Sunday, 16 November 2008

A quiet time on the river

Fox on the prowl

It's been fairly quiet on the river over the last few weeks so I spent a little time in the nearby park. This handsome individual hardly spared me a glance, so intent was it on tracking a shrew or field mouse. Later I saw it pounce and run off with the tiny rodent in its mouth.

We had the unexpected pleasure of admiring a Kingfisher that decided to pose for us on our mooring posts, not once but twice. It's a breathtakingly beautiful bird and surprisingly small. I also had the pleasure of watching a single Goldfinch drink from the pond before feasting on a Fenell plant that's gone to seed. It spent some time wondering around the pond area and then rested on the top step for a serious drink. A few days later, a Grey Wagtail turned up and today I saw a Song Thrush scavenging in the garden for the first time in a while. Since my husband Dave picked the last of the delicious grapes, the Blackbird and Robin have been feasting on the remaining few we left for them. They've had more than their fair share, as usual, but who's counting? This year we had yet another bumper crop.

Swan patrol

It's hard work being the dominant swan. There are too many interlopers and they need to be seen off! This swan had just called round for breakfast but then noticed that it wasn't the only swan on the block. Spring isn't too far away and territory needs to be protected!

The offending pair also heading for breakfast

The guilty pair are heading here for their wheat fix. They were soon seen off by their rival but called around later for brunch.

It's bonfire night again

We had another great bonfire night on the island. The residents met up and brought their friends along to enjoy the spectacle. The weather was reasonably kind and we had dry weather for building and lighting the fire, socialising, setting off the fireworks and tucking into some food and drink, but shortly afterwards rain stopped play, and many of us headed home with friends to enjoy the rest of the evening in the dry and the warmth of home.

Training time

Whatever the weather, rowers at Molesey boat club turn up for training. This was one of the more atmospheric mornings in recent days. The club has a proud reputation and some of the Olympic rowers train here.

Single skullers enjoy an early morning warm up

An Egyptian goose

A grey heron in Bushy Park

There's obviously more to a heron's diet than fish. This one seems to spend a lot of time looking for insects in the grass But are there any at this time of year? Obviously the heron knows best.

Fire consumes Garrick's Villa

Several weeks ago Garrick's Villa suffered massive fire damage. It would seem that the fire started accidentally but soon took hold because of blustery conditions. Many firefighters did their best to contain the damage but were unable to put out the fire before it had damaged much of the building. No-one died but nonetheless those living in Garrick's Villa, a beautiful listed building, have suffered huge loss and great trauma. Some poor residents have lost everything they own.