Birds, Cats & Squirrels ~ RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2020. πŸ¦†πŸ¦πŸΏοΈ

This is my third year of noting down the birds in my back yard for the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. I don’t know how, but I somehow ended up doing it a day early on Friday. In reality you were supposed to join in on Saturday or Sunday or even tomorrow, so there’s still time if you want to record the wildlife in your garden. You can submit your results online here. Anyway I don’t suppose it matters , me being an early bird. πŸ™‚

All ready with my mug of Bird & Wild Coffee. I somehow totally forgot to use my new RSPB mug!
Male House Sparrow.
House Sparrows.

Unfortunately I did not get the variety of species that I have had in previous years. The birds are definitely still around but chose not to appear in the hour. I ended up recording 9 House sparrows ( at least I can depend on them! ) and erm, 1 Mouse. Oh and I had to shew a neighbors cat away. My own cat Slinky was happily snoozing on the bed.

Just like last year I joined my sister, niece and nephew for their Big Garden Birdwatch, which we did this afternoon. We counted 4 Bluetits, 2 Coaltits, 3 Chaffinch, 2 Robins, 1 Great Tit, 2 Nuthatches, 1 Grey Squirrel and 2 Pheasants. Similar to 2019 except no Dunnock or Long Tailed Tits. A flurry of Long Tailed Tits typically showed up after the hour , but we of course couldnt include the latecomers.

Female Chaffinch.
Bluetits and Coal Tit.
My Sister’s families new addition. ❀️
Birdwatching. 🐦
Acrobatic Nuthatch.
Grey Squirrel.
Still tucking in.

Little Walt the new kitten joined us for the birdwatch. I have a feeling he might want to do more than birdwatch next year though. But isn’t he adorable! Maybe we can ask him to scare off the naughty squirrel who hogged the bird table…..

Are you going to do the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch?

Sea & Snowdrops in Lytham.

Monday was one of those bright cold days, perfect for a trip to the coast. It’s been a long time since we visited Lytham so we headed for the Lancashire seaside town, parking not far from the windmill on the Green. The Windmill is open to the public in the Summer , so we could only admire it’s sails set against a winter blue sky.

After a walk along the marshy grass and pebbled beach ( Hugo racing round like a demented dog) we found a cute cafe on Clifton Street in town called Bijou for lunch.

Lytham Windmill.

 

Two anchors entwined. Caught in the nets of a fishing vessel in the eighties, these were from shipwrecks one hundred years earlier.
Black-tailed Godwits ( Limosa Limosa in Latin).

 

Lytham Windmill.

 

Friendly white faced Sea Dog.

 

Tractor.
Sea front Bench.

 

Welsh Rarebit.


It is the Clifton family that resided in Lytham’s grandest residence , the Grade 1 listed Georgian built Lytham Hall on the outskirts of town. After lunch we headed there as I had heard it’s grounds and cafe are popular with dogs and their owners. It’s a bit of a walk from Lytham, but there is a car park if you’d prefer to drive.

The snowdrops are just starting to bloom in the gardens and grounds. In February there are so many that popular Snowdrop Walks are held every weekend throughout the month. The Hall and cafe and gardens have a friendly community vibe with a gardening club, book and antique sales, park runs and guided house tours. I think it’s somewhere we will return. πŸ™‚

Lytham Hall.

 

Garden Courtyard.

 

Garden Hub.

 

Solitary Snowdrop.

 

And bunches of snowdrops. πŸ™‚

 

A pond in the grounds.

 

Lytham Hall from the Paradise Garden.

 

And from the Mount.

 

Bracket Fungi.

 

Look out for Lytham Halls Snowdrop walks in February..


So that’s my idea of a happy January day. Sea Air, Blue Skies and Snowdrops. πŸ™‚

Sunday Sevens ~ Sun 19th January 2020.

I’m joining in with Sunday Sevens devised by Natalie at Threads & Bobbins. Simply seven ( or more photos) from my week.

An evening with Sir Ran.


