Saturday, 4 April 2009

Mixed Bag and a Puzzle

Just had to take this rather uninspiring photo of the Sun first thing this morning as it was the first I had seen of it for over two days.


Once the Sun had burned off the low cloud which had blocked it out since Wednesday then things began to look a lot brighter like the patterns on the head of this Great Pond Snail.

Great Pond Snail

Even last years left over seed heads on the Buddleia made an interesting composition.
Buddleia Seeds

The Magnolia bud I had photographed a few days ago is now fully open.

Magnolia Blossom

On our afternoon perambulations I spotted a Crow flying around with what looked like a beak full of sheeps wool. Finally it settled near another Crow. I assume this was intended as nesting material but there was no sign of a nest anywhere nearby and eventually they took off and disappeared into the distance.

Crow with Wool

For a while now I have been trying to get a half decent photo of these ducks. Haven't the foggiest what breed they are. They are bred locally and live on a large pond on the edge of the property. Their dark colouring has been difficult to capture. At first I thought they were all black but sunlight shows subtle blue and purple with some dark green on the side of the head.


In another part of the village is this magnificent 'tree house'. Well not really a tree house but it would make a lovely hide to spot the birds visiting the field which backs right up to it.

Hide-Out in the Trees

On a limb of one of the Ash Trees we pass I saw what to the naked eye looks just like a black lump stuck on the side of the branch. I couldn't see any detail until I tweaked the photo a bit. I assume it is a fungus of some sort but have no knowledge in that direction at all.

Fungus on Ash Tree

Now the puzzle:
As usual Squirrel Nutkins was grabbing as much as s/he could from the peanut feeder. When it spotted me it leapt on the fence top and started to race down the garden as usual. This time it stopped half way, came back, went down on the ground and then in a flower container. There it picked up one of the pebbles and made off with it. Now why would it take a pebble?
a) to smash open acorns
b) to sharpen its teeth
c) to throw at Bobby when he gets too close
or some other sensible reason?

I tried Google and Yahoo searches and the only mention I could find of Squirrels taking pebbles was on SQUIRRELWEB.

Squirrel Taking a Pebble Squirrel with Pebble

New one for me: 6.30 pm and on the lawn was a male Yellowhammer - such brilliant colours. Never seen one in the flesh before but it was unmistakable. As usual the camera had been put away and the bird didn't stay for long. Here's hoping it will visit again.


  1. What a wonderful selection of pictures. You must be feeling really deprived of sunlight John!

    That fungus is interesting and I've no idea what it is!

    And as for the squirrel taking stones? Could it have mistaken it for a bulb which they seem to love! Unlikely really - they must know the difference by now. How intriguing.

  2. No help with any of your questions I'm afraid John, beautiful photos again though. How lovely to see a Yellowhammer in the garden, hope it comes back and you manage a pic. We used to see them a lot in the trees adjoining what used to be a railway line near us, must go and have another look.

  3. Tricia: I must get a SAD lamp as I really do get grumpy when I can't see sunlight.

    T. & SS: Thanks both for your comments. I've tried to research Squirrels and pebbles but apart from finding out it is not so unusual, no reasons are forthcoming.

  4. Oh I know what you mean about sun deprivation John - it's really not nice and the mood can really change!!


Thank you for visiting. Hope you enjoyed the pictures. Any comment, or correction to any information or identification I get wrong, is most welcome. John

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