Unusually the last few days, we have had nothing much to do, no runs in Freda, no appointments anywhere, basically free time. So that always means gardening for me. Now normally I have a list of jobs filed in my head and I get on with it, but for the last few days, I have found myself badly distracted.

The reason will shortly become apparent. All around our garden are a good mix of well established trees of various types. This means they are a wonderland for birds, especially the Great Spotted Woodpecker. Soon after we moved in I spotted Woody ( naff I know but what else should I call him?) having a wonderful time pecking at the trees. He makes quite a lot of noise for a small bird but there is something rather special about the sound he makes. 

Last year, I know he was a dad, as I saw the fledgling in the garden, but I didn't know where the nest was. This year however we have been very privileged to have (sorry) a birds eye view of the whole family. Some time ago the pecking reached fever pitch and a large hole appeared in the front of a fir tree. Its about 25 - 30 feet up but I have a clear views from the veg patch. 

This week suddenly, the activity around the nest has been intense and the noise is quite spectacular. The baby or maybe more than one? has hatched and now the poor parents are working literally from dawn to dusk, trying to keep them fed and happy. But the bonus for us is our very own wildlife show which I must say, has kept me mesmerised for hours on end. I decided to borrow Jim's fancy camera and tripod and see if I could get some pictures. I have amazed myself. Firstly I didn't know I could stand still for such a long time, and secondly I never thought I would become a bird watcher... 
So this is what I have seen over the last few days. I am very very pleased with these pictures. 

Not bad for an new photographer/twitcher . I shall keep watching as I am determined to see the baby/babies emerge. Once or twice today I thought maybe I was going to see one but I think they were getting a bit overexcited when dad brought food. In all of these pictures it is the male bird that is feeding the babies. I know this, as I have looked on the RSPB website and it is the male that has the red mark on the back of the head. 

Well thats all on woodpeckers. I have everything planted now and growing well. The flowers are starting to arrive .

And so it means that once again the house, and the all the neighbours houses are full of British Flowers . I have embraced the "Jam Jar Posy" after my last trip to see Georgie at Common Farm  we don't actually use a lot of jam so mine are mayonnaise jar posies !! 

And having accidentally chopped of a big clump of my wild, beach lupins, I also made a nice vase full

Thats all from the garden, but as its getting more summery, we are out and about a bit now in Freda. Last Sunday it was our turn to organise the monthly club run, so we decided to go to Stourhead House. We met at a rather dirty old service area on the side of the A36 . We arrived first and by the time we were ready to go 11 other cars had joined us. It made for quite a sight in the car park

After a great drive along loads of B roads through Hampshire and Wiltshire, we crossed into Somerset and arrived at Stourhead. If you have the chance its really worth a visit. The beautiful gardens are worth the trip alone. We didn't go inside the house, but those that did said it was also lovely. Here are a few views of the house and garden .

Thats it for now, hope you enjoyed the pictures and I shall continue woodpecker watch until I get pictures of the babies flying. Have a great week.