Last wknd we ended up going to see a talk by The Greatest Living Explorer ‘ Sir Ranulph Fiennes ‘ in Kendal. We were offered the tickets when Wils sister in law couldn’t go.Β  Thanks Carol for thinking of us!
We have seen Sir Ranulph before. The fetes he has achieved in exploration are Epic. Plus he is really funny with a very dry sense of humour. Definitely an interesting evening.

 

Tapas. ❀️
We found a fab little place for Tapas in Kendal called Comida which I can heartily recommend.
Shrooms!

And I liked the mushroom prints in Fell Bar in the town.

 

Windswept Hugo.

Last Sunday we went a walk up Pendle Hill which is our local place for windswept walks. Hugo enjoys his ears flapping in the breeze. I kept mine covered under a woolly hat!


Yesterday was Wils 50th Birthday. We went out with friends in Clitheroe and there are more mini celebrations planned throughout the year.

Glider plane. ( Instagram).

The pets have got Wil a glider plane flying lesson for his birthday. They have a bit of an evil streek!

I won a book in a Facebook page Like & Share competition. Love the cover illustration. Has anyone read The Deathless Girls?

Thanks for dropping by. ❀️

30 Before 50 Bucket List ~ Update.

Watch a film in an old vintage cinema.

Climb ten more Wainwrights. ( Two down).

Eat out at the Witchery in Edinburgh.

Wildlife walk in the Slaidburn fells. We saw Ring Ouzels and Green Hairstreaks.

Go on a guided Wildlife Walk.

Swim in a lido.

Walk The Dales Way.

Latrigg Fell over Christmas. Another Wainwright ticked off.

See the Northern Lights.

Try a Dutch Pancake in Amsterdam.

Collect sea glass on Seaham beach.

Stop in four quirky holiday lets. ( One down).

Go wild camping.

Afternoon Tea at Cloud 23 in Manchester.

Dutch Pancakes in Amsterdam.

Explore more of the Outer Hebrides.

Spend a few days in the Peak District.

Go to the No 6 Festival in Portmeirion.

Photograph a Barn Owl in the wild.

The Witchery in Edinburgh.

Ride a street car in Lisbon.

Watch a starling murmuration.

Go Ice skating outdoors.

Make an honesty box meal.

Be Nine Stone!

A stay in a quirky holiday let ~ Tree Dome in Shropshire.

Visit Dungeness in Kent.

Eat ice cream in a vintage ice cream parlour.

Cycle round the isle of Cumbrae

Have coffee at Central Perk in the Manchester Primark.

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Meet Felix the Huddersfield Railway Cat.

An evening with The Yorkshire Shepherdess.

Go for a cream tea at the home of the Yorkshire Shepherdess. ( Did go to a very interesting talk by her).

So this is how I’m doing with my 30 Before 50 Bucket List. But don’t worry I still have a few years to go before I complete it! In 2019 I crossed five items off the list and made progress with a couple more. And I still have a few gaps, incase I think of a few more things I’d like to do. What’s on your Bucket List? x

Skipton Castle Woods and The Kibble Coffee House & Bakery.

The weather in my hometown of Clitheroe in Northern England today was foggy, wet and grey so we decided to pop over the Lancashire border to Skipton in the drizzly Yorkshire Dales. A planned walk up Pendle Hill has been postponed ( I admit I was a teeny bit relieved! ) until a less misty day.

My other half hadn’t seen the newish ( 12 months old) willow sculptures in Skipton Castle Woods ,so I suggested we blow off the cobwebs with a walk there. I have blogged about the Sculptures previously, but it’s nice to share their beauty with you all again. It was Hugo’s first sight of them too. 😁

After our walk and a nosy round some shops we were ready for lunch. I thought we could treat Hugo ( and ourselves! ) to dinner at The Kibble Bakery on Sheep Street. When we arrived it was completely empty of customers so I quickly took a few photos, it was busy with both hounds and humans by the time we left.

The Kibble Bakery & Coffee House is a bright and cosy ( and very dog friendly) cafe. It is run by a mother and daughter team who as well as making and baking delicious food for humans, make and bake for our four legged friends too. Hugo sampled a cheesy pup biscuit, I wish I could tell you he tasted the flavour but being a greedy Labrador , he wolfed it down in seconds…..

