Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Joining the party

Snow scenes are decorating many blogs at the moment. Here in the UK, schools have closed and transportation has been disrupted. My daughter had been convincing herself that I would receive ‘the text’ from the school this morning saying that her school was on the list. She had plans for an igloo. Alas but no… our temps increased a little over night and persistent rain almost wiped out all evidence that we even had snow. Aw… the poor snowmen didn’t stand a chance. But we did… honest! Look I've got proof…









Yesterday morning I was lucky enough to look out the window just at the moment a small group of Long-tailed tits made a return visit to the peanut feeders. Luckily the camera was close to hand. They were aware that I was watching as you can see. They had joined the feeding party of birds in my garden for just a short while before flying off to another garden. Ah… but hey their visit has allowed me to join the party of posts showing snow in the garden! Tomorrow, it is quite likely we will get our snow covering back again… but not in time for ‘the text’ from the school.


Oh… wait a minute before I go, when we're on the subject of parties, I’d like to share with you a Dinner Party Invitation from VP...


Now this is an interesting thought isn’t it? She says: "You can invite figures from the past, present, future or a mix; celebrity, learned or your gardening buddies - it's up to you." I’m working on my guest list now - it will be tricky! She also suggests: "your guests should have an interest in gardening or nature". So that opens it up a bit more. If you’d like to take part with a comment or even a posting you’ll get more details here. Mister Linky will be helping VP on Saturday. I have no doubt that it will be quite fascinating to see everyone’s guest lists.

The photos of the Long-tailed tits above were taken in my garden on February 2nd 2009. P.S. my daughter really does enjoy school!


23 comments:

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Shirl - Those pictures of the long tailed tits are exquisite - they are such delightful birds, I am green with envy.
No snow here to speak of, but its very cold.
K

shirl said...

Gosh thank-you Karen :-)

Fortunately the camera was set for low light levels already - I was lucky to get anything and was delighted. I had been on the phone and didn't see them arrive. I honestly just looked up in time!

Glad I popped by your blog, I meant to mention VP's party too and this was a perfect posting for it. Thanks for the reminder. I've updated this post with it. Looking forward to hearing about your guest list :-D

Yes, its got colder here tonight too. Keep warm :-D

Lisa at Greenbow said...

What sweet little birds in your garden Shirl. Great capture of them. You could see how hungry they were.

It is good to hear that you aren't snowed in.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Shirl, Welcome to the snow blogging world:) It's nice to finally get just a little snow, isn't it? I understand your daughter's excitement over the thought of no school (and I do believe she likes school, as you said:) Maybe the next storm will give her a day off. Just so it isn't dangerous or you don't lose power, etc.

I adore those photos of the long tailed tits. They're beautiful little birds. Would love to have some in my garden here.

Jan

Midmarsh John said...

Lovely captures of the Long-tailed Tits. If yours are like the ones which visit my garden they are hard to spot as they stay for such a short time on each visit.

Crafty Green Poet said...

that's a stunning series of photos of one of my favourite birds. I've been seeing them everywhere this year.

Liz said...

Lovely LTT photos Shirl, I particularly love the narrow dof and magical qualities of the branches in the background (but then I do use very narrow dof myself in case you hadn't noticed before...)

I hope you get them visiting regularly, I like to think some have visited me. Although I'll never know :(

Lindab said...

What perfect photos - there's something very harmonious about the whole composition. I'll return to them and admire! I love the background of snow-covered pine branches.

The snow has been and gone down here in the capital. Unfortunately I was incarcerated in the office during the snowy daylight hours, so I didn't see our garden sous la neige. However my son, who was at home on study leave, reported that it was impressive, and even (lol) distracted him from his Maths revision...

I daresay your daughter will still enjoy 'snow at school'. Some of the students certainly did at my children's school: http://occasionalscotland.blogspot.com/2009/02/happy-snow-day.html

shirl said...

