4 December 2012


Today we have had rain, snow, sleet and massive hailstones, all polished off with a high wind. The birds come flocking in a desperate fashion when I clink the porridge bowl at about 2.00pm. They used to sit in the trees until I closed the door but are beginning to get more bold and flutter down, tweeting and bickering with each other before I even get inside. I've been hoping to catch the woodpeckers with the camera but, until now, they have shot off every time I try and creep to the window. This one was quite a way away on a dead branch, so it missed me. A bit grainy but I hope you'll forgive that.

We have a new peanut feeder and the pair of Nuthatches, who look identical, can now be distinguished by whether they are capable of getting inside the feeder or not. One can do it, one just pecks on the outside. This is the pecker:

And a lovely Blue Tit looking askance at the porridge before tucking in anyway.

Yesterday I managed not to get rained on and struck out towards Fernworthy Forest which is frankly a Forestry Commission blot on a beautiful landscape. It's very rare for it to make even the tiniest appearance in any of my photos! Its escapees appear periodically though, in splendid isolation. I may pop along nearer Christmas with a bit of tinsel....

Here are a few more pictures from yesterday:

These two rocks prove very useful in the snow when the landscape becomes difficult to navigate

That funny foal from a few weeks ago again

I cropped off the forest to the left!

What's left of the herd scattered in the distance

Today, along with all the negative weather, Snippet and I had ten minutes of sunshine. I had to take the little compact camera as I don't have a fail-safe way of keeping the new one dry. I'm still really impressed with the depth of field it achieves. Better than the new one actually! I did miss the zoom though.

One of the best bronze age stone circles....that post will appear eventually....sorry!

Rain coming

Meldon and Natterdon Hills in the distance

Betty and friends

Number 10 challenging Snippet

Number 10's Mum - I think. The foal directory is on our old laptop and it takes too long to warm up!

Back to Masterchef - the Professionals now. I wish I'd never started watching it. I spend most of the time getting irritated by the repetitiveness, the stilted face pulling, the ridiculous editing, the contestants, and the pretentious terminology but am addicted nonetheless. Enjoy the rest of your week and thank you for your comments - they are really appreciated. Until next time....little number 10, surviving against the odds.


  1. No 10 is so gorgeous and oh.. the woodpecker. One of my favourite birds! I love the way they go to the top of the tallest tree and chirp so loudly. And their wonderful swooping flight.

    Fantastic pictures, Em.

  2. I love the funny chestnut foal! Is No.10 OK? I hope they're alright in the cold weather.
    We have a woodpecker, but I've never seen a nuthatch here. Lots of long-tailed tits at the moment.

  3. Lucky to have gotten the Woodpecker so nicely. Ha that is a perfect Christmas Tree, Em ! can't wait for the tinsil.

  4. Love the bird photos! We have similar birds but not quite the same. Love the ponies in the distance, gives a great perspective on how vast the moors are.

  5. RD - I love those woodpeckers too. There's a female too but she's much quicker at getting away from me!

    ChineCats - We have some Long Tailed Tits too but we only see them every few months and they don't come to the feeder but just flutter in the trees.

    Cindy - There are about ten of those escapees so I should really put tinsel on all of them and do a series!

    Gail - I'd like to see those similar birds if you get a chance with your camera.....

  6. Love your bird photos.
    Oh My Goodness... the woodpeckers are so different from the ones where I live. The Gila Woodpecker has beautiful graphic black and white striped feathers with a big red dot on the top of their heads.
    Love the Christmas tree but it does look so strange, just one sitting where it obliviously doesn't belong.
    The tinsel sounds fun but don't do it because the animals might eat it ? right ? I think I read that from Weaver's blog. We always put fruit and veggies on our outdoor trees.
    Stay warm... it is still to warm in Tucson. It was 81 yesterday but 84 today. It really needs to be at lest 10/15 degrees cooler.
    Yikes !

    cheers, parsnip

  7. Thank you for your comment on birdwatching. What a wonderful selection. Dartmoor under snow is very special! Love the Woodpecker and Bluetit. Perhaps you should take a little porridge for the Christmas tree!

  8. Parsnip - 84! That's amazing. Don't worry, I only intend to put the tinsel on for a will be coming home with me. In fact, I'm not sure I even have any. It may have to be a temporary star instead.

    Caroline - That's not a bad idea with the porridge. Yesterday I didn't see a single bird our there...not even the ubiquitous crows. All those Caterpillars I was expecting have disappeared too!


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