Earlier on this year I got to know one of RHS Wisley Garden‘s Glasshouse gardeners on an RSPB birdwalk (wheel in my case!) around the grounds. Joe and I often chat when I’m visiting the glasshouse and he told me about the pair of pied wagtails that nested in his growing area last year. Birds are far from stupid and the pair have returned to the safety of the glasshouses to nest again. I was delighted when Joe invited me to visit, behind the scenes of the public glasshouse, to see these wonderful little birds bring up their latest brood.
It gave me an idea fo a project that might be just the right motivation for me to finally overcome my difficulties in mastering Premiere Pro. As well as photographing the birds, I’ve started to do some short videos that I hope to edit together to create a little educational documentary about the Wisley Wagtails. I hope that it can be used in the Clore Learning Centre, attached to the Glasshouse to inspire the many children who visit Wisley every year. I think grown-ups will rather like it too!
Last week the female was brooding a total of five precious eggs. It’s an unusual situation for a bird lover in that these adult birds are used to staff walking right by them, even moving their nesting pot around, while pruning and watering. I wouldn’t usually get anywhere near as close to a nest for fear of upsetting the adult birds! The shrub in the pot they have chosen has now started to wilt as it can’t and won’t be watered while the birds are in the nest. The plant will be a sacrifice to the safety of the birds and the joy of being allowed to watch the chicks grow.
I’ve been back today….
There are five beautiful baby wagtails which hatched last Friday!
Watch this space each week for further wagtail tales.
This is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge. Next week I hope I can share the fluffy chicks with you all!
Just had to share the sight of this juvenile grey heron fishing for newts, alongside one of the adults, in the marshland by the heronry at the British Wildlife Centre. Absolutely wonderful to watch! The heronry has a large number of nests and the herons are all very busy, building, feeding and preening. You can visit the heronry by entry to the British Wildlife Centre and a wander along their Wetland Walk. The centre is only open to the public at weekends, bank holidays and school holidays. Visit their website for more information and details of photography days and workshops.
On Saturday we went to visit family in Somerset to celebrate Easter together. After lunch the grandchildren enjoyed an Easter Egg hunt around the house, with the last egg having been cunningly hidded under Simon’s hat, on his head. When they finally figured it out he was uncrermoniously mobbed for the chocolate treat! After finding all those eggs, we then went off in search of nests. Fortunately they weren’t far off, at RSPB Swell Wood Nature Reserve and Heronry. The heron pairs are busily putting the finishing touches to their nests, high in the tree canopy. They’re well hidden in the dense branches but I managed to get this pair in focus, on the Fujinon XF 100-400mm lens on a sturdy tripod, so that all the children could watch them a bit more closely. It was a dark and dull day so I was pleased to actually manage to get a shot of them! With so many nests, I’m sure there will be plenty of baby herons in the near future. I’m posting this image for today’s Fotospeed challenge. Good luck to everyone taking part!
Sunday was a grey old day! The views from Box Hill were muted and hazy. It tried to rain on us! Still, there’s good coffee and cheese scones at the cafe to accompany the delightful song of this lovely little pied wagtail, perched on the cafe roof. I really loved the tones of green and gold in the background, the moss and lichen topping the slate roof. The box trees are about to flower, catkins and buds adorn the branches just about everywhere you look. Even without the sun it was starting to feel a lot more Spring-like! This sight and sound was a highlight of the week for me so I’m posting it for all three challenges today, Wex Mondays, ShareMondays and fsprintmonday from Fotospeed.
I couldn’t resist a few snow-themed photos from yesterday for my posts this week! I just loved this robin, perched under the boughs of one the conifers on the lawn at RHS Wisley Gardens, sheltering from the chill wind. I thought he’d be a nice piece for today’s ShareMondays post.
I also want to say sorry to many of my followers who’ve been leaving me lots of lovely comments and not receiving replies! I usually do most of my social media chat and notifications on my phone but it’s playing up at the moment. I need to upgrade it but have been patiently waiting for the latest Sony Xperia to be released! Until then (fingers crossed in the next week or so) I am still putting up with a phone that crashes when the battery drops to around seventy percent. Normal service, and responses, should resume shortly. I hope you’ll continue to be patient with me!