Birds in our village

We’ve had a few special bird sightings from our cottage this year, but sadly I can’t illustrate any of them with photos as my camera was not to hand …

The first was a strange occurrence indeed. In the 25 years we have lived here we have only once ever before seen a heron (Ardea cinerea) flying over the village. There is not a lot of water round us: we are on the chalk and a lot of the streams are winterbornes ie they only flow in winter, and the nearest lake is 2.25 km (1.4 miles) away and the nearest river about the same distance. So we were very surprised one morning not only to see a heron flying very low over the gardens near us, but to then see it pitch up on a telephone wire over our neighbour’s garden.

Grey heron (Ardea cinerea). Imagine this, but on a telephone wire … Photo by ErRu.

It perched there, swaying slightly, and it was the most amazing sight: such a massive bird, hanging around the cottages completely unconcerned. For such a huge, ungainly bird we were very impressed at its balancing act. It stayed for a few minutes, and then flew off, leaving us delighted.

The second lovely sighting was earlier this week: a lesser spotted woodpecker (Dryobates minor) on one of the telephone poles (I’m not going to call it a telegraph pole because we’re not living in Downton Abbey times any more), going up and down poking insects out of the drilled holes in the pole, and also banging away at the wood.

Lesser spotted woodpecker (Dryobates minor). Imagine this, but on a telephone pole … Photo by Zaltys.

He flew off and then was back again, scurrying up and down the pole. We’ve seen both lesser spotted woodpeckers and green woodpeckers (Picus viridis) doing this, so there must be rich buggy harvests in all the holes.

The third sighting was last night, and a very exciting one: my first ever starling murmuration over the village. When we moved here we rarely saw starlings (Sturnus vulgaris): maybe one or two every now and then. Chap has been feeding our wild birds regularly for a few years now, and in this time we have noticed various bird species increase (and sadly, decrease – or at least, populations seem to fluctuate). One of the success stories is that of the starlings. In the last year the numbers have increased hugely – we now have a biggish flock that seems to stay around the village all day. This might well be to do in part with Chap putting out vast quantities of dried mealworms as well as sunflower seeds several times a day. The starlings (or stormtroopers, as we affectionately call them, due to their strutting walk and bolshy behaviour) come down in droves and hoover up the worms in no time, and I like to think that this regular supply of protein-rich food throughout the year has helped them thrive and breed and raise broods successfully. We regularly see twelve or fifteen juveniles perched on a television aerial or hanging round on the chimney stacks.

Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris). Adults left and centre front; juveniles right back. Photo by Daniel Plazanet (Daplaza).

The murmuration was so exciting to see. It was at about six thirty – so not near dusk, really, but the sky was very overcast (so overcast that we didn’t get to see the partial eclipse later on last evening, bugger it). I reckon there might have been several hundred birds, and they flew in a long, snaking, undulating group over the houses and perched in one of the large beech trees. Having seen with envy footage of huge murmurations over the Somerset Levels and elsewhere in the UK on the telly, it was magical to see one myself, and from our cottage. I hope this will be the first of many.

A starling murmuration. Photo by David Kjaer.

And here is the most wonderful video of a murmuration. Stick with it: it starts with some photos, and then …

Lucky ladies!

We have found the cheapest place to bulk-buy mealworms is Croston Corn Mill: we buy a 12.55 kg (!) bag at a time and pound-per-kilo it seems to work out much cheaper than other places, both physical shops and online. We get through a bag every two weeks or so ….

Sunday stroll: Ashcombe

Yesterday was a glorious summer’s day, and we went on a walk we’ve done a couple of times before, on byways and footpaths through the grounds of the Ashcombe Estate, near Tollard Royal in south Wiltshire. Ashcombe House was once the home of Sir Cecil Beaton, and he wrote a wonderful book about his life there. Click on photos to enlarge.

1:25,000 map of the area. Each blue grid square is 1 km x 1 km.

Google Earth image with route marked. We started at Tollard Royal at the bottom of the image and walked the route anti-clockwise direction, going up the straight byway at the start of the walk.

Going up the long straight byway. A byway is open to all traffic: we met a couple of cheery off-road motorbikers.

Lovely vista of Ashgrove Bottom, one of the many dry valleys (coombes) on the chalk downland.

The path is still climbing, and on the left and centre you can see the tops of the wooded coombes in which Ashcombe House nestles.

Lovely meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense). It’s a much more vivid blue than this – the colour never comes out right in my photos.

Still climbing.

If you just squint you can see a part of the roof and dormer windows of Ashcombe House in the centre of the photo, surrounded by the woods. It is in the most wonderfully secluded spot.

Looking down on the woods. To me, there is no finer sight than the English countryside in summer.

Not that you’ll be able to spot them, but there are two red kites (Milvus milvus) in this photo. The red kite has only colonised this area in the last 15 years or so.

