Monday, 15 February 2010

Flocks Of Pigeons At Barleycorn

Frozen Pond

As, in so many other parts of the countryside, we are continuing to have freezing temperatures, which create beautiful winter scenes. Although our ponds are beginning to thaw, we still have an avalanche of pristine snow, which slithered off the high-pitched roof of our outhouse bringing down tall shrubs in its wake.

Winter Sunset

Each season offers its own joy and, none more so than, a glorious Winter sunset at the close of a crisp, frosty day. What better way to end these shivering days than by coming indoors for a bowl of home-made soup, and curling up afterwards on the sofa with a good book? That is often the time when I drool over garden catalogues and make plans for the coming season.

Flock Of Pigeons

For the past month, as the snow has receded, we have been watching hundreds of pigeons foraging amongst the left-over grain in the field behind Barleycorn. On most days we have observed flock upon flock joining together till they form a large cloud and begin wheeling overhead before, eventually, settling down together for safety.


Pigeons Behind The Weathervane At Barleycorn

Suddenly, without warning, they will take to the air, making a loud commotion, and circle the field for a long time before landing again. If we are sharp-eyed, we might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a Sparrowhawk chasing after one of them. When it makes a kill, the pigeons fly off, while the Sparrowhawk begins to de-feather its prey.


Female Sparrowhawk On A Silver Birch Tree

Due to the large numbers of pigeons and smaller birds searching for food during this exceptionally cold Winter, we have been fortunate enough to see the Sparrowhawk on several days each week. However, if she catches sight of us, she is off and out of sight as quickly as she appeared.


Blue Tits At The Weathervane Feeder

When we participated in the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch earlier this month, they were astounded when we recorded the numbers of pigeons we were observing until we filled in further information explaining that our garden overlooked a field.


First Snowdrops At Barleycorn

Isn't Nature wonderful? No matter how many degrees below freezing they have endured, no matter how prolonged the snowy blanket under which they lay, the sturdy snowdrops - with their small green bodices, their ballet gowns and heads like fallen drops of snow - have survived all that Winter has thrown at them and come through triumphantly. Does that not make your heart sing and leap for joy?
xxxxxxx

In my little video called Flocks Of Pigeons, the accompanying music is Track 17 from my CD called A Garden Of Music. Most of the birds are pigeons with some starlings, jackdaws and crows for company.


video

62 comments:

Cheryl said...

Dear Wildlife Gardener....What a wonderful spectacle. So many pigeons.....we have quite a few in the field opposite but nowhere near your numbers. I was delighted to see a flock of lapwing fly over last week. Such pretty birds in flight, now that really did make my heart sing.

Snowdrops always look so fragile and yet they are as tough as old boots. They rarely fail to bloom.

Many lovely photographs....tku. I expect, like many of us, you are looking forward to spring .......

Morning Glories in Round Rock said...

It does make my heart sing to read your lyrical ode to snowdrops. They are beautiful--more so because they herald the first hints of spring. I enjoyed watching your flocks of birds reap the fields behind Barleycorn to such lovely music. Thank you!

~Sheila~ said...

I enjoyed seeing the birds and the snowdrops here today. We have had a mild Winter by our standards, but it will be some time before we see anything growing. There are few birds around. I did see Cardinals the other day which was a huge boost to my spirits.

Kitty said...

Beautiful! Snowdrops are one of my favourite flowers - I think I'll go back to the botanic gardens on Wednesday to see if the ones there have opened up more.

I made a pot of soup this evening, too, although it's starting to feel more and more like spring! I'm heading for Northern Ireland this weekend for a brief visit - I'm hoping for a couple of long walks in the countryside!

I love the snowy scene in your video at 41seconds - magical!

swallowtail said...

I do love the snowdrops, too! I remember your photos from last year(?), and I love the crocus too, which pushes through no matter the weather, to brighten our day. The pigeons are beautiful. Again, I really do love your posts, and am always excited to see a new one up! xoxo

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Hi Wildie, love the sunset photo and that of the snowdrops, one of my fave spring bulbs. it's cool to see birds of prey, too.

