Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Lots of Owls

Been a good week for seeing owls. On Saturday as we drove through Holden Clough we saw a Little Owl sat on the wall by the road. Damp, mizzly weather so perfect for it to catch earthworms. On Monday as we arrived at Bank House Fly Fishery we were greeted by a cacophony of Blackbird alarm calls and suddenly a Tawny Owl broke out of the trees in front of us, persued by at least half a dozen blackbirds. They followed it into the copse opposite the house where they were joined by more blackbirds, blue tits and great tits, the noise was amazing. Eventually the tawny had enough and took off over the fields. On Saturday we also watched a hare in Anne Gardners garden up at Bleasdale cottages. It sat there for a while at the base of her hedge before ambling into the field, where I photographed it hiding. We also surprised a Buzzard which had just made a kill in the field near the hide as we drove up, took off carrying something dark with a tail! Looked huge so close, beautiful in the sunshine.

Little Owl near Holden Clough Nursery

Tawny Owl at Bank House Fly Fishery

Hare hiding in grass at Bleasdale

Thursday, 8 October 2009


This is the first year I've tried to grow Pumpkins, lots of fruits but only one got big and matured. Very proud but Bramble unimpressed.


Had a walk around Gisburn Park. Sweet Chestnuts covered with spiky husked fruits. Hornbeams look very elegant and attractive with their bright yellow foliage and long drooping clusters of nuts in their leafy bracts. Have yet to find any acorns on any oak trees though I've found plenty of marble galls and artichoke galls. Horse Chestnuts seem to have less conkers too. Seems a good year for berries though, the Hollies and Rowans are covered with them. Hawthorn has done well too though not as well as last year when they were spectacular. Jays and Grey Squirrels are easier to spot now as they are so busy making their winter stockpiles. Still got wasps flying around and plenty of spiders are getting into the house. Bramble my pet ferret has developed an unfortunate partiality to House Spiders. There was a full moon on Sunday, so bright it was hard to sleep, lovely to go out walking in. The birds are starting to come back into the garden to feed, really pleased to see a little Wren bobbing around. Found a Woodlouse in my compost bin moulting its old skin, really surprised as didn't think they lived long enough to need to do that.

Mature Marble Galls

Young Marble Galls

Mature Artichoke Galls

Young Artichoke Gall

Hornbeam Nuts