A common spotted orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), just starting to go over.

Another common spotted orchid flower, slightly differently coloured (they are quite variable).

Ferne House, just to the north of the Ashcombe Estate, with its double avenue of trees. Despite looking like it has sat in its grounds for centuries, this mansion was built in 2001 for Lord Rothermere. It was designed in a Palladian style by architect Quinlan Terry.

Ferne House and grounds. I’m fascinated by the groups of trees that have been planted – squares, circles, crosses, triangles and even what might be a love heart! This is the highest point of the walk, and is only a few metres lower than Win Green, the nearby highest ground with a trig point and fabulous vistas over south Wiltshire and north Dorset.

Starting the steep walk down through the woods to Ashcombe Bottom. You can see here how Ashcombe got its name – valley of the ashes. There were also some beautiful beech trees in the woods, and luckily no sign of the dreaded ash die-back disease we’ve been hearing so much about recently.

It was a lovely surprise to see so many nettle-leaved bellflowers (Campanula trachelium) in the woods. The ransoms/wild garlic (Allium ursinum) leaves were dying off but the aroma was still pungent – delicious!

Walking down Ashcombe Bottom. Along with the estate trees (with their stock-proof cages) it was lovely to see the hawthorn bushes (Crataegus monogyna) on the hillside: such a classic part of chalk downland life.

Heading back to Tollard.

A rather crappy photo of a gorgeous comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album) with its ragged wing edges.

Journey’s end: the beautiful wildlife pond at Tollard Royal.

Such a lovely walk: we saw some many wildflowers and grasses, including goatsbeard (Tragopogon pratensis), quaking grass (Briza media), pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis), common spotted orchids (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), common valerian (Valeriana officinalis), field scabious (Knautia arvensis), nettle-leaved bellflower (Campanula trachelium), meadow cranesbill (Geranium pratense), chalk milkwort (Polygala calcarea), lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum), wild carrot (Daucus carota), greater knapweed (Centaurea scabiosa), hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo) and many others. The one plant I expected to see and did not was the harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), an absolute classic flower of chalk downlands.

We saw ten butterfly species: small tortoiseshell (Aglais urticae), small white (Pieris rapae), grizzled skipper (Pyrgus malvae), marbled white (Melanargia galathea), peacock (Aglais io), red admiral (Vanessa atalanta), comma (Polygonia c-album), meadow brown (Maniola jurtina), speckled wood (Pararge aegeria) and gatekeeper (Pyronia tythonus). We weren’t really looking out for birds so much, but saw red kites and buzzards, plus a female blackcap and heard a beautiful male blackbird’s song in the woods. A blue damselfly settled on the drive in front of us as we walked along Ashcombe Bottom. It’s a wonderful walk in beautiful countryside, and we shall be doing it again before too long.

A pair of old watercolours

One of my charity shop finds last year was this pair of watercolours in their basic wooden frames.

I’d love to know a bit more about them. They are crudely done, and are not signed. I wonder if they belonged to some countryman, maybe a farmer: a portrait of him and his fine and faithful hounds. I had thought that the fashion of the man’s clothing and the type of gun might help me date the paintings, which are clearly a pair, but … apparently the fashions of country people back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries often lagged quite a few years behind city fashions. This is perhaps partly due to financial constraints, and also largely due to opportunities to buy new clothes being few and far between in the days before easy transport, plus even the dissemination of fashionable new ideas for local seamstresses to copy took much longer. So wearing decades-old clothes was not unheard of, and likewise the expense of buying a new gun might mean that a perfectly serviceable old one was carried on in use for years.

I’m not a fan of bloodsports in any way, shape or form, so like to tell myself that this gentleman was shooting for his pot.

I’m getting a very late eighteenth or early nineteenth century vibe off the paintings … but what do I know? If you have any ideas, I’d love to hear!

Salisbury Cathedral peregrines 2017

Good news: the Salisbury Cathedral peregrines have successfully nested again. The first egg was laid on Friday 31 March, the second on Sunday 2 April, and a third is expected at any time. (9 June 2017: scroll down for updates!)

The peregrine falcon nest at Salisbury Cathedral, April 2017. Two eggs so far …

The Cathedral has set up a webcam of the nest which should be available on this page. The Cathedral also has a Youtube channel, on which there are several videos about the peregrines.

At 18.04 pm on 6 April I can see there are still two eggs on the nest. I do hope she lays more. Last year’s brood had four eggs. (By the way, do use the ‘full screen’ facility for the webcam: it’s a tiny screen otherwise and the details will be barely visible if you don’t enlarge.)

A peregrine falcon (Falco peregrinus) on the beautiful stonework of Salisbury Cathedral.

Also great to learn is that one and possibly two other peregrines have been spotted around the Cathedral. These might be the juveniles from last year’s brood.

