Celandines, Snowdrops and Goldcrests

After two trips out on Saturday, to Kirkby Lonsdale and Leighton Moss, on Sunday morning S and I were bound for more familiar territory in Eaves Wood. He was walking again and decided on a diversion to the George Whittaker memorial park, which we usually refer to as ‘the swings’. Whilst pushing S on the swing I watched a mixed flock of rooks and jackdaws flying high above Eaves Wood. Judging by the way they stalled, swooped, soared and side-slipped, they were playing in the stiff wind for the sheer joy of it. It took me a moment to notice a single larger bird amongst…no, above and behind the wheeling corvids. By holding its wings at exactly the right angle it was able to hold against the wind, not motionless, but presumably gliding precisely counter to the wind-speed and therefore able to remain geostationary. Although the sun was shining, the wind was cold which made standing around anxiously watching S clamber confidently all over equipment designed for older children a fairly chilly activity. After a brief discussion about the merits of staying put or continuing into the wood, we continued with S now in the backpack.

On Elmslack Lane we found some portents of spring…

….a couple of celandine and some snowdrops…

…although these particular snowdrops were photographed on Saturday and are on the verge of the bridleway that runs past our house, where they have been flowering for at least a week.

By the time we were amongst the trees S was asleep…

…and I slowed down to enjoy the songs and the sights of a wood seemingly full of birds. A tree-creeper alighted on the sunlight trunk of a Scots pine and looked stunning. I fumbled with my camera, but was too slow and although I had a few more brief glimpses of the bird, I didn’t manage to catch it in my lens. This chaffinch was slightly more obliging…

…but as ever my attempts to photograph birds seemed doomed to failure. This is par for the course, the day before I had been reeling around trying to photograph geese, and catching blurred images of tree-tops instead, and struggling with the light when trying to photograph teal, egrets and starlings. How satisfying then when later in this walk, returning to almost the same part of the wood, a movement in nearby branches drew my attention to tiny spherical blobs of feathers – a pair of goldcrests. I lost one of them, but a thin reedy piping, entirely appropriate for Britain’s smallest bird, helped to locate the other in a tree, where it sat very patiently whilst I took loads of photos.


Celandines, Snowdrops and Goldcrests

5 thoughts on “Celandines, Snowdrops and Goldcrests

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks for reminding me of these! Over New Year I met a friend who was telling me about Goldcrest contact calls and pointing out that as we talked, they were all around us – I think that they are pretty common here, but I don’t see them very often, and after 9 years of blogging I think that these are the only photographs on the blog, which is telling in itself.

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