A wildlife gardener said...

A warm welcome to our little corner of paradise, Everyone :)

* Great to have your company, dear Cheryl :)

I love lapwings too...and a flock of them is all too rare a sight nowadays. They were my mum's favourite birds...

Snowdrops are my absolute favourite bulbs...real harbingers of Spring...

I am looking forward to Spring...and the all important light :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* I am so glad of your company, Morning glories in Round Rock, in the garden today, and for your gracious comments :)

When I was a child my mother dressed me as a snowdrop for a Brownie Hallowe'en party using white and green crepe paper. i won first prize for originality and snowdrops have been my favourite spring bulbs ever since :)

A wildlife gardener said...

Lovely of you to pop by, dear Sheila, and spend time with me :)

It's amazing you have had a fairly mild winter so far...and yet we have had the biggest fall of snow ever recorded...and the longest spell it has lain...

I love your red Cardinals...they must be so striking against winter backdrops :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* I meant to go to the Botanics today, dear Kitty, to see if we bumped into each other...but I am here instead :)

However, I will imagine of you looking at all the drifts of snowdrops there...and wonder if the heron is near the frog pond in the woodland area :)

Enjoy Ireland and your long walks in the countryside...recharge the batteries and come back refreshed :)

I will email the pic you admired... :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Dear Swallowtail...so nice to see you again...and to hear your wonderful response :)

Spring bulbs are like greeting old friends...for they remain faithful as each year passes :)

I love all the wildlife...even visits from 'common' pigeons, for a closer look reveals wonderful colours in their plumage...and it's great to see them thrive :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* How nice of you to come to tea, dear Monica...sit down and I'll warm your cup :)

Snowdrops are the first to charm us all...and then aconites, crocuses, daffodils and tulips...each beautiful in its time... :)

As for the Sparrowhawk..well, that becomes a red-letter day :)

Duxbury Ramblers said...

Now the snowdrops are flowering I am eagerly awaiting all the new life in your garden, the pigeons are plentyful this year, it's good to see.

DR.

A wildlife gardener said...

* Lovely to meet up with you once again, dear Duxbury Ramblers..we are certainly having milder weather now so you must be enjoying some really good walks this month :)

I am looking forward to a Spring-clean in the garden to get rid of chaff on the plants..the earth is still frozen here :)

Ruth Welter said...

Hi WG, I've so enjoyed your beautiful winter photographs. Perhaps some would make good subjects for your paintings.

Ruth

Babara said...

You're so right, every season has its own joy and beauty (as we could see in your pictures!). And I can feel your thankfulness when seeing again the first snowdrops. We actually are still waiting for them as our garden is covered with snow and ice. But Spring is on its way...soon it will be March and then...hopefully we are acting again in our gardens. I enjoyed this long and hard winter.....once again a real winter ! However I don't like the thought of having lost plants which will obviously be the case as temperatures were so many weeks below 0°C. Let's wait and see!
Stay warm !
Barbara

A wildlife gardener said...

* Dear Ruth, you are so right...I need to make time to paint and draw again... :)

Thanks for stopping by :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* I'm sure we will all have lost some plants, dear Barbara...perils of a long and hard Winter...but opportunities to replenish with some new species, perhaps?

Roll on Spring... :)

Sorrow said...

There is something so soothing about looking at the blanket of winter from some one elses door front!
~smile~
for here, my heart longs for the first green buds of lifes renewal, winter it seems still hold us all in it's icy grasp...

Abe Lincoln said...

Totally surprised to see that cat. I assume it is either de-clawed or doesn't belong to you. Or maybe it is a feral cat. We have an indoor cat that is never out. The cats that show up are shot at with a BB gun and a lot of racket to make sure they don't come back.

Cats kill more songbirds in the US than any other natural or unnatural predator. I just read that.

I assume the pigeons scared the cat away.

joey said...

Hurrah... snowdrops! Your winter sunset is amazing as are your pigeons!

Wanda said...

You Little Corner of Paradise is just that.... What a beautiful array of pictures to feast our eyes one.

