“The Royal Stump”

This morning I e-mailed two more entries to the Wessex Photo Spring competition. These are entitled ‘A Paddle’ and ‘The Hind Leg’. (A paddle is the collective noun for ducks in the water; a garrulous person could be said to talk the hind leg off a donkey – with Jackie’s assistance I couldn’t help myself).

Later I photographed the roses on the front garden trellis.

After lunch Jackie drove me to that photographic outlet in Ringwood to collect some paper I had ordered. We then travelled on into the forest and stopped at the recently opened bird hide at Blashford Lakes.

When I entered the building a man inside mouthed “lapwing” and pointed to the window. As I approached it flew away. I observed that I had that effect on birds. He replied that he had had that effect since he was eighteen. Quick to pick up the innuendo I gesticulated in the direction of the two attractive women in his company and offered the opinion that something must have improved. This was met with hilarity. The said waterfowl was decent enough to return for a forage.

I was informed that two somnolent birds bobbing on the water were great crested grebes.

A pair of ducks sharing a spit with a black headed gull soon took to the water. I trust one of my birding blogging friends will help me with identification. (The consensus seems to be Tufted Ducks – see arlingwoman and John Knifton’s comments)

We stopped for a drink at The Royal Oak, North Gorley where the avian propensity for taking flight at the sight of my lens did rather pay off. Two jackdaws perched on the chimney pot were possibly protecting a nest. One decided to decant to the TV aerial when I was in mid-click.

Since we last visited the eponymous Quercus has had to be felled. The pub landlord quipped that they should now be called “The Royal Stump”. Jackie suggested that the slice might attract the attention of a dendrochronologist.

This evening we enjoyed our second sitting of Hordle Chinese Take Away fare with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Garnacha Syrah.


  1. The jackdaw and the antenna is one of the best bird photos I have seen in a while – unique – action packed – artsy

  2. I never see jackdaws close up until the young begin to find their wings, then the whole family visits the garden regularly to banquet on the peanuts and wild bird seed feeders I have hanging on the trees.
    Hope all goes well with the competition

    1. I have tried but lost count at about 85, judging by the amount per inch I calculate that the tree was over 130 years old possibly up to 200 years. The landlord of the pub said they had tried hard to save it but it became unsafe.

  3. for some reason my dad loved the lapwing for its three names – lapwing, peewit and green plover and would always use all three as one word if he saw any…

  4. Your pair of ducks look like Tufted Ducks to me, Derrick, though I could be mistaken.
    Best of luck in the contest and I love the titles you and Jackie have chosen for the photo entries today!

  5. Both of them are gorgeous images. Unless you are a regular among birds, they take to wings at the slightest hint of proximity; ditto for women in certain cases, so your observation to the gentleman was apt. Great shot, as usual.

  6. I think they’re tufted ducks. With a dendrochronologist’s help, a transparent plastic sheet could be put over the stump and then lines or arrows could point to where on the tree the events happened “WW1”, “Waterloo”, and “William Rufus and his men stop here for a couple of pints before going hunting”, and so on

  7. Two wonderful entries! Bestest of luck! πŸ™‚ We’re proud of you!
    Love your bird photos! And your tree rings photos! πŸ™‚
    The conversation you had with the man about birds made me giggle! πŸ˜€

    Oh, I wrote this haiku about jackdaws, eons ago…
    three jackdaws squawking
    heads bowed like old men talking
    β€œanyone got a ci-gar?”
    Β© jackdaws.CS.11.9.08

    When I was a little girl, a very old tree on our property had died, my Dad cut it down but left a nice stump for us kids to sit on. πŸ™‚ I’ll always remember that “nature chair”. πŸ™‚

    HUGS!!! to you and Jackie!!! πŸ™‚

  8. In Lancashire Lapwings are known as tewits – even after 50 years in the south my parents never referred to them as anything else.

    Good luck with the photo competition.

  9. Missed your ramblings recently Derrick. Good to see you have lost none of your touch. Your roses look beautiful on the trellis. πŸ™‚

    Hope you have luck in the Comp! πŸ™‚

  10. Love ‘The Hind Leg’! I am a bit late for the photo competition comments but wondered if there was any scope to submit the jackdaws on the chimney? I agree with others who have commented that it is a fantastic picture – sharp silhouettes, plus the feeling of motion on the top bird.

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