When youngest son and his wife came to stay we spent most of our time out of doors, "birding". Our son is a teacher and an artist who loves nothing better that being out walking in the countryside spotting birds and animals which feature on 99％ of his linocut prints.
The first day we set off along our local canal in the valley below where we live with high hopes of spotting a Kingfisher.
But by late autumn/winter, and once the cygnets have turned white, their parents will drive them off to search for their own breeding territory somewhere other than on their canal.
You can't go far in this country without a Robin - Erithacus rubecula putting in a friendly appearance.There was plenty of this orange Balsam Impatiens capensis growing along the edge of the water, and although it is very pretty, rather like its bigger cousin, the Himalayan Balsam, it is a threat to our native plants. Their popping seedpots catapult their seeds far and wide. Both plants were brought into the country by Victorian plant hunters who didn't realise the consquences of their actions. fullonum growing along the edge of the canal, and I began to wish that I had picked some as they could look really stunning in a stoneware studio vase. However, their seeds are greatly loved by several birds, especial the goldfinchs, so best to leave them where they are.