Thanks for your visit... and I do wish you would pick up your paint brushes again... I so enjoyed your artwork when you were posting it.

After my bout with cancer last year, I decided this year would be a year of more art, so I created my Art Blog, called My Laundry Room Studio, (the only place in this little house I can find to paint) and it is for my art, and any fellow artists who want to join in. You can find it on my sidebar!

Let me know when you paint and post...I will add you to the list of artist in my blog.

Love and Hugs
Wanda

SandyCarlson said...

NOW I know what a flock is! What great photos.

A wildlife gardener said...

* Dear Sorrow, how lovely to have your company again...and so generous of you to come a-calling when you are having on holiday from blogging at the moment :)

I know what you mean about Winter blues...I am taking a closer look at shrubs and trees each day looking for signs of Spring :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Great to see you, Abe, as always :)

We have Taz, the barn cat, who is a good mouser...and good at catching voles and shrews too...and we also feed him...and being so well fed he tends to leave the birds alone :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* I am celebrating the arrival of the snowdrops too, dear Joey, as they are harbingers of the long-awaited Spring :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Pleasure to have your company, dear Wanda :)

You are right...I must aim to pick up my brushes and apint again...and soon :)

I will pop over to your new art blog to feast my eyes on the goodies :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Dear Sandy, I took that close shot of the pigeons to show the profusion...but the whole length of the field was covered in pigeons...literally in their hundreds :)

They arrive here each morning in mini flocks and join with others and then wheel overhead in marvellous clouds turning this way and that :)

Jeanne said...

I love you my sweet friend.
All you share is so beautiful.
I am so proud to be your friend.
Love Jeanne♥

A wildlife gardener said...

* Dear Jeanne, you always leave such gracious and encouraging comments..and I thank you for them :)

Charm and Grace said...

Ahh... so beautiful. The geese are amazing and I love the video. And yes, it always amazes me to see the green shoots pushing their way up through the hardened, frozen ground just at the right time. Thanks for sharing these bits of loveliness.

Blessings,
Christi

A wildlife gardener said...

* A warm welcome to you, Christi ...so glad to have your company in the garden today :)

Nature always amazes me..how it recovers after severe weather to give of its best :)

Sandy said...

Oh...another great post. I always enjoy your descriptions of what is going on at Barleycorn. I always get so excited when I can actually photograph a Hawk. Usually I don't have my camera handy.

I enjoyed the video too. Have a great day!

A wildlife gardener said...

* Great to hear from you, dear Sandy...I agree about the excitement of having one's camera to hand whenever a Hawk appears...and luck has a hand in it too :)

Marie said...

Great post :)
Nice winter photos :)

オテモヤン said...
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linda may said...

Yes nature is wonderful isn't it.
Hey I just found out that my english ancestor came from surrey and I thought I would ask you if you know that area and what is it like. I did look it up but didn't find many pictures except for the church where he was christened, which as been there since before the 1500's Cool eh. Nothing like that age in this country.

shirl said...

Hi again, Wildlife gardener. What a fantastic sight that must have been to see the pigeons! Thanks for capturing it on video to share with us :-D

Lovely winter images from your garden. Always especially love your pond shots. Guessing your still enjoying the snow and cold wintery days :-)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Welcome, Marie...lovely to see you...I'm so glad you enjoyed the post :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* How exciting to find you have British ancestors, Linda May. Surrey is about 400 miles away from here, so I do not know anything about the area :)

I agree with you that Nature is full of wonderful surprises :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* Hi there, Shirl...great of you to come for tea :)

The sky was black with the flocks all wheeling about together, Shirl, and they come every day now. We used to have thousands of Greylag Geese and hundreds of Starlings congregating in this area. Now we have less Geese and hardly any Starlings...but heaps of Pigeons :)

I seem to be the only person I know who is still enjoying the cold Winter days...though I am looking forward to the Spring too :)

Nicole said...

Those first two pictures provide such beautiful winter scenes. The beauty about living in a country with four seasons is that it really heightens your awareness to what is offered in each.

A wildlife gardener said...

