Sunday, 15 April 2012

A very special Saturday

The first pics on this blog relate to a day trip to France - see for details

This is demon photographer Phil Smith lining up some special birds to "shoot"

they had first been heard by Paul (electric ears) Holt, but then I'm only jealous being a bit deaf meself!
They were a pair of Woodlarks, and Paul heard their "tululu" calls a few moments before they registered on - or in - my lug'oles
Paul also kindly drew my attention to this egg-laying Bee Fly, dipping its ovipositor down to lay in the entrance of solitary bee nests, the larva of which they parasitise

Any road up, back to Saturday which got off to a remarkable start with this Mouse Moth in the trap. According to Waring and Townsend they first should appear in JULY !!
OK everyone, I'm a complete Donkey, and thanks to Pauline Heathcote for pointing out my error so tactfully - it's a Muslin Moth, I should have known 'cos of the yellow on it's front end. It's still a bit early, tho', but not much

Then, joy of joys, this Swallow appeared here, and confidently settled on the wires over John and Jennie's garden, it can only just have completed it's channel crossing, stunning stuff. Welcome back

True to form, it, and another, possibly it's mate, which also turned up a few minutes later, haven't been seen today, I always believe they go off to better feeding after arrival to build themselves back up for breeding - perhaps Worth Marshes?

Saturday was spring show day too, we were a bit limited in entry possibilites, as you may see

Out in the veg garden, Purple Sprouting Broccoli is in a poor way after being bashed by pigeons during the cold and snow. I put covers over them but the blessed birds have nibbled the growing shoots thru the mesh - doh!

 The Rhubarb looked good, and seems unpalatable to birds, thank goodness. I just need to sort 3 sprigs from this lot

Pity there wasn't a class for young Broad Bean plants - I managed to get the seed in during early December and the plants are looking gradely. Its the leeks I was after

Acloser look revealed some likely candidates

I found enought Broccoli to make up an entry

and chose my 3 Rhubarb stems

Choosing the Leeks was a brain teaser, as there weren't really 3 anywhere near the same - and the smell!!!

The while, Nancy was sorting out the flower entries for me

Look good don't they?

When we got to the village hall, the sun backlighting these Tulips caught my eye, a superb sight

Having set out my entries it was immediately apparent they weren't up to scratch, I'm afraid

Back in the afternoon, our neighbour's prizewinning flower arrangements caught our eye - well done


These Tulips were our only "First", and a fine sight the entries were

The floating Pansies didn't do too bad, though

But Johnnie's Broccoli justifiably and properly beat mine

And these superb leeks blew mine into oblivion


There was a good level of support this year, better than recently, and with several "new" entrants, things are looking up

All in all, a very good day