Gold finch on the feeder.

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I tried to zoom in on this goldfinch but the colours are really bad. It’s got a bright red head and yellow flashes on its wings. I tried to enhance the colour and exposure but didn’t get very far. If I try and enhance the red the whole picture goes red. So I can only post these images.

There were also blue tits, house sparrows and blackbirds feeding this morning.

I misidentified it as a zebra finch. It is actually a goldfinch

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Owl

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About nine years ago I had a birthday treat, we went to Gentleshaw Animal sanctuary and I got to hold and fly owls. Its amazing how light they are, they are all fluffy feathers. I think this is a Great Grey owl.

The sanctuary had bad luck a few years ago when a fire severely damaged some of the pens. It was a sad time, but they rebuilt. The staff are some of the Kindest people I’ve ever met. They treat all the animals with great care. They rescue animals from poor circumstances and help rehabilitate them.

Wonderful afternoon out, wonderful people.

Westport lake visit

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Late visit to the lake for coffee and oatcakes. Then took half a bag of Swan, duck and goose food for a short stroll round the small lake. We were mobbed by  Canada geese who got a bit aggressive, and one bold Swan who stepped onto the bank in front of me. I threw a handful of food onto the ground and it pecked at it before the other birds got a chance. The pigeons were not as lucky as the food was in large pellets. I tried to break them up a bit but they were to hard to split. I probably should have thrown more in the water but when you are being mobbed it’s hard not to give in and throw it down quickly.

As we walked round the lake I noticed the path was muddy and it looked like it has washed over the pathway at some stage recently. In the field by the children’s playground a large pool of water stood waiting to drain away. Buds were starting to burst on the smaller scrubby trees, bright green against the black and grey twigs. I also spotted something like dandelion (coltsfoot?) yellow ragged flowers, just a cluster of three below a group of trees. Coots and moorhens were also on the lake together with mallard ducks. The sun that had been shining all day had gone behind the clouds and only peeked out as we walked back to the car. Low and bright, dazzling us as we drove away.

Another WIP

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After finishing my ‘green people’ I’m about to start work again on this kingfisher painting. I intend to try and leave the background quite blurred and try and get a lot of detail into the Kingfisher. They really are the most beautiful of birds, with iridescent plumage. It’s acrylic on canvas as usual. About 10 x 14 inches? Maybe slightly bigger than that. Might do some more to it today.

I think you can see these down on the river Trent, although I don’t know if there is too much fish there for them.

My cat watching TV

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My cat likes watching animals on TV. I was watching a nature programme with spy cameras, they were built to look like animals so that they could film various creatures. There was a spy owl that was flying over a pack of wolves and my cat started watching it. She continued to watch till the end of the programme….

She is the only one of about eight cats that we have had over the years that has shown any interest in TV.

She just stares, sometimes if there is a chase she quickly glances at the animal doing the chasing, but to be honest the pictures are edited together so fast that it must not be coherent to a cat who can’t follow the narration! Anyway she’s gone again now. People on TV!

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The great grumpy hound..

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‘See Dr Mostyn, these are supposed to be the footprints of the Great Grumpy Hound. It has Haunted these sands for many a year according to legend.’

Mostyn looked at Surlack Haymes in astonishment. ‘You don’t believe that do you Haymes?’ ‘Of course not, I’m no fool,’ replied his companion.

‘These, as you see are fresh marks, no age to them. I deduce a Staffordshire bull terrier has passed this way. The hind prints are slightly smaller than the front ones, indicating a dog with big shoulders and heavier towards its head and chest.’

Mostyn looked in admiration at Haymes.’ And the Grumpy hound? ‘ he asked. ‘Much bigger, said to be more Wolf hound than Bull terrier’.

They strolled along the sands, looking along the coast. Trying to see signs of their quarry. Suddenly a howl rent the air. ‘The game is on’, and ‘follow me’ shouted Haymes, dashing off into the sea mist. Moments later Mostyn found him, dead, his throat slashed open, deep incisor and canine teeth marks making a jagged hole in his neck.

‘I  told you we should have waited for Sherlock Holmes’ , Mostyn muttered under his breath.

 

Green view

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Cold, wet and windy, but still a bit green where the ivy is growing up trees in the garden. Really it needs cutting back. I don’t want it strangling them. There are bird feeders out there, but there seem to be less birds than normal. Perhaps they have enough food, we haven’t seen evidence of them being predated by cats thankfully. I want to get out there and cut back the buddliea bushes. They need pruning.

The pond is OK, it’s hidden below the cherry tree. It has only frozen a couple of times and only thinly this autumn / winter. We hope to have tadpoles in the spring.

Purring cats

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Purring puss

He loves his new basket

Curled up warm and snug!

But jealousy arrives with his sister

Who loves it too.

Squabbles ensue, much chasing,

up and down stairs,

behind the curtains…

Scooting backwards and forwards,

In and out the basket,

one after the other.

Till finally,

they both ignore it,

staying in seperate places.

Eyeing up the basket,

at an impasse….

Neither willing to trespass.

Wish I’d bought two.