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Diary 2013 March

 

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1 March

     
Nest in tree  Small nest in tree
These are last year's nests in some nearby trees. It was on quite a busy road but at the time they would have been hidden by all the leaves. The second one was very small and high up, and seems to be made of a lot of fluffy bits. I can't work out what bird made it, though.

3 March

Yellow Teddy washing beanbag dinosaur  Yellow Teddy drying beanbag dinosaur
At the boot fair I found this beanbag dinosaur trodden in the muddy gravel. I wrapped him in a tissue, and once home he enjoyed having a soapy bath and drying off with a soft towel.

Brown Teddy with beanbag dinosaur on hot water bottle
Brown Teddy had the good idea of letting him dry off on top of a hot water bottle, sitting on the fleecy material to spread the heat. He was dry by bedtime and he stayed with us on our big beanbag.

4 March

River and boggy pond
This is one of my favourite parts of the river. The main river is going from right to left, but this arm of rocks diverts some of the flow into a boggy pond. I think the force of the flow stops the boggy bit from getting stagnant and keeps all the water fresher.

Dandelion flower  Yellow lichen
This dandelion is the first wild flower of spring and reminds of the lichen on the walls nearby. It is definitely not a weed, unless it is in my lawn of course!

Goose sleeping 1  Goose sleeping 2  Goose sleeping 3
Today is the first really warm day of the year, and there was a lot of sleeping going on in the park. The geese enjoy settling down on the warm asphalt.

Geese eating the grass
Inbetween rests, they continue with their job of trimming the grass. I have never seen any of this grass being cut by the gardeners, as the geese keep it very short.

5 March

Yellow wagtail  First daisies
I was very pleased to get this photo of a Yellow Wagtail by the riverside. He was on the other side by the waterfall, but the camera zoom is very good. We stayed very still and got a lot of good shots. These are the first daisies of spring that we have seen.

Weed under flowing smooth water  Yellow Teddy with the regrowing nettles
My favourite parts of the river are where the water is flowing over the smooth weed, looking like long green hair. The brambles and nettles along the riverside walks are all cut to the ground, and they are just starting to grow again in the warm sunshine. These are the nettles. I won't be getting as close as this when they grow bigger.

6 March

Yellow Teddy with daffodil pots  Yellow Teddy with wallflower
All my pots of bulbs are coming out. I keep wire netting over them to stop the squirrels digging them out. I have to remember to go out and admire them, even when it is cold, because they do not last a very long time. At the moment I prefer to get photos and admire them in the warmth indoors. The first wallflower is out, but there is no scent yet until they open a bit more when it is warmer.

8 March

Frogs and spawn
The frogs are back again. They definitely need their photos taken straight away, as they can all disappear very quickly. These ones only stayed a few days, as the weather began to get colder. You have to creep up slowly towards them with the camera, otherwise they will disappear under the water.

10 March

First blossom  Pyracantha bushes in pots
The almond blossoms are beginning to come out, but it was quite a cold day and they are all hanging back until it gets warmer. I hope they wait a bit so that I can go out and see them when it is not freezing cold! We bought some more pyracantha bushes at the boot sale, and our resident blackbird came to eat the berries as soon as we put the pots outside the kitchen door. Only birds can eat them, and people and teddies have to buy red apples and orange satsumas if we want to eat these bright colours!

11 March

Robin  Robin on plant pots
We have had a sudden change of weather, with high winds and cold grainy snow blowing about. We have a pair of blackbirds and a pair of robins who know where to get the bits of bread under the nearby bush, as well as a dunnock who comes quite close to get his share. There is also another blackbird who dives in to grab a bit and flies away at top speed before our resident one chases him off. I was surprised at this photo of the robin on the flower pots, as the camera caught him just about to fly upwards, with a really good view of his beautiful wing feathers.

Yellow Teddy watching snow from kitchen window  Icicles on shed
About midday the temperature rose slightly, and I made my shopping list, but then it all froze again so I decided to stay in and work on the computer. If I had gone out I would have felt like these icicles on my garden shed. Every time the wind gusted, the frozen snow particles were blowing off the roofs like swirling smoke. I am so glad that my robins will be safe and warm tonight in their mossy nest inside the shed.

12 March

Bird footprints in dusty snow  Blackcap
The main snow has gone but we still keep getting dustings overnight. I have to get up early to make sure my resident blackbird and robin get their crumbs. Later on all the frost melted and the sun came out. This blackcap was with some sparrows in the bushes. It is the first one I have ever seen. He looks like a sparrow the dark stripy markings washed off!

14 March

Yellow Teddy with ice pieces  Yellow Teddy with frosty plants
Another frosty morning and someone has tipped the ice off the garden chair. I don't think they were going to sit outside on it for their breakfast! I like the frosty leaves, but a quick photo is best, so I can get back in the warm.

Ice crystals on tulip leaf  Chaffinch
Some more icy crystals on tulip leaves. We knew this chaffinch was around because of his chirruppy song, and here he is pecking about on the lid of the pond filter box.

Bluetit with bread  Blluetit in birdbath  Bluetit eating pyracantha berries
We have been very surprised to see the bluetit taking bits of bread and he was very pleased to find some bits caught in the cotoneaster branches. The icy cold bath was not fun to watch! He has also been eating the berries from the orange pyracantha bushes that we bought last week, which he has been sharing with the blackbird, but I think the blackbird has had most of them.

