Bird Count, Elfcups & Snowdrops.

The weekends activities included the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Hurrah! Something to do, and really quite ideal for lockdown. I must admit though I didn’t have the most exciting hour. My newly filled feeders seemed to be regarded with suspicion by the resident sparrows. Not one bird ventured from the foliage behind the garden shed. What was going on!

Nowt going on at the feeding station.
Female House Sparrow.

I counted 8 sparrows during the sixty minutes I sat glued to the window, camera at the ready. For all that time they mostly stayed hidden in the ivy. Then about five minutes before my hour was up I noticed a much bigger bird had landed in the greenery. It was mostly obscured but I noticed a long speckled tail through the leaves. It wasn’t a pigeon! Then suddenly it flew higher and all was revealed. A sparrowhawk! No wonder my little feathered visitors were staying away from the food. They didn’t intend to be food themselves.

Sorry to say I didn’t get a photo of my raptor visitor. Think I was in shock. 😲 But I have added Sparrowhawk to my birdcount results for the first time ever.

Meanwhile my sister and family were doing the birdcount at the same time as me. I usually join them but unfortunately not this year. 😔 They had a really successful hour with Nuthatch, Long Tailed Tits, Pheasants, Kestrel and a Wren included in the final tally. 🙂

Not all eyes are on the cake!
Long Tailed Tits galore.

After lunch Wil, Hugo and I headed out for a walk from Clitheroe , taking in the fields and River Ribble near Waddow Hall. Plenty of wildlife out this afternoon and an enjoyable 4 mile ramble from home and back.

Scarlet Elf cups.
Scarlet Elf cups.

I was delighted to find some Scarlet Elf Cups, such vibrant pops of colour in the winter landscape. They are also called Red Cups, Moss Cups and Fairies Baths. In folklore Wood Elves drink morning dew from them. Scarlet Elf Cups are most commonly found on mossy decaying branches on the woodland floor.


I saw plenty of Snowdrops in people’s front gardens today , it was also nice to see some wild ones too. A real sign that Spring is on the way. ❤️

Finger post.
Brungerley Bridge.
Female Goosander.
Male Goosander.

I wouldn’t like to admit to having a favourite water bird ( I love to see them all) , but if you insist, I would probably say the Goosander . I always smile when I see these sawbilled ducks on the river, the female especially with her nut brown quiff . They are super adorable 💖.

Smokey Polypore fungi…maybe.

Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you have done the Birdwatch, seen Snowdrops or walked anywhere this weekend. 🥾🐦

30 thoughts on “Bird Count, Elfcups & Snowdrops.”

  1. A good tally for the RSPB bird watch. I didn’t take any pics on my watch. Hopeless through the mucky windows, and if out in the garden nobody visits! Love the scarlet elf cups – never seen them before. x

    1. Well my window cleaner must be doing a good job 😜 as I never really touch my windows. The scarlet Elf cups are so unusual. They love rainy woody places. X

  2. We did the bird count and a combination of us sitting waiting expectantly with pencil poised and the chilly breeze – the numbers were lower this year. I know they are there but not for that specific counting hour today….. humphff

  3. The bird watch was the highlight of the weekend 🙂 It was a very enjoyable way to spend an hour and I was kept cosy right by the radiator. I’m not surprised the garden was quiet with your sparrowhawk visitor! X

  4. We did the bird count, for the first time ever, and were gutted to have a zero count. I couldn’t quite believe it, we always have a good number of visitors … it was pretty cold when we did it though. I’ve never seen scarlet elf cups but they are amazing … I will definitely be on the look,out for those when we are out and about 😃

    1. Sorry about your birdcount. 😦
      Birds are so unpredictable aren’t they! I haven’t had a single visitor since the sparrowhawk emerged from the tree. He’s completely scared them off. :/

  5. No wonder your birds were staying still and quiet. My neighbour messaged to say that a sparrowhawk took a wood pigeon and demolished it under the seat at the top of her garden. The weather on Friday was awful so we did our count on Saturday morning. Your walk looks lovely, great to see the snowdrops:)

  6. Those Scarlet Elf Cups are something else! Not sure I’d drink out of them …. wicked stepmothers, evil fairies and mischievous pixies come to mind immediately!

  7. Disappointing for your count, but at least we know why. I had a sparrowhawk fly into our window once, but it was OK after a little rest & flew off again. I was going to sit for an hour with camera too, but forgot all about it. Wish I’d had it in my hand yesterday, when a kookaburra must have been on our pergola as I walked through & took off over my head. Love your fungi photos too & seems Spring .is on its way by the snowdrop pics. Take care, stay safe & huggles.

  8. During the entire birdwatch weekend we got two woodpigeons, exactly the same as last year. Disappointed! Love the elf caps. Don’t see them very often, and they always look spectacular!

    1. Those wood pigeons obviously appreciated that quiet hour. 🙂
      I haven’t seen a single bird visit since the birdwatch, the sparrowhawk freeked them out. Elf caps are so otherworldly!

  9. Those elf caps are just so pretty!! I feed birds all winter but get mostly chickadees, woodpeckers, and sparrows. The sparrows have figured out the chicken food and they clean up a lot of what the chickens don’t eat. I would love to have blue jays!! Such clever birds and a beautiful blue. Sadly my pine trees are just no mature enough to draw them in. They’ve been for a short visit but don’t stay 😢

    1. Your bird visitors sound wonderful. My sister gets a woodpecker visit sometimes, your country has a greater variety of them I think, and much bigger! I have seen a blue jay when visiting a friend in British Columbia. We have jays too, they look different to blue jays but still very pretty. Your sparrows sound super helpful. 🙂

  10. Those snowdrops! Stunning!

    One thing I always like about your writing is the way you always include details of your lunch. I’m serious – when reading about your longer walks, I always wonder about food and I’m never disappointed. 🙂

    1. Haha, well that was at my sisters on her birdwatch, so I couldn’t partake unfortunately due to lockdown. But yes, I do tend to include lunch or cake in my posts. 😆

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