Great Tit - January 2017
The bright blue skies belied the freezing cold weather we have been experiencing this week. However, they encouraged a raft of garden birds to come out of hiding, to enjoy the sunshine.
I was particularly pleased to grab a shot of this Great Tit (Parus major) which ventured close enough for me to capture with my 300mm lens.
Black Headed Gull - January 2017
Although it was rather cold, the low sun was sending out warm rays, that gave a lovely tone to the underbelly of this Black Headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus) passing overhead.
Male Blackbird - January 2017
I loved how this male Blackbird's (Turdus merula) eye twinkled in the morning light...
Female Blackbird - January 2017
...while this female Blackbird looked on, maybe assessing a prospective partner for springtime!
Song Thrush - January 2017
Although their numbers are reported to be declining, I've seen more Song Thrushes (Turdus philomelos) in recent months than I have in the past decade or so. Let's hope their numbers are back on the increase.
Feral Flock - January 2017
One bird that is far from declining is the Feral Pigeon (Columba livia). There are dozens of them in dad's garden, and they've taken to gathering on the roof of his house...
Landing Party - January 2017
...before flying off to a nearby chimney stack, and then returning, to repeat the journey about five minutes later.
Budding Camellia - January 2017
At this time last year, dad's Camellia bush had already been in bloom for a few weeks, although usually it doesn't open up its buds until February.
Flagging Hydrangea - January 2017
Remarkably, one of the Lacecap Hydrangeas (Hydrangea macrophylla) was still producing new flowers and bracts...
Backlit Bract - January 2017
...while other Hydrangea plants were waning, although still looking pretty in the sunshine.
Crownlike Capsules - January 2017
I have no idea what these seed capsules are from, but I thought they looked majestic against the bright green of a neighbour's lawn.
Twisted - January 2017
At this time of year, when all of the leaves have left the Corkscrew Hazel (Corylus avellana Contorta) tree, I love the look of all of the twisting, intertwining branches.
Pea Pod - January 2017
I wasn't sure how this Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) pod had survived the winter weather, and was very tempted to collect the seeds, but decided to leave them, and let them drop naturally.
Crocus Ard Schenk - January 2017
Meanwhile, over in my own garden, there were signs of new life! Crocus Ard Schenk (Crocus chrysanthus) was showing the way, struggling through a thick layer of frost.
Frosty Kale - January 2017
The Ornamental Kale (Brassica oleracea) was still looking wonderful and colourful, and looked even better with its coating of ice crystals.
Frosty Web - January 2017
Something else looking good with a covering of ice crystals was this spider web. It looks like a Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) web, although the adults should have died off at the start of winter, so I'm not sure how it got there!
Sunshine Kitty - January 2017
Finally, my photogenic friend was tempted outside by the sunshine, although he wasn't in the best of health. He'd picked a fight with something, and had come off worse, coming home with missing fur and a torn ear. Silly boy!
So, this week I chose Great Tit as my Image of the Week, mainly because getting pictures of small birds is always a pleasure, especially when you lack the equipment for doing it properly...