Blossom and pigeons

DSC_1836My picture of pink blossom today, photo bombed by pigeons! I might turn the top half of the photo into a painting, the pigeons just add some movement to it. This year the blossom has been amazing. My cherry blossom is starting to fade and blow off the tree. I don’t know if that’s due to cold nights or drought as the weather has been very dry. There are thunder storms due later in the week. I guess that will remove the blossom.

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Dawn chorus

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I came downstairs about an hour ago and the sweet, loud, melodious song of birds was filling the air. At this time of year in the spring it seems louder and more beautiful than ever. Fizzing through the air like ripe electricity. A great pleasure to listen to.

Then cutting through it the insistent alarm call, not of a blackbird, but a ruddy car alarm! The bird song quietened for about five minutes, a car engine started up in the street, and traffic noise commenced. But soaring high above it the melodies of a Blackbird and its mate have resumed. Liquid notes rising and falling in complicated trills… And that ruddy car alarm again!

Ducks

DSC_1835it’s not often that you walk down the road in your local town and see a duck and a drake walking down the road in front of us. Crossing by a taxi rank. There is a river called the Trent that runs through the town, but it is in a culvert until it comes out near our local football ground.

When people say hello to each other in Stoke they say “hello duck” where in other places it might be “hello chick, or hello dearie”.

So we hope the ducks found the river or flew off to a park. I didn’t know who to contact and neither of them were injured. Just taking a walk….

Tea cards

Walking round a charity shop I came across this bundle of tea cards. As you can see the back of one says its a collection of pictures of British butterflies. And yet the top card is a bird?

When I looked at the cards there were a few birds mixed in with the butterflies and there are also duplicates in the pack.

Tea cards, and cigarette cards too, used to be included in the packaging of the product to help sales. I used to collect them myself when I was a child. But you had to rely on getting the right card in the box to make a set so I didn’t ever get a full set.

I guess it’s similar to pokemon cards in the 1980s or 1990s.

Anyway I like these. They are bright and cheerful. I just wish I had the album to stick them in.

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Ducks

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Well a duck and drake actually. Bog standard Mallard ducks, but I do think they look smart. The male (drake) has the green head and ring round his neck. The female duck has neat brown feathers bounded by white edges. These were photographed on a cold day about a month ago.

It’s soon going to be time for little ducklings to emerge from their eggs. In a few weeks time I might be taking pictures  Of some of them.

Meanwhile I hope you enjoy this image of nature.

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Looking out

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When a cat wants to look out of the window they don’t care what’s in the way. A few days ago I found one of my cats with their back half on the box of bird food and their front paws on the window ledge. The bird activity at the moment is quite busy because of the warm weather we have been having. It was 18 degrees Celsius yesterday in this area and has been 19 degrees in the Midlands today. The highest temperature in the country today was 20 degrees the hottest since records began for a February day. The normal temperature is about 5 to 8 degrees at this time of year. Last year when the beast from the east was here we were getting lows of minus 5 degrees.

Part of the reason for all this is the fact that Britain is in a temperate area. We have winds that arrive from all directions, and depending on the direction we get lots of varied weather. At the moment we have had a high pressure area situated over us so we are in a quite stable situation. There is a big dip in the jet stream so warm air is being pulled up from the south. We are actually in warmer air than in Greece at the moment. The pressure is due to reduce and we are expecting cooler air and some rain later in the week.

Anyway I was talking about birds but got distracted.  My husband bought a woven birds nest yesterday that wrens can nest in. We are expecting blue tits to nest in the garden this year and we also get blackbirds that nest in the hedge and the ivy on the house. The only problem is this warmth is bringing insects out but their food plants are not flowering yet. We need it to be cooler for at least another month .

The cats enjoy watching the birds, chattering at pigeons and sparrows. I’m glad we don’t let them out in the garden. But we have many cats that visit so we try and keep the vegitation cut enough but leave some cover for birds to hide in.

Anyway I’m feeling pretty bad at the moment with tonsillitis so I think I will just leave this ramble here.

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Sunday walk

After all the fun of the panto we went for a Sunday afternoon walk round  westport lake.

As the temperature had soared to over 16 degrees it was very busy and we only just managed to find a parking space. After a lunch in the visitor centre we got some duck food and walked about two miles round the lake. There are catkins on the trees and baby iris plants starting to come up along the edge of the lake  The site is now run by the Staffordshire wildlife Trust who have done a lot of groundwork to make the place much more pleasant for people and animals alike.

Well worth a visit.