Friday, 28 November 2014

Braslou: Circuit de Randonnée

We went out walking this afternoon, with friends, Paul and Mary. We have been trying to plan this for weeks now and luckily we'd picked a good day for walking. The sun came through later in the afternoon but for the most part it was overcast, reasonably warm for the time of year and with a light breeze blowing.

We chose the blue route on the Circuits de Randonnée setting out from Braslou.

The first photo looks back to the village..

And again from a little further up the track (NB.slight incline)

A familiar sight in France... the water tower...

And looking ahead up the track (NB. slight incline)

The beauty of this walk is that it combined open countryside with woodland, giving us the benefit of both..

En route we passed L'eau-Morte, which we noted had surprisingly little water in it...It was only in the last twelve months that it was refilled after being drained for a few years.

There were plenty of small deer tracks at the waters edge...

Then more woodland, before coming back into Braslou and a welcome cuppa at Paul and Mary's.

Looking forward to the next one, which we've decided will be the yellow route from Trogues, with a stretch along the banks of the Vienne.....

Thursday, 27 November 2014

The Goldfinch with aspirations....

Word soon got around that there are Niger Seeds in the bird feeder and now we have a small flock of Goldfinch in the garden.

Today we saw some different behaviour from one of them...

It landed on the post which supports the bird table and took advantage of a weak point in the bark...

and before we knew it the bark was shredded like paper...

Presumably it had found a food supply.

When it flew off the extent of the damage was revealed...

Strange, considering there is a ready supply of Niger Seeds for it to eat.....

Perhaps this one thinks it's a woodpecker!

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

White Fungi

This time of year we get many different types of fungi springing up in different areas of our lawns. This year, for the first time, a large area of our lawn has one we have never noticed in any quantity before.

After reading Susan s Blog this morning (Here) we thought it might be Ivory Funnel which is very toxic.

So it was out with the field guides... Our best guess from reading and comparing is that it is NOT Ivory Funnel but the similar and edible Snowy Waxcap (Hygrocybe virginea)

Needless to say we are no experts and therefore will not be sampling them despite having a good supply.

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Return of the Nuthatch...

We saw very little of the Nuthatch last winter and wondered if it would be around this year...

We didn't have long to wait! It has been feeding on the bird table for most of today...

Interestingly it doesn't seem to mind sharing with the Blue Tits BUT the Great Tits get chased off immediately...

It has yet to discover the peanut feeder; then the fun will start...

Monday, 24 November 2014

Owls Out; Robins In!

Having recently had an operation on my eye, I'm "not allowed" to do any stone carving for a few weeks... so my carved stone owls are a no-no, sadly.

However, where one door closes.... another opens and a load of robins come in...


I decided to use some of my paintings of robins, done in very different styles, and transfer them onto fabric to make some Christmas bits and bobs.

I've started with some fine cotton napkins...

I've thought of table runners, a tea cosy, and door-bottom draught excluder but if anyone has any good ideas to use these (and other) transfers onto fabric, for Christmas, please let me know, bearing in mind that once transferred to the fabric they are washable at 30C.

Likewise, if you are looking for a gift that's just a little different, give me a shout. I'm starting a 'blog' of craftwork at www.spangledust.co.uk and will be adding these napkins to that shortly.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Bird Feeders or Battle Zones??

Following on from yesterday's post, we spotted some rather anti-social behaviour at the bird feeders today. We've blogged about this before (see here) but you forget just how aggressive this little garden birds can be!

Two's company, three's a crowd.... You just know how this is going to end!

Unsuccessful the first time, it's back for a second attack...

But when this fails, it employs another tactic....feigning interest in the peanut feeder...

And just when they think the threat has passed, in comes bomber command...

Fortunately (or unfortunately) for all concerned, at this moment a raptor flew overhead and all thoughts of sibling rivalry evaporated. They and this little bluetit, watching from the sidelines, took flight for the safety of the trees...

Gentle garden birds they most certainly are not!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Bird Feeders

Despite there still being plenty of food around and about we have installed the first of our bird feeders!

This year, as we changed trees, the bird table has been modified to take the peanut feeder...

It does not take the birds long to know where the free food is!! Niger seeds going down well with the Goldfinches...

The Collared Dove, which appears to have had a successful youngster, there are three of them, cleaning up the bird table of the seeds the small birds don't eat.

And the peanut feeder always  popular with the Tits.

Finally, as always, hoping around the base picking up any crumbs... One of our two Robins...

We do hope they appreciate it.