Saturday, 1 January 2011

Best wishes to all for 2011

As one year of gardenwatching ends and a new one begins I’d like to thank everyone who visited shirls gardenwatch during 2010. Spending time on this blog just wouldn't be the same without you. I’d also like to wish you and all those dear to you good health and happiness for 2011.


Fieldfare, new winter visitor January 2010.


A full gardenwatch review of 2010 was a last minute plan. It was fun for me selecting photos and laying out montages. However, the clock ticked closer towards the ‘Bells’ and the last tidy-ups for the year and time with my family beckoned. I’ve reformed my plan :-)

Instead of putting on our virtual dancing shoes and jigging through the past year (tiring everyone out) let’s take things a tad slower with a review at the beginning of each month. This will make an interesting comparison too.

January 2010 in my garden was a more bird focused month due to cold winter weather. Yep… the snow from December was still with us. Looking out my window this morning, the picture/story for January 2011 is going to begin pretty much the same.


Review of images posted in January 2010. Click to enlarge.


Snowman ‘Smiler’ eventually lost his grin as this prolonged snow spell was slow to shift. We were all starting to get tired of a pretty snow covered garden. The good side to this cold winter weather was that new birds were seen in the garden like the Fieldfare and Tree Sparrow (see montage).

Thoughts turned back to the previous July and a garden visit to Culross Palace. That cheered everyone up. Back in my garden, later than usual, a pruning of my wisteria back to two sets of buds was needed.

I finally got round to ‘Introducing' Dave Culley and his Sparrowhawks after email exchanges from the previous year. He has enthusiastically studied and filmed Sparrowhawks in the wild for a few years now and has some fantastic video captures including nesting and chicks.

Back in my garden again, a second nestbox with a camera (B&W IR images) went up. An extra camera with IR went in our original colour camera Nestbox amid hopes of moss covered floors, nestbox shuffles and possible nestbox families to watch come Spring. We enjoyed seeing a Blue tit roosting in our original (green) nestbox.

The month of January ended with the annual RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch and a video wander around the garden. Watching the video again has been great reminder of how plants continue to grow even under snow.

So that ‘in short’ was last January. For January 2011 I’m predicting a more bird focused month once again. I’m looking out for returning winter visitors like the Fieldfare, Tree Sparrow and a perhaps Blackcap passing through. Of course… any new visitors will be more than welcome :-)

With the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in mind over the last weekend of the month I had planned some bird profiles to help out with ID’s for those new to this event. I’ve had one almost complete on the Dunnock siting in draft for a few months. I really should start with it. That is the plan anyway :-)

The thing about a gardenwatch blog is that I do try to keep things current when I can. On occasions, some posts that have been almost ready to publish can get put back and never see the light of a monitor screen.

On the positive side, I’ve lots of photos and stories of visits still to tell. I’m predicting February will be a more plant garden/plant focused month. Lol… that is the plan anyway :-)

13 comments:

Miranda Bell said...

Dear Shirl - a very Happy New Year to you... so sorry that I've not visited much in the last while but have been laid up with a herniated disc - I'm sure like some of my hubby's family who live near to you that this winter weather has not exactly been kind to you - do take care and hope to be able to have a bit more time to visit your blog in 2011 - Miranda x

Gardeningbren said...

Happy New Year Shirl!!....you will soon have snow drops and open gardens happening! Santa brought a bird cam...yippeee... Enjoying your review and photos. Thank you for your kind comments all year on my blog.

shirl said...

Hello there Miranda and Brenda, thank-you and wishing you both a good New Year too!

Miranda, sorry to hear you’ve been laid up for so long. Hope your condition improves soon. Yes, it was a tad chilly here for a while. Snow and ice still covers paths yet. Keep warm and take care x

Brenda, can’t imagine the snowdrops quite yet but will look forward to their arrival. Brilliant news re the bird cam… enjoy! I’m looking forward to following it :-D

lotusleaf said...

Happy New Year, Shirl. I enjoyed reading your posts last year, and am looking forward to more of those interesting posts and wonderful pictures.

patientgardener said...

Happy New Year and I hope 2011 is kind to you.
I had Fieldfares in the garden last Feb/Jan as well as Redwings but so far this winter the Fieldfares havent reappeared. I was surprised at how big they are compared to Thrushes

Randy Emmitt said...

Shirl,

Much enjoyed the blog all year, looking forward to your blogging this year! You always post something I know very little if anything about, like this new bird to your yard.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Wishing you a happy healthy new year too Shirl.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

I love the collage, especially all the bird pictures. The Sparrowhawk chicks are so cute. This year has stared off very cold and the pond has been attracting some very pretty birds.
I always enjoy your posts and seeing what is going on in your garden and in those nestboxes.
Happy New Year!

jodi (bloomingwriter) said...

Heartfelt wishes for a happy new year to you as well, Shirl. Thank you for all you write and all you teach others around the world. May this be a terrific year for you, your family, the birds...

shirl said...

Hello lotuseaf, Helen, Randy, Lisa, Catherine and Jodi. Thanks for all your good wishes :-D

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year too. Thanks also for all the visits and comments you have made on my blog over 2010 too :-D

Helen, hope your Fieldfares and Redwings return again this year. I agree about their size :-)

Randy, great, I particularly enjoy sharing our birds with visitors outside the UK :-)

Catherine, I have another 11 collages ready! They were fun to do as is watching for new birds at this time of year. Enjoy your extra visitors too. It is a pleasure to share any nestbox action we get :-D

Jodi, ditto, I plan to keep up with your blog more again during 2011 :-)

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

Happy New Year Shirl - wishing you and the family all the best for 2011
K
xx

Jan@Thanks for today. said...

Happy New Year, Shirl! I have such a backlog of photos that I just don't even get to most of them. I could write several posts per day and still not get to them. Some are better than none, right?! Your gardenwatch blog is a great resource for fellow nature lovers and it is a pleasure to be your blogging friend. Your collages show such activity and the birds are my favorites. May this new year bring lots of good things to you and yours!

shirl said...

Hi again Karen and Jan, thanks for your good wishes. I’d like to wish both you and your families a very Happy New Year too :-D

Jan, I can sympathise with you re backlogs of photos. Definitely, some posts are better than none. Thanks for you very generous comments, I have enjoyed many blogging friendships including yours too :-D