March 28, 2017

March and Hares

No excuses anymore its time to get out there and watch the spring close up.  My spring resolution is 2 walks a week to lose Christmas and operation weight gain.  No coffees unless I get off the bus if at least one if not 2 bus stops early......and no cake until Easter.

The first walk today was a wonderful one of discovery.  Visiting a tiny  local wood looked after by the National Trust I came across a brand new rookery in the making. The chatter amongst the rooks about was tremendous, mixed in with  exuberant Blue Tit,  Wren,  Greenfinch and Robin song.

The walk also produced some interesting pieces of windfall wood which is being collected for a new long-term art project I have been researching.  More details are this are available on my other artists blog

There has been much diy noise coming from the ancient Bluetit box under the window and repeated repelling of a pair of Robins who have designs on the des-res. Pairs of Dunnocks, Greenfinch and Wood pigeon have also rented accommadation in the garden.  

From the top of the bus Magpies can be seen sitting on their eggs already. Hopefully nothing freexingly unpleasant turns up in the coming  weather.

It was a voyage of discovery taking a walk through an ancient woodland on wirral this week. (I did not know there was any ancient woodland in Wirral ) Carpets of white Wood Anemone and Yellow Celendine were blossoming all over with carpets of wild garlic and bluebells hovering ready to burst come  April.

Wood Anemone

Lesser Celandine


AND the birdsong is so  breathe taking after such a long winter silence.  Song duels are resounding  in the undergrowth and tree tops.  Ground nesting birds such as the Skylark and Grasshopper Warbler are calling to potential mates from their hidden nests, whilst Magpies are already sitting on their eggs in the tree tops.

AND saw the first Comma butterfly of spring.

 Sadly no hares spotted this year....

March 3, 2017


February grey is still the same shade as January ........grey, dull, dull,  dull.

but the all important difference being it is highlighted with openings of blue sky and sunrays in between the dank grey rain and damp haars from the estuary.

What a wonderful wild time of the year if like me you enjoy stormy winds and listening to them which I do with a  relish but I  must say 100 miles an hour gusts are pretty scarey even for me.  I have never personally seen trees up rooted until now and it is a very sad sight.  But despite all this ravaging most of the nests I know are still intact in the tops of the trees.  So unless the tree falls they stick  like  super glue.

It is with great relief after such weather to see  the regulars return to the garden as usual.  I suspect our pair of Blue tits took shelter in the bird box they have been diy-ing over the past few weeks.

Early wildflowers such as the delicate primrose and cowslip are showing themselves amongst the daffodils and snowdrops.  Amongst the multi coloured crocus, yellow is the predominent colour for February.


One night last week, just at the very moment of opening the bathroom window the ethereal resonance of honking geese passing  overhead could  be heard echoing for ever  around the neighbourhood.  What a gift at the end of a grey day.

But spring has definitely  sprung on 1st March for the birds.  The males are splendid in their vibrant colours  and are courting madly with existing partners or new ones.  Even if they partner for life it is still essential for courtship.

Every evening there is the joy of watching the last pair of birds of the day, the robins quartering the ivy together before the gloom finally closes into night and the songs of the blackbird and thrush send them to roost.

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul.." Emily Dickinson

January 31, 2017


Whilst the rest of the country was having snow, gales high tides,floods the Wirral had slightly  windy and almost balmy days.  The premise being if the weather is awful here the rest of the UK is in dire straits.  Checking the blog from last January we have definitely got off lightly this year.  I am even treating the sprouting roses for blackspot already.

With not getting out so much this month and not being able to wield a heavy camera because of an operation, there are few photos this month.  But in compensation the birdsong has been  invigorating so early in the season.  Stereo Robins sing to each other from the front and back of the house.  Ensconced in my favourite if not tatty coffee shop I am watching a family of Jackdaws enjoying a much belated present of peanuts and bird seed.   It is  so nice to be back to normal things and dare I say it routine.  Without routine nothing seems to get done.

Observed 8 pheasants today that had managed to escape the gun.  It seems a family of consisting of several generations is building up around this particular safe field, which I regularly pass on a double-decker bus.  I do not know much about this species so it is on the list for further study.

I have seen my first cow parsley which may be a left over from last year rather than an early flowering for this year but either way is still amazing.

According to The Dee Estuary Bird Sighting blog a large group of Waxwings are moving up and down the coast at the moment.  This is very unusual as they are rarely seen on the west coast except in Scotland.   I have only ever seen them once in the gloom on a very cold grey day several years ago, so it would be lovely to see them again before they leave for Northern Europe again.

Photo by Gill Jakeman

After being lucky enough having badger spotting training I have now enrolled on a mammal id course on-line with Acorn Ecology, as a result there may be  a fair few blogs about latrine  id which is one of the best ways to identify who or what has passed by  on  a particular landscape.  Watch this spot for unique poo photos.

Thousands of seagulls have moved inland onto the fields in Landican this morning so it looks like we are heading for wild weather this weekend.