snowdrops, hellebores and winter aconites.


There are beautiful displays of snowdrops particularly in the Lower Wilderness

Clumps of snowdrops interspersed with cyclamen, aconites and lungwort


"Thou first-born of the year's delight
Pride of the dewy glade,
In vernal green and virgin white
They vestal robes array'd"


Winter Aconites

Aconites and Snowflakes

Daffodils are almost in flower in the Secret Garden


It was freezing cold with a biting wind but a lovely walk that managed to blow "the cobwebs away" !

Monday, 18 February 2013

Brandon Marsh NR

It was a lovely, mild, sunny day here today with a definite feeling of Spring in the air so this afternoon I spent a couple of hours walking round Brandon Marsh NR.

After walking through Hope Wood I wandered through Horsetail Glade. A few years ago at this time of year I saw a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker here and I live in hope of finding another one but not today!

With branches bear of leaves its always easy to spot last year's birds' nests.

A real highlight of my trip was this tame robin singing its heart out as I walked along the path between Goose and Central Marsh Pools. Sorry slight overload of robin photos!

For some reasonI just love this photo even though its out of focus.

Distant shot of Mute Swan and Shoveler.

I came across a flock of Lesser Redpolls - only a record shot but believe it or not better than any I have taken before of this species.

Coot on Goose Pool - there was a pair of mallard on this pool who, following a bout of head bobbing, mated.

Blue Tit

Great Crested Grebe on East Marsh Pool - I spotted a pair together but no sign of any courtship behaviour.

Black-headed Gulls on East Marsh Pool

Path alongside Grebe Pool

As this was my first "proper" birding trip of the year I managed to add 11 species to the 2013 year list - Reed Bunting, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Redpoll, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, Teal, Wigeon, Shelduck and Lapwing.

On a separate note I seem to be stuck with Blogger's new system of uploading photos. To be fair it is a lot quicker although I haven't a clue how you now change size or position of photos if you want to. Separating the photos manually is a pain compared to the previous system when Blogger did this for you!