On our way home from Skipton we had a bit of a walk down the canal side at East Marten, but the weather had changed for the worst , so no more pictures. Six miles done though so making a good start to the #walk1000miles challenge I’m joining in with again this year. 2019 I managed just over 1900 miles so a big improvement on 2018s 1600 + miles. Although I’m very happy with the mileage done, I know I’m still terribly unfit. Put a hill in front of me and I nearly die. The only remedy to that though is of course practice! And more fells, hills and mountains. So my aim for this year is not to improve my mileage, but to improve my chances of getting up a hill. Wish me luck! πŸ˜…

Books Read In November & December.

So here’s a brief update of what I’ve read lately. Happily I have rediscovered my local library…..and am determined not to forget it exists, like I have before. We are lucky to still have one! Plus one book was passed on by a friend and one I couldn’t resist buying, because of its lovely cover. πŸ™‚

I ended 2020 having read 31 books of the 40 I had challenged myself to , so not bad going. πŸ™‚


A Story Lately Told ~ Angelica Huston ( 2013).Β  Apart from seeing Ms Huston in The Adams Family films, I didn’t know much about her, I didn’t know she grew up as part of Hollywood Royalty, abeit in Ireland. Her Dad was the film director John Huston and her Mother a former prima ballerina and model, many years his junior. Anjelica’s childhood was privileged but complicated, with her mother,nanny and brother living in the ‘Little House’ and her father living in the ‘ Big House’ nearby. Anjelica writes in a chaotic but amusing way, this is definitely a fascinating account of her coming of age in an eccentric family.Β  ⭐⭐⭐



The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society ~ Mary Ann Shaffer And Annie Burrows ( 2008). For some reason it took me a while to get started on this book, I ended up really enjoying it!  Written in letters form, this is a lovely homage to enjoying books and reading and how books can bring you together. It centres round the German occupation of Guernsey during the second world war and is both funny and heartbreaking. ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Losing It ~ Emma Rathbone ( 2016). I thought this would be a short light hearted read when I glanced at the book cover. Well it is short but it’s basically about having your life completely taken over by something , to the point of being so absorbed in yourself , that you make a mess of most things in your life. Hmm. Not very light hearted! Plus the main character Julia isn’t very likeable and quite uncharismatic, she says “Oh Okay” and “Yeh Okay” an awful lot. Nevertheless I found myself wanting to read until the end, so maybe it does have something! ⭐⭐⭐


The Hidden World Of The Fox ~ Adele Brand ( 2019). 🦊 Whatever you think of foxes ( I personally have a healthy respect for them) it looks as though they are here to stay. And hurrah to that! Fox afficianado ‘ Adele Brand’ has studied foxes for over twenty years, and this compact guide( with some nice photographs too) explains alot about fox behaviour, fox facts and myths and how foxes have adapted to live almost any place on earth. A great little read. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


The Twelve Birds Of Christmas ~ Stephen Moss ( 2019). So this is the book with the gorgeous cover. I love birds and have of course heard the popular carol ‘ The Twelve Days Of Christmas ‘ numerous times. With so many of the lines in the song mentioning actual birds , swans, geese, turtle doves, a partridge in a pear tree etc, it’s maybe natural to assume that the drummers drumming are woodpeckers and the pipers piping are sandpipers. Wildlife writer Stephen Moss takes an in-depth look at all the birds who may have inspired the carol. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Corset ~ Laura Purcell ( 2018). If you love yourΒ  gothic chillers set in the Victorian age, I can certainly recommend ‘ The Corset’ . Prison visitor and would be reformer , the young, rich and beautiful Dorothea Truelove spends her days playing lady at home. Her only excitement is visitingΒ  female inmates and one in particular, Ruth Butterham, who is young, poor and awaiting trial for murder. Dorothea finds herself drawn in by Ruth’s case. But all is not as it seems. A real page turner! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Collector ~ John Fowles (Β  1963). Lastly a vintage read from the sixties, a creepy tale about a socially inept young man who comes into money and decides to kidnap the object of his fascination, a beautiful student called Miranda. He also happens to collect butterflies and whilst Miranda spends her captivity trying everything in her power to persuade him to set her free, she finds he probably just wants to ‘ collect’ her too….⭐⭐⭐