Sunday, 25 January 2015

Hawk Walk Experience Christmas gift...................... really looking forward to it

We received a wonderful Christmas gift from my grandson Arthur.

A One-Hour Hawk Walk Experience for two.

The Hawk Walk Experience... description from their website.

"Feel the rush of wind beneath a bird of preys wings as it lands on your gloved fist in an exilarating experience you will never forget".
"With a sociable Harris Hawk for company enjoy a stroll through the Cheshire countryside with a friend or loved one and learn about these beautiful birds of prey".


"Handle and fly a barn owl, kestrel or another bird of prey while you enjoy an hour-long walk".

 We watched a falconry display while visiting at the Cheshire Show last June.

 All the images on this post were taken then.

 "Bring your camera along to take photographs of the birds"  says the website.

You bet we will.
I hope to have plenty of images to share when we get to handle the birds.
We have to use the voucher by the 25th of March so will be booking our trip soon.

Linking to The Bird D'potOur World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Thursday, 22 January 2015

I've won a prize.................................................................. £25 worth of bird food

I entered one of my Robin images in to Ark Wildlife's monthly photo competition and am delighted to announce I have won a prize.
A voucher for £25 to spend on any of their products.

They sell all sorts of wildlife goods... but mainly bird food and feeders.
I have loads of feeders in the garden so it made sense to spend my winnings on bird food.
Eight kg of free bird seed arrived the day after I placed my order.
Two mixes of sunflower hearts... one with meal worms the other with suet....
 ...plus a Song Bird mix I paid for.
If the birds flock in... Ark Wildlife have a customer for life.

Monday, 19 January 2015

It's freezing!...............................................................................................................

Winter has arrived in Cheshire.
2014 was the warmest on record for the UK... it's hard to believe at the moment.

I am not posting as much as I would like as Mandy has bought a new house.
 All our spare time is being taken up with the move.
Mandy's new front door takes less than a minute to walk to from mine... it's doubled our space.

Linking to Our World TuesdayWild Bird WednesdaySaturday's Critters and Camera Critters

Monday, 12 January 2015

Fame at last......................................................................................... the outcome

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a local magazine asking to do a feature about my blog.
My original post is here; "ourtown"

The article has now been published.

  "ourtown the northwich magazine" is an advertisement led magazine.distributed free around my home town.

 The bird watcher on the front cover refers to me.

A few of my photos featured in the article but Mandy was delighted to inform me the biggest picture was taken by her... that brought me back down to earth.

Here I am... camera in hand (photo courtesy of Mandy).
The rambles worldwide refers to all of you... my blogging friends all over the world.
Many thanks for being my friends.

Linking to Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Big Garden Birdwatch 2015.....................................................................................

I have done the Big Garden Birdwatch for a few years now.
 It takes up just one hour of your time over the weekend of the 24-25th January counting the birds in your garden.
                                    Bird populations are a great indicator of the health of the countryside.



The Big Garden Birdwatch keeps an eye on the ups and downs of the wildlife where we live.
My count wasn't very good last year... fingers crossed this years is much better.

A link to the RSPB website is here: Big Garden Birdwatch 2015

Linking to Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

12 months in 12 minutes..........................................................................................

It's been over three years since I made this video from clips taken during a calender year.
Starting during the bitter November winter of 2010 it runs through to the end of 2011.

If you've seen it before I really hope you enjoy viewing it it again.
I aim to spend more time capturing moving pictures this year... I now have HD to play with.

Skywatch Friday and Saturday's Critters

Sunday, 4 January 2015

2015's garden bird count has started well.............................................................

It's very cold here today.
I struggled to open the car doors this morning... they were frozen shut.

I have had a good start to the year though in terms of garden birds.
Robin is one of my regulars...
                              
 ...always a welcome visitor.
This morning a pair of Bullfinches took this years total to 12 species.
Not a bad start to the year.

Linking to The Bird D'potOur World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

My last post for 2014.......................................... re-sharing my colourful garden

After a difficult start to the year with Mums broken pelvis and Mandy's Dads heart attack 2014 has turned out OK.

It's been a good year weather wise... and I have had some lovely visitors to my garden.

I hope you enjoy my video.

The plants in my little patch excelled... and I've had some wonderful wildlife visiting.
Highlights were the Bullfinch a frequent juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker and Nuthatches.

I wish everyone that visits my blog a wonderful and prosperous 2015.
Happy New Year.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

My Christmas present to the bugs in my garden.............. their own Bug Hotels

I have bought a couple of "Bug Hotels".... a Christmas present to my garden.

They will hopefully provide shelter for butterflies, lacewings, solitary bees, spiders and ladybirds.

A home for the insects I need to pollinate my garden and keep it aphid free.
Time will tell if it's money well spent... watch this space.

Our World Tuesday

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Rockery Robin...................................................................... snow on Boxing Day

We had some snow last night and it was still around this morning.

Mandy has a little pot Robin on her rockery... he really does look glum.
It's now raining and the snow is disappearing... at least the kids almost had a white Christmas.

Linking to Saturday's CrittersCamera CrittersThe Bird D'pot and Wild Bird Wednesday

Monday, 22 December 2014

My favourite garden visitor of 2014.................................................. the Bullfinch

I have had a good year garden bird watching... with many different species visiting the feeders.

