Today’s guest picture is a beautiful shot of the little lake in Regents Park. My sister Mary took it on her way to play tennis at the weekend and remarked that it looked very spring-like in spite of being partially frozen.
We had another dry, chilly day here without much sun to cheer us up so it felt cold. There were even one or two desultory snowflakes but they came to nothing.
The dam bridge repair man was back and busy and by lunchtime, the bridge looked like this…
…ready for the final finishing touches in the next day or two, weather permitting.
The forecast is very dramatic, talking of low temperatures and deep snow but at present our part of the country looks as though it might get off lightly. We live in hope.
After breakfast, I cracked open my piggy bank (into which I put small denomination coins which otherwise would put an intolerable strain on my trouser pockets) and was able to take a couple of pounds worth of coppers round to our local shop who still need them for change.
I had a moment to look out of the window after that.
A goldfinch appeared but it was the only one that I saw today…
….and a greenfinch flew in.
Then it was time to welcome Dropscone for coffee. He has returned safely from his holiday in the very south of Ireland where he and two of his children had had a good time going about and seeing the sights.
Not only was he welcome back in his own right but the fact that he brought scones with him was the metaphorical icing on the cake. I had butter and blackcurrant jelly on mine.
While we were sipping and chatting, we had another visitor.
The fact that the sparrowhawk stopped for a picture meant that it had successfully nipped one of our other visitors off the feeder. I have cropped the picture because it is too sad to view the reality however much it is just part of the natural cycle.
Later on, after coffee, I saw a most unusual burst of colour in the plum tree. A closer look showed me that it was a male bullfinch. It stayed on the plum tree for long enough for me to get the big lens and take its picture.
You might well think that such a magnificent little bird would be welcome but what it is doing in the plum tree is pecking off the shoots and eating them.
Left alone a bullfinch and its pals will strip a tree so rather ungratefully after taking its picture, I went out and shooed it away. I like bullfinches but I like plums more. This particular bird, having taken off a shoot, had the cheek to drop it as you can see in third picture in the panel above.
I spent some time after all this avian excitement in not quite getting a flying chaffinch picture right.
I took a stroll round the garden and was impressed by the hardiness of our small bunch of early daffodils. We will need a few more before they can be considered a ‘host of golden daffodils’ but they are trying.
The crocuses were keeping themselves to themselves, huddled against the cold but I liked the picture that this small bunch on the drying green made.
After lunch, I went out for a short ten mile bike ride on my slow bike. My plan was to go as slowly as was reasonable to avoid increasing the wind chill factor too much.
Although it was very chilly, the roads were dry and there was no danger of frost. At one point on my way up the road, I heard a clink, as though something had fallen off my bike but a quick check told me that my bike was still all there. It was only when I went to look in my mirror before turning at Callister that I realised that it was the mirror that had fallen off.
I put my failure to notice this down to the extreme cold which had obviously numbed my brain.
I turned and pedalled back looking anxiously for any trace of the mirror but I fear that a passing car must have run over it and spun it off into the verge because there was no sign of it at all.
I made a tomato, potato and feta bake for my tea to cheer myself up
And to make things even better, I had a musical evening as first my flute pupil Luke came and then, after tea, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel. The trios were great fun and I hardly noticed the cold as I walked home.
I did catch one flying chaffinch without a feeder in front of it and it is the flying bird of the day.
37 thoughts on “Mirror, mirror on the road”
I hope we don’t have birds that act like the bullfinch. I don’t blame you for driving it off.
The sparrowhawk is a nice looking bird, and it has to eat.
I like the shot of the crocuses. It’s the perfect angle for when they aren’t open, but not easy to get.
My, goodness! Lots of bird excitement. And a bike ride, too. The flowers are lovely. Hope the storm doesn’t hit you too hard. Be safe! It never hurts to stock up on basic supplies. As a Mainer, I have had plenty of experience with cold, snowy weather.
With only 200 yards to my local shop, I rely on him to keep the stocks up.
What a great situation you have! Beautiful nature all around yet close to shops.
I wonder if you’re having comment problems? I’ve had two disappear in the past two days. We’ll see what this one does.
The Sparrowhawk and Bullfinch look beautiful! 🙂
I agree. I was lucky to have them both on the same day.
What a beautiful sparrowhawk, perhaps you could persuade him to perch in your plum tree 🙂
It has been known. https://tootlepedal.files.wordpress.com/2016/04/dsc1595.jpg
I would love to know your camera settings for those great shots of flying birds.
I use a DSLR on permanent aperture setting for the birds to avoid being caught out by sudden changes of light. Because our light is usually poor in winter months I keep the ISO high (anything from 1000-4000) and try to keep the shutter speeds as near a 1/1000th as I can get them. I also use a zoom lens. This all explains why the pictures are not great quality. I am also shooting through my double glazed kitchen window whihc doesn’t help.
Thank you so much. I really appreciate your help
Fantastic bullfinch photo!
I was pleased that it stayed while I got the big lens out.
Great picture of the bullfinch – sorry it was being so destructive.
How lovely to see the bullfinch.
I agree….as long as it doesn’t come too often.
What beautiful things you see in your garden, a delight to the eyes.
The bullfinch is very pretty but the crocus photo is my favorite today. Hope you managed to dodge the snow we’ve been hearing so much about.
We had some but not a bucketful.
The bullfinch and sparrow hawk were both wonderful images, too bad that both of them are destructive in their own way.
I hope that the weather there doesn’t turn out to be as bad as the forecast says it will be, it would be a shame if the flowers that are just getting ready to open were killed by a severe cold snap.
It is getting cold but not destructively so yet. However, there is more to come.
The photos of the sparrowhawk and bullfinch are beautiful and a reminder that nature is seldom gentle. First you leave your hat and now your bike mirror. At least your trail will be easy to follow if you get lost.
The birds here are building little igloos.
The crocuses are beautiful, standing tall at attention. Awesome, unique shot! And I do think the male Bullfinch is magnificent; but I’m with you, I’d shoo them off to try to save your plums. Here’s to a big hope that one day soon you’ll spot/find your bike mirror, even if it’s not in too great a shape any more. At least you’ll have found it. 🙂
The way the weather is shaping up, it may be some time before I am out on my bike again.
Both the bullfinch and the sparrowhawk are handsome birds, despite their bad behaviour in your garden. The flowers are lovely – it must be remarkable being able to walk around your garden and see different surprises (compliments of Mrs. T’s talents) each day. Too bad about the mirror – though it did remind me to get down to our local shop and see if this year’s mirrors are in stock; your mentions of a mirror have convinced me to try one on my own humble steed.
I will have to get another. I feel bereft without one.
The Regent’s Park photo is lovely with the willow at the back looking to be greening up already for the spring. The bird and flower photos are also bright and cheerful. Even though the sparrow hawk is not a welcome garden visitor he does look handsome and rather arrogant!
The sparrow hawk is a handsome bird and has to live like all of us so I welcome an occasional sighting. If it came too often, I would take the feeders down.
We’ve seen osprey here and several different types of hawk, but haven’t had the dubious fortune of watching them with their prey (yet). However we did come home to a pile of feathers one day. Life goes on (or not) in wild nature. As it must.
Wonderful bird photos again today!
Thank you Clare.
Bullfinches and Sparrowhawks are both mixed blessings. 🙂