Birds and flowers

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This is my current outdoor flower jar. Isn’t it a picture. I’m not sure what the orange flowers are but they keep in a vase for ages!!!! They look lovely against the budlia which seems to be teaming with life now. The cabbage whites have been fluttering around for weeks, but it seems that the more ornate butterflies like the red admirals, tortoiseshell and peacock have only just emerged. We had the delicate operation of taking a tortoiseshell outside that was in my bedroom at 11pm the other night. Poor thing. When we first bought my previous house, a Victorian semi, we inherited in the garden a very old table. It’s seen better days but I’ve painted it a few times and couldn’t bear to leave it there when we left. It has been unused at windy hill for the past 18 months and has been bearing the brunt of the weather here. m had the idea of putting a hole in the middle for a parasol when it was hot the other day and putting it in b’s garden. What a super idea!

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But it looks a bit unloved so I went and found it some flowers ….

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Mmmm, a little better, but still something’s missing….

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I remembered that on my piano is this lovely, vintage. Tatting doily that I was given by my mum. It’s just the job and….

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Brought my flowers, and the table back to life, until I muster the enthusiasm to paint it again! I’ve mentioned the wildlife here but thought I would share with you some of the pictures I’ve collected over the past 18 months of our wildlife. I put most of it down to the immense amount of berries we have in Autumn from so much Hawthorne, elderberry, rosehip and honeysuckle. Also the water from our natural pond and the coverage in our little wooded area.

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Here is a kestral eating its mouse flavoured breakfast outside our window.

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A goldfinch eating the Dandilion seeds…

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My favourite bird and somewhat of a unicorn to me…. The bullfinch. This striking chap brings his wife and youngsters here to strip the honeysuckle berries.

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Lovely twittering, chattering chaffinch.

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Mmm…. I call this sparrowHawke ‘evil Hawke’ after an extreme racket brought me outside at 8 months pregnant, in the snow to see it eating alive another female sparrowHawke.

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Lovely greenfinch

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Another terror. This magpie nested in our wooded area this year and caused me numerous problems and tragedies, including killing two robin fledglings needlessly and leaving them for me to find. I shall not be letting it nest there next year!!

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A brambling. Only ever seen on one day!

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Our family of pheasants…. One called….

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Pete!!! And the other called….

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Kate!!! Aren’t the markings around her eye remarkable.

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Redwing. Each winter, we have a flock come over, just before the fieldfares.

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Our lovely, hardworking Mr robin. Or Mrs maybe?

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A greater spotted woodpecker and her….

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Baby…. Further down the tree!

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And our little bunny. There’s been many more as well besides the usual tits and blackbirds. I’m so, so thankful as I have always loved birds and at my last house we only got sparrows and blackbirds. I tell myself to never take them for granted and to look after them. Hence todays project!!!!

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Turning an everyday milk carton into a water carrier for the birds. It’s been very dry and our pond usuall provides water for the birds but I thought they may need extra help. I’m lucky enough to live in the area that would have once been Sherwood forest. Now farmed and cultivated, yet still providing much woodland to meander around.

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There is still the heart of Sherwood forest dedicated as a woodland heritage site and containing the ancient major oak tree. The rangers there do all sorts of nature walks and I went on a birdwatching walk with a dear friend. We were told about re-using milk bottles in this way to provide water for our birds and I have been meaning to do it for ages. I think mine may not quite suit the setting of Sherwood forest though….

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Too many love hearts!!!

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Slice an arch shape into one side and take off. Make a little flap to fold down for little birds to stand on, take the rough edges off and remove the lid so that when it rains, it fills.

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Add a little decoration if you wish and puncture some holes at the top to hang it.

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I did two crochet chains for strength.

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And there we have it!!! Looking forward to seeing my birds have a drink and trying to resist the urge to hang red pompoms from it!! One last thing tonight….. Look at this big, lovely jug I picked up for £2 from my village charity shop!

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It’s fab! a little of the red glaze was chipped off, nothing a red permanent marker couldn’t disguise though! Night xxxx

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