Hi there Lisa, Jan, John, Juliet, Liz and Linda :-)

Lisa – Thank-you, yes, they really are little beauties and so tricky to spot pass through. All the birds were the same that day. I don’t want to tempt fate but it’s been a few years now since we’ve been properly snowed in. It’s our small side streets that are biggest problems before you get anywhere near main roads. Yesterday, I did spot the familiar messages on the roadside of the snow gates closing just North of us. That makes me think back to my school days and hoping our school bus wouldn’t make it to us. I lived further North then and many times it didn’t ;-)

Jan – LOL… well I had to join in didn’t I ;-) Yes, you can… but where she thought she’d get enough snow for an igloo was another matter! Oh… and her sister is away at UNI now so she would have her work ‘cut’ out there. As I said above (very gingerly), it’s been a few years since we’ve had it really bad with snow. We are used to a certain level of snow here. It’s been a very long time since we have lost power with it. Our snow is nothing like the storms I’ve seen images of in America or Canada. However, it can sometimes still be a lot for us as it is in many parts of England at the moment. I guess Scotland has more measures put in place initially as snow in the North it is usually expected but clearly our weather in the UK is changing. Thank-you they are wonderful little birds – oh many in the UK would love to see them too. We only get fleeting visits but that makes them more precious :-D

John – Thank-you, yes you are spot on! It’s only in the past few months that we have ever seen them at all. In that time I’ve probably seen around 7-10 lucky visits! So as you can guess I was thrilled to get photos. Ah… I see you have some pics on your blog too. I also spotted a camera nest box. I’ll be back later when I’ve time for a good browse :-D

Juliet – Thank-you! I’m delighted to be able to share them :-) Gosh you are lucky to be seeing them so much. They are a delight. Oh… the snowdrop festival, I plan to get out for that this month sometime. I went to Dalmeny last year so I’ll try somewhere different this year. Sadly, the Botanics is more of a thought for me this year with the road works coming in from my side of the city –I’d love to see the birds there at this time of year again too. I saw bullfinches and a Treecreeper last Feb. Enjoy your trips there :-D

Liz – Thank-you, yes, I use that setting most of the time with this lens. I don’t like the quality of my wide angle one anyway (fingers crossed for a birthday parcel there). Yes, I have noticed you enjoy using it too. You have mastered it much more than I though. You’ve some really nice images on your blog. Oh… the LLT’s may well be visiting you as there visits are so very fleeting. I wonder how long they visited my garden before I first noticed them a few months ago. I see you’ve had a good covering of snow. We seem to be in a tiny pocket here as ours has almost gone and we have a sunny frosty morning at the moment. I wonder if the snow will keep away here today again. Enjoy your snowmen and stay safe out on the roads :-D

Linda – Thank-you! I don’t usually post square images but they just seemed to connect the birds to my small pine tree and make the image of them together more intimate. I’m delighted everyone has enjoyed seeing them. I like posting a series if the posting is short. Yes, my OH travels in every day and it is surprising the changes in temps in the relatively short distance. Ah… the study leave and distractions! Yes, she doesn’t mind snow at school too much but being in 4th yr she finds the younger ones more annoying with it. I don’t hear her complain about the older ones ;-)

easygardener said...

They are sweet birds and such fun to watch. They are demolishing my large fat ball at an alarming rate (when it isn't frozen solid).

Mel said...

Hola Shirl :)

It's sunny and a bit too hot on this side of the world... It does feel a bit strange to see all that snow on most blogs I visit, having no snow on this city ever!
The pics are so beautiful!! I want a garden like yours, with feeders like yours and nests cameras and so on... Maybe I'll visit some time! lol

Besos,

Mel

Anna said...

Beautiful photos of the long tailed tits Shirl. They are a regular visitor to our garden. In spring they hover around the windows, and tap at them looking for grubs I imagine. I am never quick enough with my camera when I see them :) Sorry that your daughter did not get her wished for day off.

nancybond said...

Those little birds are so dear! Great timing, Shirl. :)

Tricia said...

Wonderful pictures of such a pretty and fast-moving bird Shirl - well done!

Ironic that south of London we've had 12 inches of snow and up there in Scotland - hardly any at this time! Lol

VP said...

I think long tailed tits are amongst my favourites - they just chatter so don't they!

Thanks for the tips re Mr Linky :D - he's now ready and waiting for Saturday. I think I'd have had a fit at doing a little light HTML at the last minute, no matter how well your hand is held during the process on Mr Linky's site

Miranda Bell said...

Oh just a little bit envious - those little birds are just adorable... I know I can't complain as I've loads of birds eating from the feeders ... these would be the icing on the cake! Keep warm... Miranda

shirl said...

