Muscovy Duck

Muscovy Duck
Roosting on the gate

2011 - My second year of blogging in Brittany

I felt I would like to share some of the photographs I have taken so far this year and some from other years. I live in a beautiful part of Brittany and just love being here. It's a lovely place to photograph and enjoy being in through all the seasons and hopefully this blog will show you where I live my life.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday, 8 February 2010 - Birds in my oak tree

This morning has been incredibly frustrating.  There have been so many different birds in my oak tree, but the light is terrible and I am just too far away for clear pictures.  It is almost foggy here today and chilly and if I try to capture the birds from inside I am getting flash reflection as, on automatic, the camera is insisting on using flash.  I haven't yet worked out how to turn it off and obviously don't need it for a subject so far away.

This is a woodpecker - hard to identify, but I think it's a middle spotted woodpecker, Picoides medius.  I was trying to photograph a magpie when I suddenly noticed the movement and then realised that there were two woodpeckers in the oak tree.

This is a treecreeper, Certhia familiaris - but very hard to see I'm afraid.  The quality is so poor I didn't know if it was worth posting really, but I've never photographed one before, so I was quite excited.

There have also been magpies, Pica pica, which I find impossible to photograph well as they fly off as soon as they notice the slightest movement, but I have posted one below. Also blackbirds, blue and great tits, a robin, sparrows and starlings have visited this morning.  I often have jays in the tree too, and frequently they are on the ground below the oak tree.  We have a lot of jays here in Brittany - I hardly saw any in England, but here there are small flocks of them everywhere.

The mother of my neighbour in the house with the tower will be here later in the week and I think I may ask her if I can go into their garden to take photographs during the day when her son is at work.  They have a huge garden, away from the house at the end of our shared drive, with lots of trees and I think I may be able to take some good photographs in there, especially when it warms up a bit and I feel like being outside again.

Magpie in flight - it's tail pretty much doubles the length of the bird.
And another bluetit, Parus caeruleus, because I can never resist them, they are so cheeky.



  1. These are a lovely record Sandra - funny I've also noticed a Tree Creeper here on the base of our Walnut tree - they're such shy little birds... some lovely shots of your Woodpecker - I think you may find it's a Great Spotted Woodpecker - these are the most common around here - I've had two sightings of the Lesser Spotted but they are much smaller and have a distinctly shorter and pointed beak in comparisson!

    Do hope you're stay away will go well - how will you manage with your chickens - would love to get some here but the only thing stopping mre really is when we go away on holidays... any suggestions?

    Hope all's going well otherwise on the blogging front - don't hesitate to email/phone if you come unstuck at all... take care Miranda

  2. How wonderful to be able to attract so many different birds to your garden. I just love the blue tit. I have a small ceramic figurine of one that I inherited from my grandmother.

  3. Hello Miranda - I'm pretty sure it's a middle spotted woodpecker, as the Great Spotted doesn't have as much red on the head. The photos aren't great because of the weather and the distance, but I've never seen them here before and I was thrilled to suddenly spot them, like the treecreeper. I have a friend associated with the RSPB, so I will send a photo to him to see what he thinks and let you know.

    I let a house in my garden to a chap who's having a house built at the moment, and he will look after all the animals for me, thank goodness. I have had hens for nearly twenty years now and wouldn't be without them, the eggs are so beautiful and the yolks are a surreal deep yellow.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Noelle. I've just had a quick look at your profile and will look at your blogs when I have a moment. My goodness, gardening the in desert, that must be a challenge!

  5. You know Sandra - went away this evening to check out the different Woodpeckers - I'll be honest I'd not heard of a Middle Woodpecker - it looks as if that is exactly what it is... How exciting! Will keep my eyes peeled here just incase... Miranda

  6. Your garden visitor looks cute. Just curious, how do you attract them. I wish If I could attract them to my garden too.

  7. It's so nice to see birds from other parts of the world, so many similar to what I see here. I love all of the moss on the tree, it adds so much texture!


  8. Hello Miranda Just heard from my RSPB friend who says they were definitely Middle Spotted Woodpeckers and I am apparently one up on him as he has never seen one. How lucky am I?

    Hello Flowers I do nothing for the birds who stay in the oak tree, but have a bird table for the tits, robins, sparrows, starlings, blackbirds, magpies, chaffinches etc. on which I put grated stale baguette (French bread), grated ends of cheese, sultanas, yesterday's uneaten catfood, boiled potatoes, anything really that I think they might eat, nothing specially bought in for them.

    Hello Gardening Angel I have just had a look at your blog and wow, fancy having to wait until June before you can be sure of no snow. Roll on summer!