I had a couple of hours this afternoon and couldn't resist a return trip to the Botanics. The sun was out and I wanted to improve on yesterday's pics. A lot of the flowers and trees looked much better in decent light, though it's different every time you go there, and the wildlife can't be guaranteed to behave the same 2 days in row. So no bullfinches today. However there was a robin singing his heart out and taking bread out my hand. And it doesn't get better than that!
last of the snow(drops)
this wee guy was at the Chinese garden
He mugged me for that crumb of bread but ate it in the shadows. When I came past the second time he maybe recognised me and sang a very loud and pretty tune before flying over for a photo shoot.
Plenty squirrels about today - none quite as tame as yesterday but loads burying nuts and prepared to model for photos!
Campbell's Magnolia Tree
I just wandered through the gardens looking for well lit areas. There were a couple of places I came upon squirrels and birds that were in shadow and realised I'd get better photos if I moved to an area lit by the sun. I saw a pair of Long-Tailed Tits but they were out of range flitting through the tree tops. And various Blue Tits also escaped my lens. On the way back through the Chinese Garden this robin was singing really loudly. He was used to approaching humans - he might well have been the same one my pal Michael was taking photos of a while back. I held out more bread and he skillfully flew over, and while hovering took it neatly out my hand. I managed to get some video of him singing which is only slightly marred by the workmen who were operating machinery nearby. Will post in due course. (I have some new video software to learn.)
A bit away from the pond these 3 mallards were out and about (possibly avoiding the machinery at their pond) and having a wander. When they saw me throwing peanuts to a nearby squirrel they came over for a chat. I walked down the hill to where the sunlight was streaming across the path and everyone obliged by coming over and standing in the sunbeams to get their picture taken. The squirrel, the ducks, (two chaps, one lady) several crows (hanging back but chasing the others away from any stray nuts that came their way) and some wood pigeons clattering about in the background.
Mrs. Mallard photobombs the boys.
smile for the camera
very tricky to get these 2 to pose together
After about 70 or 80minutes the cold was seeping into me and it was time to cycle home for hot cups of tea. I didn't get round a quarter of the stuff there and look forward to more trips soon. The combination of hungry wildlife and all the plants waking up and sprouting after Winter is irresistible.