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Monday, 25 March 2013

More garden visitors and an accident :o(

Hello friends

Thank you for your lovely comments on my last post - you ARE a lovely lot!

I mentioned we'd had a pied wagtail visiting that I hadn't managed to capture an image.  Well, when I got up this morning it was back again and I grabbed the camera and took these through the bedroom window - I'm frankly amazed they turned out so well. 

I love their plumage

as you can see the snow has been melting despite freezing temperatures overnight.

Then I saw a strange bird flitting you can see it was difficult to snap!

it's about the size of a dunnock, but you can just about see a chestnut band that's the base of it's cap.  (The orange blob in the crook of the branches is home made bark butter recipe below)

It was almost as vivid as a robins breast.  After checking my books I realised it was a female blackcap :o)  I've never had one in the garden before...I shall keep my eyes peeled to see if it comes again.

* * * *

Then came the accident.  

Some of you may recall I finally found a reasonably priced glass cloche (here)
I loved it - but this morning I knocked it off the table (sob)

The shattered remnants.  It was not to be :o(

* * * *
Recipe for birds 'Bark Butter'.
(I made half this quantity)

(Taken from Denise at House at Forest Manor, who took it from Whitneys Bird Blog - thank you both.)

2 cups of lard
2 cups peanut butter (smooth or crunchy) I used smooth
4 cups corn meal / polenta / maize meal (depending on where you are!)
2 cups bird seed/dried mealworms/dried fruit mixture (or any one of them)
2 cups rolled oats
1 teaspoon honey

I just put all the mixture into a BIG bowl and mixed it together wearing gloves by 'squidging' it.  It IS VERY STICKY!
The birds love it - especially the starlings (of course!)

I've pushed it into the crooks in the bushes where they meet and into a suet log.

I've stored the remainder in a sealable plastic bag.

I do have a few finds I'll show you in my next post.  See you soon!

Best wishes


Denise said...

Hi Rose,

Your bird pictures are great!! I don't think we have either of those varieties in the U.S. I'm so glad you tried out the bark butter -- our birds really do LOVE it! And you're right; it's very sticky and very thick. We have to use gloves as well when mixing. We store ours in a plastic container such as you would use for storing flour, sugar, etc.

Thank you for the Shout-Out; I do appreciate it. :) Some nocturnal creature, most likely a raccoon, stole our cute new bark butter feeder with the perches and the green roof. I noticed this morning that there was nothing on the chain, and I went outside this afternoon -- it's not to be found. I can't believe it! However, the raccoons are notorious for eating the bird food and just being generally mischievous and destructive. I guess I'll have to go to the bird store and buy another one. :(

I'm sorry you broke your new cloche, Rose, and I hope you have a better day tomorrow.


Denise at Forest Manor

greenthumb said...

So nice that you are getting a lot of diferent birds, Oh no now you will have to start looking again.

Marilyn said...

Sorry to hear about the broken piece. What I noticed about your pictures is how green your branches are. I'm thinking it is green because of moss? Long ago when visiting GB we saw fence posts with the same coloring. It was then that I realized why our pole fences have been colored that green! To match yours, of course. It is way too dry here to have mossy green wooden fence posts and rails! Have a great time being entertained by all the birds.♥♫

Kathy Moreland said...

Oh Rose, So sorry about your cloche! I broke my favorite one recently. I managed to find another, but the one I broke had flowers etched into the glass, and I've never seen another like it!

Beautiful birds!

Have a great week!

awholeplotoflove said...

Oh dear, how awful for you knocking the cloche off the table. I will be trying the recipe for bark butter.

Mary said...

Breaking a lovely cloche is sad Rose - they are such fun pieces to have around and use for display - hope you can take time to do some treasure hunting soon and find an affordable replacement!

I hope to get to SuzAnna's with my lovely friend Vanessa (former booth partner there at the antiques shop) later this week. I've just learned she and her family will be moving about 3 hours south from here soon. Sadly it will curtail our almost weekly coffee get togethers and shopping trips - but at least she's not moving far, far away and perhaps I can go visit for a weekend now and then.

Your two lovely birds I recall from childhood but we don't have either around here, maybe not even in the US. Looks like you're feeding them well - all that home cooking (well mixing!).

Rose, hope you are not getting all that snow we're seeing - and those blizzard conditions in parts of northern England and up into Scotland. Easter will be chilly here - we are still having a fire each evening and the buds are only just forming on the dogwoods and azaleas - so not a very colorful Easter this year.

Anyway, enjoy Easter - sending blessings to you and your family. Hope the hedgehogs are well.
Warm hugs - Mary

Wendy said...

How lovely to see the blackcap and the wagtail in your garden. The recipe for bird food is very useful; I can't believe how much I'm still feeding my birds in late March.

Kelly said...

You are such a good friend to the birds! You've got a lot of goodies for them at your house. I sure do hate that you broke your cloche. I hope you'll be able to get another one. They are plentiful here at affordable prices (for a plain one). So, with Spring here, I hope you'll find another one!

rusty duck said...

You have some stunning birds in your garden, I haven't seen either of those.. It must be the bark butter!!

Vintage Jane said...

Hi Rose,
We have just bought a bird feeding station for our little man and placed it outside our kitchen window. He loves it (as do I) and has been very good at keeping it clean and topped up with food. We are gradually learning what foods are favourites. Your bark butter sounds like a fun thing for him to make. I'm going to print the recipe out now.
Hope you're well and had a good Easter.
M xx

Vintage Tea Time said...

Lovely bird pictures - how lovely to have those birds in your garden. We don't get many birds as they are lots of cats locally! So sorry about your cloche - I broke a favourite jug recently :-(

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Great bird photos! So sorry your cloche got broken!! I do hope you're able to find another one.

Anonymous said...

You have lots of different birds Rose. I love your photos and your posts are so very interesting as I get to learn more about life in the UK.

Hope you will follow my new blog. Pam xx (Bayside Rose) xxx