Yellow Teddy with pyracantha bushes  Dino finding apples and satsumas in veg rack
The birds seem to prefer the orange berries, but it may be because those ones are lower down, as the lower red ones are gone as well. I have seen the blackbird reaching up from the path to get the nearest berries. Dino is doing the same with apples and satsumas from the veg racks.

15 March

Starlings in birdbath
Two starlings having a very cold bath early in the morning. I am sure they know of some warm chimney pots where they can preen and dry out.

18 March

Old tree with removal notice  Tree with ivy stems cut
This old tree has a notice on it saying that it is going to be taken down. There are already fallen bits nearby so I will be glad when it is all done and safe. This is my Before Photo and I am going back for an After Photo later on. This second tree obviously had too much ivy on it, which weighs down the branches and make them break, especially when it is windy. The Parks people have cut the ivy stems to stop it climbing up the tree any more.

Big puddle over path  River outlet
There is often a puddle across this path but this one was too big to be able to walk around, so we had to go through the mud. The river outlet is full of pondweed and bits of litter washed down from the main pond. It needs a clear out.

Mossy old tree leaning over the pond
This lovely old mossy tree is leaning over Priory pond. It is very interesting, but only the birds can walk on it as it is so slippery, with old branches that would break very easily.

20 March

Chocolate Easter eggs
I really like all these decorated Easter eggs. I wonder how long I would save them before breaking them up to eat? I would have to take a photo from every angle, and then eat the plain bits first!

Blackbird in blossom tree  Swan sleeping on pond
The blossom is trying to come out but it is still very cold with grey skies. This swan was sleeping on the pond along with his friends. The pond birds all take naps when there is no-one about to throw bread.

Edge of weir
This is the pond weir. As the flow is so high, the edge of the water has not broken into bubbly bits. You can see all the mossy algae plants waving about at the back of the flow, and it is just like looking at an under-sea TV programme, with the seaweed waving about.

22 March

Watch It Come Down demolishing
They are rebuilding the shopping centre. These machines are crunching everything up behind a tall fence. There is a lot of noise and I am looking forward to seeing the steel frame going up.

23 March

Yellow Teddy with snow through window  Car tyre marks in snow dust
Another cold day with snow flurries. A car turning from the driveway into the road has left some very interesting patterns in the snow dust.

Yellow Teddy with frozen daffodils  Frozen daffodil pot
My daffodils have had buds for ages, but it has been too cold for them to open. The ones in the pots are trying to flower, but they keep getting frosted, which makes them sag. I might have to pick a few so that I don't miss them altogether whilst we are stuck indoors.

Yellow Teddy with snow bird prints  Blackbird in snow
The blackbird has passed by outside my kitchen door. Here he is in the bushes, where he knows crumbs keep appearing. He is very patient, and he prefers to eat under the branches where other birds can't see him. Then he has it all to himself, at least for a while.

25 March

Easter chicks  Chocolate Easter bunnies
I just love these chicks, I am going to get some before they disappear out of the shops. The chocolate bunnies are good too, but they will disappear too quickly in my house!

Easter baskets  Soggy notice
I like to make my own decorations, and these Easter baskets in the craft shop have given me some good ideas. This Easter Egg Hunt notice in the park was laminated against the rain but I think the water has got in through the holes they punched for the string that ties it on. There was another one in a glass-fronted noticeboard case, and so that one stayed dry. But I really like all the colours that have run. The park flowers will look just like this later in the year.

27 March

Easter chicks in basket  Chocolate Easter bunny and lamb
More Easter goodies in all the shop windows. We all like the chocolates but the toy chicks in their nests would last a lot longer.

Shopping centre before demolition  Shopping centre demolition
Here is before and after demolition at the shopping centre. I am sad to say that the tree will have to come out, but they are going to plant some others in a different place, with lots of seats for the shoppers.

29 March

Daffodils  Boating pond ripples
I have been waiting ages for these park daffodils to come out. This is the circular boating pond (model boats). I like to take photos of water patterns. If the pipe was a bit longer, the ripples would be a perfect circle.

Big puddle  Yellow Teddy at river outlet
We had to go a long way round this big flooded puddle and found out that there was a water leak nearby, although quite often the rain makes a puddle across our path. I was glad to see that the river water outlet has now been cleared of rubbish and pondweed.

Hollow tree stump
I like this stump in the park because it would make a good hiding place for Teddies my size, although it would be a bit draughty and messy underfoot.

30 March

Yellow Teddy with grainy snow  Grainy snow falling
Another chilly day, with some more grainy snow coming down. I am calling it frozen rain, as it is not big enough to be called hailstones. Time to get the picture books out and pull the beanbag closer to the radiator.

31 March

Boot fair  Boot fair frosty grass
It was a very bright sunny morning at the boot sale. There was a lot of frost on the grass but it soon disappeared.

Dino with Easter chocolate  Brown Teddy with Easter chocolate
In the afternoon, Dino opened our Easter chocolate and broke it into squares. Brown Teddy counted the pieces and divided them into four.

Blue Parrot with Easter chocolate  Yellow Teddy with Easter chicks
Blue Parrot shared some of his with the beanbag dinosaur. I offered some of my pieces to my Easter chicks but they were not sure what it was!

Closeup of Easter chicks
Here are my Easter chicks in closeup. I like their little wings pointing up as if they are flapping.

Chaffinch
My garden birds are a lot more interesting and seeing a chaffinch on my lawn is quite unusual, as they are normally very shy birds. The cold weather has made him a bit bolder and the supply of crumbs and suet pellets was just too tempting!

 

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