I'll begin this short posting with a photograph from last night. This is he hamlet of Wilton near Great Bedwin in Wiltshire. This is the next village to where Julie lives and we drove through it last night enroute to looking for owls (we found a wonderful tawny watching us in a tree as it happens). Anyway for a tiny hamlet of about 40 houses they do go to town with their lights at Christmas.
Anyway the main reason for the posting was a birding free day today, as a result we headed off to the Hillier Garden in Hampshire, one of Julie's favourite. The weather sadly was diabolical, rain both heavy and not so heavy, but that didn't stop us. What did surprise us though was that so many spring flowers were out, considering this is December 29th.
Like this camellia (above) and daphne (below)
or these daffodils, called January gold....
or these snowflakes.....
But what he Hillier Gardens are best known for is their Winter Garden the biggest in Europe. Because of the weather opportunities for photography were limited, but these dogwoods against a deep purple Tom Thumb pittosporum caught my eye.
Well worth a visit if you're near Romsey. Tomorrow I'll be back on the bird cup race. Currently I'm on 79 species (thanks to a pair of mistle thrushes on mistletoe and a nuthatch at the Hillier Garden). If the weather's good, a coastal trip beckons methinks. In the meantime I'll sign off with a robin at the gardens today.