Winter saunter

As the weeks pass I am more aware of how our blog hasn’t been updated and now we are in the middle of January I had to add a blog today. There has been several reasons for our hiatus, the weather and my health have played a big part in our walks and photography. I still have health issues which I am coping with but as we had a slightly better day yesterday weather wise we decided to go out for a saunter and came home delighted that nature was waiting for us in the most unexpected situations.

Our saunter was mainly to be outdoors, away from routine and enjoying chatting to each other. I have to admit I had to be encouraged to start shooting with my DSLR and I am limited to one lens as I cannot carry my usual rucksack due to a lot of pain and extremely cold hands are an ongoing issue for me especially this year. I always have my iPhone so I don’t miss a shot and it has proved valuable over recent weeks. As always dad comes along and keeps my spirits up when the going gets tough!

I was in good spotting form yesterday and couldn’t believe it when I found an area with a wealth f Turkey tail fungi growing profusely on moss covered, dead branches. There were several colours at different stages of growth. The extremely wet weather must have provided conditions suitable for this fungi to regenerate adding colour and texture to dead wood. A little further along my eyes opened wide as we found the most incredible patch of Jelly ears fungi. We had found this is smaller sizes in autumn but neither of us had seen it so big and yes the resemblance to jelly ears was obvious! I didn’t take my hands out of my mittens to touch it but dad did and found it to be soft and off course like jelly. The colour popped through dead wood and provided us with a focus point for our cameras. At this stage I couldn’t resist taking out my DSLR to shoot.

Further along we heard the birds and saw fleeting glimpses as they moved about the bare trees. I noted one very tiny bird and immediately saw the gold crest on his head although he was moving about so fast neither of us could keep him in focus for a photo. we have a few rapid movement photos or should I say out of focus shots and more to the point he wasn’t in any of them! He is smaller than the wren and is actually the smallest bird in Europe. We have had one or two visit our garden over the years but yesterday this was our first sighting and such a joy it was.

A little along the path I heard a high pitched sound and we saw a few rapidly moving birds. We thought it was the Goldcrest but after studying more and despite not actually recalling what a Treecreeper looked like the first name that came into my head was a Treecreeper. This is one bird who’s name describes precisely what he looks like. 

His song is higher pitched than the Goldcrest and sounds like “tee-tee-tee-titdooee’ the Goldcrest’s song sounds like this "tweedly tweedly tweedly twiddleedidee" We heard both but I think we will need to repeat the process over and over until we can recognise the song of both birds without seeing them as they are moving so fast it takes patience to wait until they come into view. Dad managed to capture the treecreeper with his camera providing evidence we can post on our blog today.

A short saunter it was but it regenerated our enthusiasm and I think those birds are keeping us in training for the days when the butterflies will return and once again we will chase them in the wild flower meadows hoping they will settle long enough for us to click our cameras.

At the end of our walk we relaxed over a cup of coffee in this beautiful house who always give us a welcome, even with slightly muddy boots….Malone House a tranquil end to our day.

Thank you for reading our blog once again, Beverley

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