No, No, November!

I am rather late with my end of the month blog as we have been without Wi fi for several days! In our family November begins with a very special occasion, Daniel was five on the first of the month!

img_1380-daniel

November has been a lovely month; still full of beautiful colours.

It has however been a very quiet month as far as our numbers have been and it is sad to say we have only added two birds and one mammal!  Don’t think we haven’t had a good time though, we have. Our impromptu trip to Wensleydale was a real treat which included a trip to the Thorp Perrow Arboretum where the pictures above were taken.

The weather has been mixed but I think it has given us more sunshine than showers and of course now and then they come together to provide us with a lovely rainbow.

img_1543-garden-8-am

Back home and there were lots of reports coming about Waxwings arriving, we eventually caught up with some in Holt. Beautiful birds and I would have been very disappointed not to get them this year.

We took a day out from wild creatures to visit some captive ones. A smashing day out with Peter, Lynn and the children, seeing the young Red panda was a highlight!

It was at the zoo that we got a new mammal, keen eyed Lynn spotted it first, a field vole and it was certainly not captive!

We added Bean goose at Titchwell having been out many times for them earlier in the year. Another day I went out with Peter and our cameras and were rewarded with some Bramblings and a last minute treecreeper.

So we have arrived at our last month and I confess we have begun December by being rather lacks as we have been in Norwich for a few days without the pager!!! Still let’s wait and see how we do over the next few weeks. I am going to save lists until the end of the year now and then we will see whose guess was closest.

 

Advertisements

The untickables!

Unless we were about to go up to the highlands and islands of Scotland there hasn’t been much to tempt us out in the cold or wet. That hasn’t prevented us from have a good weekend though and thankfully on the days that mattered the weather was kind.

Friday saw Daniel enjoying a firework party to celebrate his fifth birthday, good friends, food, games and explosive devises made for a good time!

Today, following a service of remembrance, where Alice and Matilda were on parade in their St John cadets uniforms we all headed for the zoo. We had no thought of adding to our number today but in fact we did. Eagle eyed Lynn first spotted what we identified as a field vole which was a new one for us so that was a bonus!

Exotic birds and butterflies fly free in ‘Eureka’

A trip to Banham zoo would not be complete without a ride on the train and today the driver got Daniel to help check everyone was safe! img_1914

Walking round and there is plenty to see here are a few bits and pieces. Since our last visit the penguins have a new home, having seen them above groun the children took time to see if any were swimming.

As well as the animals there was quite a good variety of fungi including some classics!

We watched part of the flying display and these were two of the stars, a European eagle owl and a saker falcon. The bald eagle wasn’t flying just lurking for people to take his photos!

Another change since our last visit means that you can now get closer to a heard of deer.

I have saved a couple of my favourites till last. This first one was new to me and I was very taken with him, he is a rhino iguana and what a handsome fella he is too. I am sure this will sound strange but I was really surprised to see the emotion he seemed to portray in his looks. WHo knows if he really was or maybe it was just the way I read him but I wasn’t the only one that thought he looked like he wanted someone to pet him!

Thi snext one has always been a favourite and today was no exception in fact the addition of a baby one makes them even more appealing. Red pandas are adorable!!! Sadly by the time they wanted to show the light was fading making photography a bit of a no starter, maybe we will return another time.

I will leave it there, so of course these don’t go on our year list but they did add to the fun!

Waxing lyrical!

Yesterday we were all set to give the lawn its final cut of the year but sadly our mower had other ideas! However nicely we spoke and coaxed the mower refused to work and eventually we gave up and borrowed one. Today, the grass is cut and it was time to return the mower which thankfully was near where some rather nice birds had been seen over the past couple of days.

We had hoped to see Waxwings at the beginning of the year but it  was not to be so I was thrilled to hear reports of lots of them arriving over the past week. Mostly they have just been seen flying over or stopping all too briefly but now some are settling for a while and a good feed. Some have found the berries in Holt tasty so that was where we headed.

It was a rather dull and jolly cold day but we didn’t have to wait too long for our initial sighting of the small flock of beautiful birds. I would have been really disappointed not to see Waxwings this year as they are one of my favourites but they obliged!

We saw four fly in landing high in the trees across the road.

Shortly after that they flew to the rowan tree dripping with juicy berries. Unfortunately the light was far from good for photography and they mainly kept deep in the trees out of sight but they did make some appearances.

Eating lunch Waxwing style!

Or upside-down of you prefer!

So these Bohemian Waxwings are number 254 on our bird year list and they were a very welcome addition. If I get the chance to see some more that might be in better light I will give them a go, but for today I am happy with these.

Not many weeks left of the year and things have slowed down somewhat after the flurry of warblers recently. I wonder what else is in store? How many more will we add to our total? We missed a cracker at Minsmere at the weekend as we hesitated and left it too late! I can think of a couple I am still optimistic about and others I hope for although the greatly reduced hours of day light make it more of a challenge!

 

More cheese Gromit?

We are having an unscheduelled few days away and we are not even chasing birds! The alarm went off at 5.30 am and we wasted no time in getting ready and on the road once again to Yorkshire. Our destination was, as the title may have given you a clue, Wensleydale in North Yorkshire and a place we have never visted before. We have joined Janice and Chris, staying in an appartment under the one they are in so I hope they arent too noisy!!!

Our early start paid off as we arrived in time for coffee. Before long we were all out for a drive getting dome super views of the area of Wensledale and it it beautiful. We were once again blessed with lovely weather and although it got rather chilly it really didn’t feel like November.

I didn’t see it at the time but I now notice a bird sitting on the wall on the bottom right picture, looks like a Robin to me!

We went to the Creamery for lunch and to taste a variety of local cheeses, mostly rather tastey! A nice piece of Wensleydale with Mango and ginger is now sitting in the fridge and if I wasn’t going out for a meal soon I could happily munch some!

img_1445

From what I read Wallace and Gromit have revitalised the Wensleydale cheese business, I must say it is hard to think of the cheese without thinking of Wallace!

More beautiful views and not many birds but plenty of sheep (this one a Swaledale) and rabbits!

We stopped at some gift/craft shops before arriving at Reeth were I spottted this shadow of an exceeding long legged person!!!

img_1411A walk around the village where they were getting ready for a bonfire in the village centre.

img_1426-reeth-bonfireI imagine this to be a typical Yorkshire village and it is certainly in a beutiful setting. The sparrow seemed to agree!

We saw several Red grouse as they flew accross the road and out of sight, excellent!

On the drive home  we saw the sun disappear behind the hills, changing the sky quite dramatically. I only wish I could have captured the colours better but hopefully you will get some idea from these.

I am not sure why but I couldn’t get anyone to pose under this signpost!

img_1435

Well we are off shortly for a meal in one of the three local pubs and I am really looking forward to the next couple of days. Not expecting much in the bird department but I am expecting to have fun!