* A warm welcome, dear Nicole...lovely to have your company this morning :)

I find your last statement so true. I love having four seasons because of the variety each one brings. Even Winter, with its freezing temperatures, offers its own particular beauty :)

Garden tips said...

Lovely photos. Far too many pigeons for my liking though. lol

A wildlife gardener said...

* Well, we are all different, I guess. My garden is a garden for wildlife, where everything is welcome :)

Green thumb said...

Dear W.G, I always risk repeating myself when I am tempted to say that you have an awesome way of presenting nature.
We all are surrounded by nature but the way you enjoy it is so complete...so wholesome... that it always is a nice warm feeling to read your posts.

A wildlife gardener said...

* Dear Green Thumb, always a pleasure to welcome you to our little corner of paradise :)

As a child I was facinated by the world of Nature...and that feeling has stayed with me all my life. I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for all the Wild Things :)

Naturegirl said...

It is amazing how many pigeons you caught in flight..oh oh Sparrow hawk..Loved viewing your images of winter at Barleycorn!

Sam Saunders said...

Very pretty pictures :D I'm kind of new to the photography scene, but I like what I see! Nature is so gorgeous :D I would love to get into photography. I generally stick to poetry, as my blog is entirely limericks.

A wildlife gardener said...

* Lovely to have your company, dear Anna...so glad you are keeping well :)

There must be so much grain left on the ground as we are still have those pigeons...and now hundreds of crows, too, on a daily basis :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* A warm welcome to you, Sam :)

Thank you for visiting. I will pop over to read some of your poetry :)

Andree said...

My favorites in your post are the huge flock of pigeons and the sunset. The flock of birds photo is amazing!

A wildlife gardener said...

* It's so nice to welcome you again, Andree, to our little corner of paradise :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the post and these two photos you mentioned. Winter sunsets are special, and flocks of pigeons bring the seemingly 'dead' field to life :)

Rosie said...

Dear Wildlife Gardner

Its a pleasure to find you on blogspot. I have to thank LindaMay for sending me over here to read about BarleyCorn. It looks so beautiful especially with a covering of snow and you have such a beautiful landscape to photograph as well as being a good steward.

You have great bird photos too! :)

A wildlife gardener said...

* A warm welcome, Rosie, to our little corner of paradise...lovely to meet you...thank you, Linda May :)

I am glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you for your generous comments :)

Q said...

Happy March!
It has been an amazing winter at my house too. Lots of snow.
The birds do come out in huge numbers when it is cold and the grounds are snow covered.
Your snow drops are lovely....
Sweet Spring is just around the corner...I can feel her wakening.
Sherry

A wildlife gardener said...

* Welcome to our little corner of paradise on this chilly March morning, dear Sherry :)

We have shared a snowy Winter with lots of hungry birds to lift our souls... :)

willson said...
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Kathleen said...

Good morning Wildlife Gardener! How wonderful it's been to catch up with you this morning. I love your attitude toward winter ~ I need to revisit often, maybe it will be contagious! You do have some beautiful photos of all the snow you've been getting. What a winter! We've had it here too ~ although not so much snow as cold, cold, cold.
I planted snowdrops for the first time last fall and now they're blooming here too. I'm so glad I did ~ those early blooms are really helping me think spring is coming.
I enjoyed all your bird photos too except maybe that sparrowhawk! I've had one and a sharp-shinned hawk eating from my garden all winter. I know it's the way of nature but I guess I prefer not to see it unfold in front of me.
Happy March to you ~ soon the tadpoles will be back, right?

A wildlife gardener said...

* Lovely to have your company, once more, dear Kathleen :)

I do feel we have to be positive throughout the Winter as we either grin and bear it or try to enjoy the wonders it brings :)

Snowdrops do cheer us up, especially after all the snow and the extreme cold :)

Our ponds are beginning to thaw now...so, hopefully, the frogs will have survived :)

Dawn said...

Super photos as always. And I love those snowdrops! What a magical time at Barleycorn.

A wildlife gardener said...

* Hey, Dawn...always lovely to see you :)

Thanks for all your encouragement :)