I had only witnessed two Bullfinches in ten years in my garden so it was wonderful to see a pair on the feeders most days during May and June this Spring.

They are very wary birds... the slightest movement and they were off...
 ...I did manage to capture a few images and even some video clips.

Other 2014 highlights was my first ever garden Jay and regular visits from Great Spotted Woodpeckers... 
...but the male Bullfinch has to be this years favourite garden visitor.

Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a wonderful New Year.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Bird Watching magazines........................... "Photo of the Month" January 2015

I arrived home tonight to find January's edition of Bird Watching magazine on the door mat.
Page 42 has my little Robin sat in the hole in my fence as "Photo of the Month".

I'm chuffed to bits (translates as "very pleased")

To add to my pleasure my Christmas break starts tomorrow (I've planned it well this year).
Off work for twelve days... bliss!

Linking to Our World Tuesday and Wild Bird Wednesday

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Fame at last............................................................................ well? locally at least

I received an email!

Can we feature you and your blog "rambles with a camera" in our magazine?

We have a free magazine in my small Cheshire town Northwich.


It's to be found in all the local newsagents, supermarkets and petrol stations and adverts fund it.
"ourtown the northwich magazine" also features stories about local people.

"email"

Can I come and interview you for a story?... but it needs to be quick as it's for the January edition.
I was given the option of answering questions by email... and this is the way we went.
I gave them my life story... it will be interesting to see how it turns out.

John (the editor) wanted a current full face photo of me... holding a camera was his suggestion.

Last Sunday morning saw me posing in the garden... I hate having my photo taken.

I await the magazine article with trepidation..but promise to share the outcome.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Blue Tit on my log feeder.......................................... another cute garden visitor

It's an image taken a while ago... it's cold, wet and night time when I get home at the moment.
I can't even see my garden during the week it's so dark.

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Saturday's Critters

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Long-tailed Tit............................................................................. on my log feeder

I just love seeing these little birds in my garden.

Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

They really are the cutest of cute birds... and so tiny.

Monday, 8 December 2014

My favourite garden bird............................................................................... Robin

I've been sharing the birds that have fed on my home made feeder on my Facebook page this week.

This little fella has to be my favourite garden bird to feed on it.

Robin doesn't need to use the perches... I'm sure he is smiling in this shot.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Concentrating on my subject..................................................................................

Sorting out and deleting unwanted images captured over the last few months I came across this one.
It's me at Tatton Park videoing the Red Deer in the days leading up to the Autumn rut.

I was concentrating so much I was oblivious to the fact Mandy was taking this shot.
The camcorder is pointing straight at her so I guess I was watching clips I had already captured.
That's the beauty of the digital age... you can delete your rubbish on the go.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

Long-tailed Tit........................................... prettiest bird in the garden this week

 Long-tailed Tit on the fatballs.

So cute and the best bird in the garden this weekend.
 The weather has been so mild this month... Decembers forecast is a bit more frosty.

Thursday, 27 November 2014

My garden fence is no more.................... but I still have the panel with the hole

If you have followed my blog for any length of time you will be familiar with the hole in my fence.
It's been the focal point of my garden bird watching for the past couple of years.

I've seen seven different bird species using it to enter my garden.
The fence suffered severe damage during the storms in February... and was meant to replaced.

Mandy's dads heart attack and my mothers fall and broken pelvis put all that on the back burner.
The fence was cobbled up just to stop my neighbours little dog from escaping.

My neighbour June passed away a few months ago and her house is now empty.
We have removed the fence.

Her house is for sale but won't sell in a 100 years for the price they are asking...to my advantage.

I still have the fence panel with the hole... plus the next one with the nails.
A garden ornament in the making?.. I have a tube of glue and a hacksaw.


A clip of Robin in the hole ... the little bird that started all this off.

Saturday's Critters

Thursday, 20 November 2014

A tribute to June my next door neighbour.................. and the hole in my fence

My next door neighbour passed away a few months ago and I think it's time I gave her a tribute.
We shared a fence... a fence that stopped her little dog from running away.


A fence that has been shared all over the world.
June was in her 90's when she passed away... nursed at home she died in her own bed.

I first met June chatting over our garden fence in April 2005.
90+ years of age but what a past... a Vogue Magazine model in her youth.

She passed away in May... we didn't even know she was ill.
She had called around one morning and gave Mandy this lovely little pottery wren.
" I am having a tidy up" she said... " It's for Andrew I know he loves the birds"
It now sits on top of my PC and I will treasure it for ever.

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How many lakes are there...................................... in the English Lake District?

Our boat trip on Windermere... on the last day of our recent break.

The English Lake District is well known... but how many lakes are there in the National Park?

The largest lake is popularly known as Lake Windermere... it's correct name is just Windermere.
Our trip was on one of the smaller launches.

Lake Bassenthwaite.
The only named lake in "The Lakes" is Lake Bassenthwaite in the north.
So the answer to the popular question "how many lakes are there in the Lake District" is one!

Crummock Water.
The larger lakes are known as meres or water, with the smaller ones named as tarns.
Well known examples are Coniston Water, Ullswater, Buttermere and Blea Tarn.

There are almost 100 named bodies of water in the district... with many more unnamed small tarns.

Windermere is over 11 miles long and they have bigger launches doing longer cruises
 We had fantastic weather on the day... a great end to our holiday.

Skywatch Friday