Sunday, 29 November 2020

Grey Patch Walk

 Despite the grey conditions Margie and I decide to walk the local patch again today, I wasn't overly confident the late start , the drab conditions and a "professional" dog walker letting loose her charges into the fields as we rocked up to park all seemed against us, also the last few walks around this area hadn't actually been birdfests!! ๐Ÿ˜ข Margie spent the ten minutes whilst I kitted up debating with herself whether to take her camera on the walk, eventually deciding not to ๐Ÿ˜She then spent the first half hour of the walk moaning she didn't have her camera, ๐Ÿ˜ตgo figure!! 

The first field was deserted ,a few starlings and some flyover pigeons! The glades were also deserted. though a Sprawk appearing out of the brush in front of us was nice, but didn't hang around for a pic, this area perplexes me ,it looks perfect habitat for birds ,thick hedges and lots of scrub, but there is rarely anything there. We finally found some birds where it opens up a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a flock of Fieldfares and some Mistle Thrushes about the best of it.


Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush


View of the more productive area by Margie (phone pic)

View of the more productive area by Margie (phone pic)

We headed up towards the Vineyard, nice views all around here. Margie directed me to get a few pics.

Nice colours shame about the wire

Bit of Fungi action

Misty Wolstonbury Hill

Hurstpierpoint Church

Misty View

And again

Were a few Goldfinch and Chaffinch in the vineyard but didn't get any pics and Margie saw a Green Woodpecker which I missed, we also had good views as a flock of Geese which we watched fly in from miles away which unsurprisingly turned out to be Greylags, one of which had white wingtips, touch of the farmyard probably! We also had a rare sighting, Sunbeams!! Also a large flock of Starlings.

Incoming Greylags


The White Winger

Some rare Sunbeams


We headed back towards the car another Mistle Thrush running around on a field, a flyover Egret and another Great Spotted Woodpecker calling loudly from the top of a conifer the final bird sightings.!

Mistle Thrush

Mistle Thrush
Little Egret


That was about that, nice to be out, but need some sunshine and some birds!!


Saturday, 28 November 2020

5000 views whoop!!

 In order to celebrate 5000 views of my Blog I decided to make some Chelsea Buns and take some pics of the Spuggies in the garden!! The most surprising thing about it is the worldwide reach of the blog ,the stats showing readers in a multitude of countries maybe the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada , and most of continental Europe is not that surprising and my Kazakhstani readership was mostly from Suffolk ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜‚ but what readers from India ,Brazil, Bangladesh, Egypt, Russia ,Taiwan, Hong Kong, Argentina etc etc make of my ramblings is anybody guess!๐Ÿ˜ฒ Though I suppose Birds and Cakes is pretty much a universal language!!!

Well I'm enjoying writing it so will probably carry on for a while, hopefully once the lockdown is done will get out a bit further afield and the posts will become a bit more varied!! Also more shed news hopefully coming soon!!!๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

Today I made some Chelsea Buns which were blooming tasty!!pics and vague instructions below also some bird pics at the end!!

The Dough made and Kneaded

Proved for 2hrs and doubled in size

Rolled out almost an oblong, quite springy so difficult to roll

Cover in Butter works for most things๐Ÿ˜œ

Dark Muscovado, Glace Cherries, Sultanas and Mixed Spice

Sprinkle Over

Roll it up!

Chop it, Tin it!

Proved again
Bake and cover in Syrup

Enjoy with a cup of Tea๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹๐Ÿ˜‹

The Survivors,(Edit two of the survivors are no longer with us and it ain't looking good for the rest)๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜

As this is a blog about about both Cake and Birds and this is a celebratory post I took a few pics in the Garden today!!

Male House Sparrow with shadow effect eye strip

Female House Sparrow showing the hide behind a twig technique that many birds I try to take pics of employ ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€

Male House Sparrow


So hopefully out birding tomorrow, locally of course no Surry Buntings or Kent Crag Martins for me!๐Ÿ˜ข no doubt they will bugger off on December the 3rd but heyhoe!!

Sunday, 22 November 2020

Potential Death in the Afternoon!