Hi there Denise, Mel, Anna, Nancy, Tricia, VP and Miranda :-)

Denise – LOL… frozen food is definitely on the menu at the moment! I agree they are great to watch :-D

Mel – Hola! Hope you are having a better week. Oh my… it’s hard to think of you having temps too hot ;-) No snow ever too. Thank-you, maybe one day you’ll live outside the city and have a quite different garden – with lots of birds and some shade too! Gosh… Peru to Scotland would be quite an experience in terms of culture alone ;-)

Anna – Thank-you, oh lucky you. I’d say they were more occasional here. Wow… what characters they sound in your garden. Great stuff. Yep… we are in a pocket here between the borders and the Highlands and have been lucky to escape bad snow fall. Other times we are the only ones who get it – then my daughter will be off school :-D

Nancy – There are… and it really was :-D

Tricia – Thank-you, yes they do move quite quickly don’t they. Yes, hardly any at the moment with us here in our little pocket of the UK but just yesterday I spotted the familiar gantry road signs warning of the snow gates just North of us closed. You always now its winter then! The country does feel like it’s turned upside down though ;-) You did well getting out of your car park today and you captured some stunning snow pics too. I wonder how many more days you’ll have like this :-)

VP – Yes, once seen (and heard) they will always be on the favs list! You are most welcome, I’m glad you got sorted now in plenty of time. After doing it at the last minute I know how stressful it was and wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. I’m so glad my OH suggested I tested it on an older posting as that helped a lot. I got mine set up within an hour of my posting! Too, too close for comfort. Glad I could save you all that. Enjoy using it. It’s great seeing the postings come in :-D

Miranda – Oh… me of your visitors too! They are adorable though aren’t they? Yes, but there will always be room for a few more at your feeders – maybe one day they will pay a surprise visit! You’ll have to be looking at the time as they move around the feeders quickly and then they’re gone again! Great fun to see though. Thanks, you too :-D

Little Brown Job said...

Always love to see Long Tailed Tits, great shots :-)

Paul.

Joe said...

Hi Shirl,

I loved those Long-tailed Tit photos. They look so tiny against that nut feeder. Sounds like they are visiting your garden quite frequently at the moment. I wonder when we will see them in our garden again.

My school has been closed 2 days this week already, and tomorrow looks like it will be a third. The forcast promises heavy snow on monday too! The birds ofetn visit more when the weather is so cold.

Juliet said...

Lovely long-tailed tit pictures - we get them visiting sometimes too, but they are always too fast for me to get any photos. The snow has really brought the birds to the garden (too bad it didn't snow over the birdwatch weekend!) - we had three redwings here all day on Monday as well as all the usual suspects.

Patsi said...

The long tailed tit is so sweet.
You have many lovely small birds that are so attractive. The Robin is one of my favorites.
The party meme sounds like fun,don't think I'll make it on time.
Have a great weekend,
Patsi

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Hi Shirl, I meant to say I feel honored to have my blog in your sidebar:) Thank you.

Also wanted to mention that my daughter went to Edinburgh a couple of years ago with her h.s. orchestra, and loved it so much that she hasn't stopped talking about wanting to move there...and she's in college now.

shirl said...

Hi there Paul, Joe, Juliet, Patsi and Jan :-)

Paul –They are a treat aren’t they? Thank-you, oh I see you’ve a new camera. What a great shot of the Pied Wagtail :-D

Joe – Thank-you, I was so lucky to get them. I don’t know if I’d say they were visiting frequently more occasionally that we see. Yes, I thought where you are that you’d be off school. I bet you will be quite happy to get back now. Yes, you are right I notice more birds visiting on cold days too :-D

Juliet – Thank-you, yes, they really are a bit fast to catch. I was just lucky the camera was sitting there. Yes… you’re right the count for the RSPB would have had quite a shake if it had been snowing that weekend. Oh… redwings that must have been a treat to see :-D

Patsi – Oh… their little faces really are! My garden mainly gets visits from small birds. Since taking photos and video I now appreciate that they really are quite pretty little birds. Yes, the parties have now started and I am looking forward to visiting them. No probs if you decide to have a party at a later date you can always add your post URL on VP’s Mister Linky list so everyone can read all about it. Thank-you, wishing you a great weekend too :-D

Jan – You are most welcome Jan! Wow… how great that a Scottish city has made such an impression on her. It will be interesting if she still considers it after college :-D