Monday, 31 December 2012


It's that time of the year when we look back at what's gone before and look forward to what's to come.  The year started, predictably enough, with January.  The year began as it is ending - mild and wet.
By the middle of the month, things had cooled off a bit and frost bit hard.
Returning from our break in Tenerife and February saw the Snowdrops sprinkled all over Shipley Hill.
Shortly followed by the real white stuff.
The best thing about February was, undoubtedly the Redwing which settled in our hedge and provided some very nice views of this, usually shy bird.
By the end of the month, the Great-Crested Grebes were courting, with lavish dances and gifts of weed.
By March, things were warming up and the birds were nesting, the flowers were opening and Malcolm was being attacked by an errant Goose on 'Swan Lake'.

Lots more flowers greeted us in April when we went to Benidorm.

A few, fine-looking Swallowtail Butterflies were among the highlights.
May - and the Duckling were appearing around the lakes of Straw's Bridge along with young Coots - very cute!

June saw Orchids flowering all over the place.  As well as the Common Spotted ones, there were Southern Marsh and the spectacular Bee Orchids

Malcolm and I off to Cornwall and a short stay in Newquay.
By July, things had started to turn very wet indeed and flooding was in the news headlines all over Britain.  There was a quite a bit of water around here too.
The wet weather continued into August.  The only things to be enjoying all this water were the slugs and snails which were eating everything in the garden.

This was good news for those attractive little insects known as Snail-killing Flies - a new species to me.
September broke upon us with another new insect species to add to my list.  The Long-winged Conehead.
By the end of the month, the trees were starting to change colour, providing me with some views to try out my new camera.
Stay with it - we're getting to the end!
October continued to see the changing colours of the woodland.  These were stunningly good this year despite the dreadful weather we've had.

We had a few scares when in Majorca with those huge Banded Garden Spiders - Who can forget those?
Far better was the sight of the Crested Coots - an endangered species in Europe and a fantastic 'tick' for the list.
By November, things were getting wetter and wetter, but the arrival of those fabulous Waxwings was enough to raise the spirits.
We ended the month with a trip to Edinburgh to celebrate Malcolm's 50th (keep it quiet..!).
Bringing us to December and the end of another one.  It's been an extremely wet year but the weather has been kind to us when we needed it most, so lets hope 2013 is a good one - a little more sunshine would be nice, if only to help ripen the tomatoes.

""!....HAPPY NEW YEAR...!""
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