 So after several pretty dire walks around the barren wastelands around Hurstpierpoint, we decided today to travel a little further afield, only 6 miles though!!๐Ÿ˜ Parking up in Small Dole and walking down to Beeding Brooks which was a little further then we thought it was ๐Ÿ˜ฉTo start with it seemed that we had exchanged one desert for another, though at least the scenery was different ,interesting to see the paragliders over Devils Dyke does that count as exercise? Does birding who knows !! 

Paragliders over the Dyke

Scenery by me!

Scenery by Margie

Possibly Chanctonbury Ring by Margie

Scenery by Margie
Birdwise things were pretty dire๐Ÿ˜ขa flyover Green Woodpecker and a Chaffinch the highlights, however as we neared the Brooks things started to improve with a few Linnets, a Stonechat and large flocks of Fieldfares and Starlings, thought we was going to get a murmuration at one point but it petered out before it got going! At this point I should point out the light was terrible and most of the pics ended up as silhouettes which have been lightened to the point of stupidity just to see some sort of detail! 



Linnet with a few berries!

Starling Sillouette


The wintery sun was making some nice lighting effects on the reeds and Margie found a puddle of gold, there were also a couple of Swans that gave us good close views and I found a cloud that looked like a Pig, although Margie who usually spots these things was sceptical, You decide!!

Swan Portrait

Swans often overlooked but quite beautiful

Obvious pig shaped cloud c'mon!!

My attempt at the Reeds

Singular Reed 

Golden Puddle by Margie (sounds a bit wrong๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฒ)

Margie's reed shot

Reeds by Margie
Reed by Margie

We came across a very annoying tree whilst we were walking towards it several small flocks of birds ,Fieldfares ,Redwings, Starlings etc etc flew in and out of it completely backlit ,a Kestrel flew in posed nicely but the pics are a nightmare though I've posted a couple of them but lightened to death. Of course when we got the other side where the birds would be wonderfully lit sod all came in to the tree typical!!๐Ÿ˜ก๐Ÿ˜ก Slightly further on there were a couple of very impressive Rams in a field thankfully behind a fence although Margie probably wouldn't have let me wrestle em anyway!!๐Ÿ˜…





Ram with earrings!

We reached the river and started back along the bank, more Fieldfares and Redwings flying about, those in good light were to far away and those closer were silhouettes again I'm pretty sure they do it on purpose some quite impressive numbers of Fieldfares in particular. Up and til this point farm animals had either been distant or safely behind fences ,however as we came around a hedge a field full of cows and one was a Bull!!!!!!!!!!๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜ฒand it was kin big!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whoaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Kin Grut Bull!!!

Obviously I was calmness personified at this point and hardly quickened my step at all though was slightly irritated by Margie's dawdling as she confirmed the sighting!!! Then I was plunged into a dilemma as a Kingfisher flew along the bank and landed just across from us, so on one side a beautiful bird that the chance to photograph comes along rarely on the other almost certain death at the hands of a large killing machine,albiet acting suspiciously docile and pretending to have no interest in me to the point it was walking the other way,what would I do!!!!???๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฒ๐Ÿ˜… 

Well to my credit once and for all conquering my not that irrational fear (lots of people have been killed by cows) I took the pics!! though once again a bird manages to hide behind one reed grrrrrrrrr!!!


Kingfisher surprised as me that I'm still taking pics despite deadly peril!!

Back to business

Kingfisher in Habitat
Blooming Reeds

Luckily the Kingy flew off just as the beasts started to charge and we made our escape!!

Cow heading our way!!

We continued down the river I made various attempts to get pictures of Fieldfares and Redwings with varying amounts of success and we spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to get a picture of a Swan putting it's head in the water to make the perfect reflection shot I failed miserably but Margie made a reasonable attempt at it!


Distant Fieldfare with food supply at least it was lit by the sun

Incoming Swans

Just about nailed the reflection shot by Margie

Another excellent reflection shot by Margie

Fieldfare and Redwing

That was about it, the walk back was long and largely birdless, no sign of any Owls but we probably left about an hour too early and it is probably to early in the season for the SEOs as yet. So with  a shot of the moon  we headed home, a field with 3 loose horses in it held no fear for me now, much more reward for our 10000 steps than previous walks!!
The Moon