Despite all the wet weather we’ve had this month, some days are just golden! I visited St James’s Park in London last Wednesday and discovered that the flock of pelicans has doubled in size. There are now six of these magnificent birds living in the park. They were glorious to watch in the Autumn light with the rich colours of foliage on Duck Island behind them. It was lovely to see lots of people enjoying the space, feeding birds and squirrels, warming up in the cafe, having a family outing with the kids or just sitting under a tree, getting lost in a good book.
Sometimes it pays to be trundling around RHS Wisley Gardens in a wheelchair, especially when you’re at the perfect height to fully appreciate the beauty of this wonderful, gnarly old tree! This one is for the Fotospeed challenge today.
After a horrible week of car breakdowns and throat infections I was treated to a warming end to the weekend. Simon took me down to RHS Wisley Gardens yesterday, for the last few hours of daylight, so I could get some much needed fresh air and a revitalising dose of nature! After watching the birds from the hide for a while we just had time for a cuppa and cake, sitting outside the main restaurant, watching the sun dip behind the trees on Seven Acres, edging the scene with a golden hue that lifted both the colours and my spirits. This is my entry for the weekly Fotospeed challenge as it’s one I would absolutely love to have printed up and hanging on the wall!
One of my favourite times of day on the Basingstoke Canal is just as the sun starts to go down. It bathes the landscape in a warm golden light, crowning the trees with a rich amber glow. I had the great pleasure of watching this chatty, little Nuthatch enjoying the last warm rays of the day, vocally announcing his territory and hunting out tasty morsels from the eroded canal banks.
Nutty about Nuthatches!
Later on along my way home, I caught some precious glimpses of our pipistrelle bats zipping through the skies above me, picking off midges and gnats for supper. I was lucky that there was just enough light left to be able to capture a few images that I’m afraid are heavily cropped but it was a thrill to watch them.
The sapphire-jeweled kingfisher isn’t the only precious bird on the Basingstoke Canal! In the golden afternoon sunlight a gilt streak skims the water’s surface and lands on the lock gates, tail bobbing, head twisting, seeking out the insects along the shallows. The Grey Wagtail is a favourite bird of mine and I have been watching them along my local stretch of the canal for some years now. They’re very distinctive with a slate-grey back and bold yellow underside! They breed very successfully in this insect-rich environment and I hope to be watching them interacting with their fledglings again this year.