ShareMondays2020 – Squabbling Siblings

Squabbling Siblings

ShareMondays2020 – Squabbling Siblings

Watching the fledgling starlings every day is such a great way to observe their behaviour and how they mature. They’re definitely at teenager stage, so much shouting and posturing! They absolutely scream at the adults and I can’t help feeling a bit sorry for these hard working parents. There’s screaming to be fed, screaming when the adult is in the way, screaming when a sibling gets to the favourite feeder first. It’s just like any human household really! I’m just watching all the stages of adolescence at a much faster pace.

Adult Starling Plumage

Beautiful adult starling

June is the month when many of us take on the 30DaysWild challenge from The Wildlife Trusts. They have recently launched a campaign for a Wilder Future, something I have always been passionate about. Latest statistics show that 1 in 7 species in the UK is at risk of extinction now. Starlings are an at-risk species. There has been about an 80% decline in the species since the 1980’s! Much of this is down to habitat loss. This is both in relation to loss of winter roosting sites and a loss of suitable nest sites. Our starlings nest in cavities under our roof tiles. I really am truly privileged to have them here and I would hate for future generations to miss out on the pleasure of watching these garrulous characters! Please do read the statement and join the campaign if you can!

Here’s a bit of the action from the starlings and other birds at our feeder this week. Enjoy!


#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – On The Clock

On The Clock

#FeelGoodPhotoOfTheDay – On The Clock

On The Clock

Life continuing
Although the clock is ticking
Moment to moment

Haiku co-written in conversation with Julia K


ShareMonday2019 – Pop Goes The Weasel

Weasel at the British Wildlife Centre

ShareMonday2019 – Pop Goes The Weasel

Do you remember the rhyme? Could you make the “popping” sound with your cheek? Yes, I do and yes, I still can. And I can’t help doing it when the little weasel at The British Wildlife Centre actually pops up to say hello! I was visiting the centre with my godchildren last week during half-term. It’s a favourite place of ours for a day out and was lovely in the warm sunshine we’ve been treated to recently.

There’s still no conclusive answer as to exactly what these rhyming lyrics mean. It seems most likely that they are derived from cockney rhyming slang Weasel and Stoat meaning coat, referring to a coat being pawned to get money for food.

Half a pound of tuppenny rice
Half a pound of treacle
That’s the way the money goes
Pop goes the weasel

Weasels are closely related to stoats and otters, from the Musetlid family. They’re the smallest British carnivore and you can tell them apart from the stoat, not because they’re stoatally different, but because the weasel has a shorter tail with no black tip! They can be found in a wide range of habitats throughout England, Wales and Scotland but are not seen in Northern Ireland or on many other British Islands. Blink and you’ll miss them though, tiny and very fast! I’ve only seen them a couple of times in the wild myself and not long enough to be able to photograph one.

I really love finding my inner child again, through spending time with the many children in my life! They remind me of all the joy and wonder in this beautiful World of ours and how to enjoy the simple pleasures. Like singing nonsense rhymes, making popping noises with your cheek, all while laughing at the antics of a small and utterly brilliant British mammal! Hat’s off to the British Wildlife Centre for all the wonderful, conservation, education and rehabilitation work that they do.

Sources: The Wildlife Trusts, British Wildlife Centre and Wikipedia


Under A Pier Under Repair

Under Swanage Pier

Under A Pier Under Repair

Last Saturday, Simon and I went down to Swanage Pier in Dorset to do a few dives. We hadn’t realised that a huge restoration project had begun! Diving is still going on though, with a few safety guidelines in place. Visibility underwater for photography wasn’t particularly great, probably only about a metre, in fact it made navigating our dives pretty tricky! Couldn’t resist having a look at the work going on on the piles and timbers of the pier as we made our way back in. A total of 41 piles are being completely replaced! A massive undertaking but with experts in the field carrying out the work the Swanage Pier Trust hope for it to be completed by August. I can’t wait to see the Marine Villas renovated to create a new, accessible visitor centre with exhibition space, shop, caf√© and a glazed extension. Hopefully the pier will continue to bring joy to visitors above and below for years to come! This is my entry for this week’s Fotospeed fsprintmonday challenge. I will include a few from underwater, see if you can spot the giant spider crab!



Red Squirrel at the British Wildlife Centre


The sight of red squirrels at The British Wildlife Centre in Surrey instantaneously turns me into a small, exciteable child! That’s a good thing. I think we should all embrace our inner-child and revel in the simple delights of the World around us far more often! Especially when it comes to wildlife and nature. It’s the best therapy ever! Supporting places like the British Wildlife Centre is also the ideal way to help secure a future for our precious British wildlife, as well as providing a fantastic educational resource for schools. I hope this dear little squizzle will bring a big smile to everyone who follows my blog and more smiles over at Wex Photo Video, as this is my entry for this week’s Wex Mondays challenge.


Easter Nest Building

Nest Building at Swell Wood Heronry

Easter Nest Building

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!