Friday, 4 April 2014


Wow, Spring has definitely arrived here in Whitstable.   We've had a few warm sunny days and the blossom on our fruit trees is looking gorgeous.   The words to a little ditty keep running through my mind:

The spring has sprung the grass has riz
I wonders where the birdies iz
The birds are on the wing I heard
Should not the wings be on the bird

I remember it being quoted by Spike Milligan but just had a quick Google and it seems there are lots of variations of the rhyme and it was probably written by an American author called Frederic Ogden Nash who was born in 1902

We've been home from Fuerteventura for a week now and what has really struck me is how lovely (and loud) the birdsong is.    Its probably the thing I miss most when away as the garden birds are really 'going for it' just now - I especially love the Blackbird and Robin songs but even the little Dunnocks have a lovely call

Here's a robin singing away beautifully

and a dunnock

Blackbird - this one has claimed our damson tree as 'his' territory.

Sadly not all our garden visitors are as melodic as these.

We get a lot of these Herring Gulls - they like to congregate on the roof of our neighbour's house and they are VERY vocal.    This one was on our roof a couple of days ago but he did pose beautifully for the camera.      Apologies for the obtrusive watermarks.     I was experimenting with different marks  - normally I use Faststone to resize the photos for my Blog and watermark the smaller images but I accidentally hit 'confirm' too soon and spoiled some of my original large photos 

These Black-headed gulls are much better behaved.     They have just got their Summer plumage hence the black (dark chocolate brown) heads.  In the Winter they just have a small dark smudge behind each eye.  We don't see these in our garden, I photographed this pair on a rooftop when I was walking along our local beach recently.

The squirrels have worked out how to flip open the seed feeder lids

David chased this one off and then tightened the spring clip/catches.    Half an hour later this squirrel was doing its best to loosen the lid again ... so far the catch is still holding up but not sure how long it will be before the squirrel works it loose.    You have to admire their determination and intelligence

I'm afraid I haven't got any new work to show yet.   Things have been hectic this week.   

I've painted the bathroom walls (twice), we went to France for the day on Monday and we've spent a lot of time visiting kitchen appliance shops to decide on the oven and hob we want installed when the kitchen is remodelled at the end of the month.   

However, I have finally found a frame for the gorilla picture which will be exhibited at the RBSA Gallery in Birmingham soon.   I need to get a mount cut for it next week and then both pictures are ready to be transported - the exhibition runs from 28th April till 10th May.


  1. Great photos, Sue! Those black headed gulls almost look like plastic models, they're so crisp!

    Can't wait to see your gorilla framed.

    Is a hob something like our cook tops? The part of the range (stove) with the burners? Is that a separate purchase in England?

  2. Spring is sprung
    The grass is riz
    I wonder where the birdie is.
    The little birdie's on the wing
    But how absurd,
    The wing is surely on the bird.

    That's the version I have always known. Love to see the spring birds, still got a lot of snow around although now we have big swaths of grass showing which is beginning to green up. However, they keep telling us more snow is on the way.

  3. Thanks Jan

    The hob is the cook top. It isn't always separate - but ours is as we have electric cooker/stove and gas burners.

    I'm after a glass topped gas burner/hob which will be much easier to clean than the traditional sort we have now.

    I also want a self-cleaning oven as I hate that job. The choices are steam cleaning ovens or pyrolytic cleaning ovens which burn off dirt at very high temperatures.

  4. Love your photos and the commentary! the squirrels here in our backyard are similarly ingenious in getting into the bird feeder! They jump a distance from the nearby tree or even up from the deck and manage to get to the seeds. They have also learned to twirl the feeder as they jump off making a mess of seeds on the ground but then mission accomplished !!!! Its still fun to watch them. Thanks for your story - gives perspective to my unsuccessful struggles for trying to keep them away :)

  5. That's spooky Meera. This evening one of the squirrels knocked a feeder onto the floor and rolled it on the ground so the seeds spilled out. I have a couple of photos - the squirrel looked SOOOOO pleased with itself!

  6. Hi Jo
    Its amazing how many versions of that ditty are on 'the web'. But its been driving me crazy going round and round in my brain for a couple of days ....

    Fingers crossed .. we won't get any snow now and I hope we don't get any hard frosts as the fruit trees have blossomed early after all the rain we had over Winter ... I'm looking forward to a good crop of apples, pears and plums (and damsons of course)

  7. Where's the picture of the Clinker bird singing?

  8. Ahhh ... the Clinker Bird is shy and retiring and very difficult to photograph

    and besides, its tone deaf!

  9. great pics of the gulls :D the birds in the trees drive sky nuts with their noise :p and the gulls bomb her from above :p she isn't a fan of birds lol

    haven't seen many squirrels, but there are supposed to be a few red squirrels in the area, so I hope I see them


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