Monday, 13 June 2016

Spring Colours Around The Park

Back in late February my Husband and myself took over as Wardens of Roseberry Tourist Park, just outside Willingham in Cambridgeshire.  So we have been fortunate to witness the trees and bushes transform form there bear skeleton like forms to being covered in lush green leaves.  We have also had a brilliant display of spring colour from the various blooms around the site.  I have put together a small selection of photos to show you the wonderful colours.

The perfume coming from these Hyacinths is quite intense especially later in the day.

I have planted up a couple of pots of Panola's, Violas, Primroses and Geraniums which are looking particularly pretty.

These Viola are called Pink Halo.

These Panola are called Beaconsfield a new generation of winter flowering pansies.

The lovely yellow centred Primrose with pinky red petals trimmed with white.

Some beautiful delicate clumps of white flowers growing on this Viburnum are putting on a lovely show.

I am not sure what bush this is but the tiny pink flower are made up of loads of petals.

The majestic Daffodil on a gloomy day.

This shade of pinkish white of these Hyacinths reminds me of cottage gardens, the individual blooms almost look like they are made of plastic.

The centre of a Tulip.

This Tulip has quite pointed petals compared to the previous variety.

I have yet to find out what this bush is but he small purple flower are lovely.

More Tulips this time in pink.

A Hebe with lovely purplish/pink tips.

The Magnolia flower looking slightly brown after being rained on and battered with the wind as a bud.

The trees and hedging around the site are starting to open their buds.

The bright yellow of this Daffodil is certainly attracting lots of tiny beetles.

More of the Hyacinths and Daffodils.

The Red Hot Pokers are starting to show too.

The Caravan Site was once a Pear Orchard with over 1000 trees, today we have around 160 dotted around the site, which are now starting to come into blossom.

The driveway to the site is flanked by some large Eucalyptus Trees some of which have had large limbs removed over the years, the patterns left by the tree rings cracked by the weather are interesting as well as the fungi which has taken over the surface of some.

I had seen Eucalyptus from a distance but never up close so was surprised to see it has quite delicate cream coloured flowers in spring.

The other day my Husband washed the car and then was complaining that it was covered in a fine pink dust.  After much debate as to what could be causing it, the water, shampoo, cloth he was using etc.  I looked around and the Cedar tree that is quite close to where the car is parked was absolutely loaded with pink pollen and every time the wind rustled the branches it looked like the tree was on fire, mystery solved.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Swan, Gull and Duck Scrum

We visited St Ives in Cambridgeshire a few weeks ago and while we were standing on the bridge which spans the Great Ouse we were watching the various Swans, Gulls and Ducks that were there.

There were a few young Mute Swans, with their grey/brown plumage, grey bills and developing black knob on the top of their beaks.

There was one lone Coot, with it's white facial shield, bill and red eyes, pecking away at anything edible on the surface of the river.

There was a large flock of Black Headed Gulls riding the small current, some of them already showing signs of their breeding plumage, prior to the brown/black hood, they have a dark spot behind their eye, as seen in the pictures below.

Their beaks also become redder as their breeding plumage develops but they always have a black end to their beaks.

Their were several adult Mute Swans gracefully gliding along.

When I asked if anybody knew what type of Duck this was, I was amazed at the response of 'Magpie', but sure enough there is a breed of  Domestic Duck called Magpie, due to the colouration being like a Mapgie.  However I think this is more likely a Domestic Mallard, apparently Domestic Mallards were bred with White Ducks to make them more appealing.

There has to be one that wants to stand out 'or sit down' in a crowd.

Another one of the many juvenile swans.

A gathering of Swans, Gulls and Ducks.

They are all getting excited as a family have turned up with some bread for them.

Now this is a first for me seeing Gulls riding on the back of the Swans to get a better view of where the bread is coming from.

Feeding frenzy.

Monday, 25 January 2016

Female Gadwell

Looking similar to a female Mallard, the differences being, the female Gadwell is more streamlined and has a smaller, squarer head, with a dark beak with an orange edge.  It also doesn't have the blue hind wing of a Mallard.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Spotting Diary: Sunday 17th January 2016

Our walk this lunchtime took us along a public bridle way which winds its way through some of the agricultural land between Fordham and Soham in Cambridgeshire before returning back towards Fordham.  The weather was cold around 4 degrees C, cloudy but dry and with just a light breeze.

On one of the ploughed fields just off the main road were a lot of Fieldfare's.  Up until a couple of weeks ago we had never seen a Fieldfare 'in the flesh' before, we had been away from the UK for 10 years up until our return late in August, now we getting to see lots of them.  We met a local farmer along this same walk a couple of days ago and he told us that they had only arrived here in the last 10 days and are regular visitors to these fields.

I don't always take my camera on our walks, as sometimes it is nice just to walk without looking at every potential photo opportunity so have only managed to get a couple of shots of a Fieldfare, in very poor light, but they are my first photos to go with my first sightings.

Being part of the Thrush family the Fieldfare is about the same size and shape but has a couple of distinguishing colours, one being the blue/grey head and the other is white underparts and underwings.

Both male and females have the same colouration, the only colour variation is that the adult birds have slightly more white around the flanks in winter, with more dark chevrons appearing in summer.

Further along our walk we disturbed a Kestrel that had been perched on a bush.

Then darting across the road in front of us was a Brown Hare, by the time we had reached the part of the road where we had seen it, we could see it hammering across the open field.  This is one animal that I have yet to get a photo of, one day.

Walking along part of the Bridal Way lined with bushes we spotted several Blue Tits hopping around looking for insects and chattering away to each other.

We then spotted another Kestrel which we had disturbed from its vantage point on top of the one of the trees.

Several of the hedgerows are made up of Blackthorn which is already covered in blossom and has been for a couple of weeks now.  At the base of the hedgerows are some large patches of Periwinkle covered in their blue flowers.

We saw several male and female Blackbirds hopping around the hedges they look like they have already paired up for the coming year.

Walking back through the village we spotted several gardens with daffodils and narcissus in bloom as well as the light purple/pink flowers of the Elephants Ears.

There was one very large Wood Pigeon pecking away at something on the grass verge and as usual loads of Collard Doves sitting around watching the world go by.

There were also a lot of groups of Gulls flying high over head, maybe a sign of how unsettled it is on the coast at the moment.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Santa's Reindeer

Two of Santa's Reindeer getting in plenty of rest at Scotsdales's Garden Centre in Fordham, prior to their busy schedule.