Walked to post office in the village just before lunch. The day was much milder than yesterday and the snow showed signs of melting. We wore walking boots anyway, as it was very slippy underfoot. I didn't want another fall-induced injury thanks! Posted our Important Letters and bought some mistletoe for over the fireplace.
On our return I started to make some sandwiches for lunch, but was very distracted by this:
This is Mrs Yaffle, who dropped into our garden for a snack!
She is a Green Woodpecker - the largest of the British Woodpeckers. She must have been very hungry, as she dug a hole in the lawn - probably after insects or perhaps ants.
The photos are not very good, as my camera is only a snapshot type. I was so lucky to get any pictures at all really. I spent 20 minutes standing at my open bedroom window, with the camera poised, taking as many shots as I could. I had to be patient, as she flew off and came back several times, when the garden birds decided they had seen me moving.
Green Woodpeckers are not that unusual in countryside gardens, but they are a bit rare in gardens that are in a more built-up area, like ours. She must have flown over from one of the small copses or woods round the edge of the village. She certainly was lovely and I felt very privileged to see her!
This is a pair of Goldfinches, who dropped in to eat seeds off the garden shrubs. My patient waiting today certainly paid off. I saw about 12 different types of birds in the garden during that 20 minutes. They were all getting on with eating as much as possible. It was a lovely thing to see them all.
We do get a few unusual birds in the garden from time to time. There have been a few Greater Spotted Woodpeckers, plenty of fnches etc, also a Treecreeper, going round our willow tree, looking for insects. At our last house we had (as occasional visitors) Kestrels, Skylarks, Willow Tits, Grey Wagtails (which are, in fact, largely yellow!), Swallows, Swifts and House Martins, Fieldfares, Waxwings and also something we think was a Harrier of some kind, or perhaps a Red Kite. Our garden backed onto open fields, which led down to the river, so we had a lovely view and very interesting birdlife. Where we are now is more urban, even though it's a village, so the birds are mainly "garden birds", but now and then we get the odd bonus visitor (like the heron who ate all our goldfish!).
While we had our lunch, I put the first part of "The Box of Delights" in the video player. It is really starting to feel like Christmas Time!