Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Garden Improvements

On Sunday, I managed to fit in enough time to tidy up my greenhouse and prepare for the coming spring/summer. 

I went to the garden centre to buy plants and bird feed! I also bought some larger, more substantial pots, a hanging basket and some seeds. I cleared up my veg patch and planted some flowers in my wildlife garden. Another exciting project is that me and my dad are converting our tree house into a bird watching platform! 

Here is my new and improved bird feeding station! I am feeding the birds niger seed, mixed bird seed, peanuts, fat balls, suet blocks and mealworms! This huge range of feed attracts a similarly huge selection of birds including goldfinches, great spotted woodpecker, long-tailed tits and dunnocks!

I planted two strawberry plants in my new hanging basket positioned in my greenhouse.

I bought two green troughs from the garden centre. These sturdy pots will hopefully last a lot longer than the cheap plastic pots I normally buy.

Two sweet chillies

A selection of peppers, and red lettuce.

Two tomatoes I bought from the garden centre.

Two tomatoes I bought from a village fair.

In these four containers I am growing herbs such as basil and parsley.

I took a slab up from the greenhouse floor to plant my grapevine. 
 I planted some flowers in my wildlife garden which will start to grow over the next few weeks. 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

'There's a Heron in the garden!'

On Sunday, I was doing my art homework when my nannie screamed 'Billy! There's a heron in the garden!' I ran to get my camera from my bedroom, inserted a random memory card and sprinted to the kitchen window. I managed to get a few shots before it angelically flew away.
 I have seen them in my patch before, but never actually in my garden. My garden is defiantly becoming more biologically diverse, which I partly thank the pond for! 


The heron returned today (Tuesday) which is great news!
He/She (guessing he) will hopefully be a regular visitor, and if he is I will make sure to get a camera set up down there!

Grey Heron enjoying the sun and taking a stroll around my wildlife garden!

Their wing span is HUGE, nearly 2 metres!

Heres another heron which was bathing in one of london's parks! It's great to see wildlife thriving in urban places.

The blue tit couple have now got 7 eggs in the nest, and the female has started to incubate with the male regularly popping in feeder her insects! 

5 eggs on the nest - taken a couple of days ago.

Here is an aerial view of this years bird box set up!
As you can see I have made sure to place the external bird box camera along the flight path of the birds, on their way to the bird feeders (which they visit loads!)
The bird box is in a great place, with water very nearby and food close by too. I hope the birds appreciate it!

Aerial view of this years bird box set-up!

Monday, 21 April 2014

B&W Experiments at Chatsworth House!

Today I went to Chatsworth House with my friend (yes, i have friends) to take photos of the grounds and the wildlife there! We both got some great shots and they proved really successful in black and white! Hence why each photo is displayed below in colour, followed by a B&W copy!

The ducks there were extremely tame, so it allowed us to get unclose and capture some great photographs. All of the ducks had real personalities and were pestering us for food!
Here are some of my favourites:

Original Image

B&W copy

Original Image

B&W copy

Original Image
B&W copy

Original Image

B&W copy

Original Image

B&W copy

Original Image

B&W copy

We also saw two amazing species of bird! The grey wagtail and the dipper!
If you look closely you can see the grey wagtail below:

I'd never seen a Dipper 'in the flesh' before so it was great to capture them on camera!

Sorry they're blurry, but it was on the other side of the river!

 Spring is really here! 

Lambs playing in the fields!

Friday, 18 April 2014

Beautiful weather, nesting birds and thriving wildlife garden!

My Wildlife Garden is coming along so well!
It's been encouraging numerous species to visit my patch and it is a brilliant place to sit and relax. I love the overgrown and rustic feel it has created by the slate my grandparents brought back from cornwall, and all of the weeds! I have mended the wigwam which broke over the winter, and I also have positioned various feeders around the garden. I want to get some potted bamboo now, and create a living willow arc for the path!

Another thing that is coming along brilliantly is my bird cam! A pair of blue tits have taken up residence and already laid 3 eggs. I have cameras monitoring the inside of the nesting box, and the outside! I put up the exterior webcam to allow me to keep an eye on other birds/mammals surrounding the box, allowing me to spot any predators! If you have been following my blog for a while, you will remember that last year, this bird box got predated and all the chicks were killed. So, hopefully the exterior cam, which I'm  naming 'PredatorCam', will let me film any predator raids, also allowing me to watch the chicks fledging!

 The bird box in my wildlife garden was rigged with a wireless camera, which I could watch on the tv.
However, no birds have even been in yet. I want to put my cameras to good use, so I removed it from the box and I am thinking of another location for it. Any ideas?
I put the bird box back where it initially was....just incase any birds were interested.

Some more great news!
A pair of great tits are building a nest in the bird box outside my greenhouse! I haven't got a camera in this one. Because the box is very close to the greenhouse, I don't want to disturb it while doing gardening, so I created an area which no one is allowed in until the nesting season is over.

The blue rope represents the boundary to the no entry zone.