Saturday, 28 April 2012

Red Squirrel!

Not the best photo ever of a Red Squirrel but it is mine and aren't Red Squirrels adorable!?  We visited Loch of the Lowes today to see the Ospreys.  The female has laid 3 eggs, so fingers crossed for healthy chicks, but in the meantime it is nice to see the adults getting up to Osprey stuff (yes, that is an official ornithological phrase).  And the male was doing quite a bit of flying about which was lovely to watch.  There were also quite a few pairs of Great Crested Grebes about, doing head shaking at each other.  Someone told me that they thought their nests had been washed away in all the heavy rain and that was why they were back to courting - which is very sad, but I am glad that they have gone back to courting instead of just giving up.  Oh and there were Roe Deer on the other side of the loch which I saw through a spotting scope!  They swam across a small stream, got out and shook themselves dry on the other side.  There were about 9 of them and there were 2 young ones trailing behind, which still had white spots on their sides and white tails.

The feeding station was all action as usual.  There were so many birds you couldn't possibly hope to know what all was there, but the highlights for me were the Siskins (male pictured above).  We only get Siskins visiting the garden very rarely and I can't say I have ever been aware of having seen them when just out and about having a walk, so being able to see so many of them so close up was brilliant.  There was a Great Spotted Woodpecker about, but we didn't really get a good look at it this time round.  There was also a little Vole of some sort hiding in amongst some twigs at the base of a tree.  It was darting here there and everywhere and you couldn't really hope to get a good look at it to properly identify it, but it was definitely cute!  But really, I think that the award for cutest creature of the day has to go to the Red Squirrels.  There is just something so much sweeter about a Red Squirrel than a Grey, and I really think that it has a lot to do with those tufty ears!  :-)

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The First Hoverfly Of The Year!

My first hoverfly picture of the year!  I wonder how many there will be by the end of the summer...  I have no idea quite why I like hoverflies so much, but they are very pretty, and when they sit still like this one, you get a chance to admire their delicacy and beautiful shinyness.  I think it was very considerate of it to sit on this rather stunningly yellow tulip too as it has provided a very sunny backdrop, with some very lovely subtle detail in the form of the veins and edges of the petals.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Rude Food

I think the expression on this chameleon's face pretty much sums it up - "this is not on and you will pay for your insolence!"  Although if you listened to the other people looking in this tank, it was an iguana and the cricket was eating it...  How many animals would just sit there while something was eating it?!  The chameleon wasn't really doing anything about it but I am pretty sure he was plotting.  He kept looking back at the cricket and I think he was just biding his time before he executed the perfect revenge!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My Neighbour Totoro!

Meet my 2012 Easter egg!  I had several ideas this year, but due to time constraints and lack of creativity I went with the most simple option in Totoro.  For once in my life there is nothing glued on the egg apart from a couple of little cardboard ears!  I think the paint job turned out not bad, and I'm not absolutely enamoured with the inking but I think it's not horrendous considering my stupid shakey hands.  I waited a couple of days to photograph him because I really felt that a Totoro should be photographed outside, and I thought that the dandelions produced a nice homage to the umbrella.  The only downside to waiting for a nice sunny day to do it outside was that acrylic paint is somewhat shiny... oh well!