These good pieces of news follows on the shocking, shameful news that one of first chicks to be hatched at the Cathedral, in 2014, was recently shot and injured. It was found on farmland near King’s Somborne in Hampshire on 11 March, and is being cared for by the Hawk Conservancy Trust near Andover. Hopefully a full prosecution will be brought under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. A peregrine falcon is a Schedule 1 Protected Bird under the law, and injuring or killing it is an offence. The police and the RSPB are currently investigating.

I’ve followed the progress of the peregrines in a 2016 blog post and in a 2015 one, and in a 2014 one.

7 APRIL UPDATE: A third egg this morning, yay!

Three eggs! Morning 7 April 2017.

On the nest, 12.20 Saturday 8 April 2017.

Don’t know when number 4 arrived, but here it is on the morning of Thursday 13 April.

UPDATE 16 May 2017: Five eggs in total on the nest: the fourth was laid on Tuesday 11 April and the fifth on Good Friday, 14 April. So that’s 15 days between the eggs. The first egg last year was laid on 28 March and hatched on 16 May, so we should be expecting some hatching action any day now …

Five eggs. The webcam view on (a wet) 16 May 2017.

Apparently three or four eggs are the norm in the wild, but in urban areas where there is plentiful prey (read: pigeons) clutches can number as many as six.

UPDATE 22 May 2017: I’m not sure when it was born, but there’s a chick in the nest now:

The first hatchling!

UPDATE 30 May 2017: Great excitement while watching the wonderful BBC Springwatch programme last night as they are featuring the Salisbury Cathedral peregrines. The first part is here, starting at 49:25. They are doing a follow-up part tonight. I hope it’s good news: every time I have looked at the the webcam the adult is sitting on the nest, so I have no idea how many chicks there are. I guess I’ll find out tonight.

Beautiful shot of one of the peregrines from the BBC Springwatch footage.

Peregrine on the spire of Salisbury Cathedral, from the BBC Springwatch footage.

UPDATE 31 May 2017: Well, the BBC is keeping us hanging on … another wonderfully-shot update last night on Springwatch, full of beautiful images, but so far no news of any chicks. The second instalment is here, from 24:26. One thing I did learn is that the peregrines are feeding on kingfishers (Alcedo atthis) and greater spotted woodpeckers (Dendrocopos major), among other prey. I guess the kingfishers come from the nearby River Avon with its watermeadows. One of my few ever kingfisher sightings was one darting across the road that enters the central car park by Sainsbury’s in Salisbury: a small tributary of the river runs alongside it.

UPDATE 1 June 2017: Finally we learn from Springwatch that a lone chick hatched, out of the five eggs laid – talk abut stringing it out! This is in contrast to four chicks (only two of which survived to fledge) out of four eggs last year. The non-hatched eggs have been removed from the nest for health reasons, because if the spoiled eggs break the chick could be affected by the rotten contents. The eggs will be analysed to see why they failed: worryingly the spectre of insecticides causing thin shells was raised as a possible cause. The upside is that the lone chick is getting all its parents’ attention and is being fed like a king, with consequent fast growth. The third instalment is here, starting at 49:41.

1 June 2017: the lone chick in its salubrious nest, surrounded by carcasses, shit and flies!

1 June 2017.

UPDATE 2 June: Just a brief update in last night’s Springwatch, with a live web cam view of the satellite-tagged female on the nest and film of the male eating a hapless green woodpecker (Picus viridis). The segment is here, starting at 8:13; it’s followed by a longer segment on some cliff-nesting peregrines.

UPDATE 8 June: Well, what a difference a few hours make! I checked on the webcam yesterday morning and it was down; I didn’t check back so got the surprise via Springwatch last night: a second peregrine chick has been successfully introduced to the nest and is already being happily fostered by the adults.

The new chick on the right; the original, Cathedral chick on the left. 7 June 2017.

The foster chick was one of three chicks in a nest in Shropshire; tragically last weekend the parents were found dead, cause as yet unknown, on the ground below the cliff along with a dead pigeon. Toxicology tests are being undertaken, but poisoning is suspected. Utterly shameful if that is the case. Luckily the chicks were unaffected. They were removed from the nest by RSPB experts, checked over by a vet, and rehomed in the wild: the other two have been fostered to another nest in the Midlands. The segment on last night’s Springwatch starts at 10:51. The male, 25-day-old foster chick was put in the nest at around 8.30 yesterday morning, and was accepted immediately by both the parents and the original Cathedral chick. He’s a bit bigger than the Cathedral chick, as he’s six days older.

Just after introduction. 7 June 2017.

The female (with her satellite tag) feeding the new foster chick. 7 June 2017.

Grumpy! Why aren’t you feeding me, mum? 7 June 2017.

7 June 2017.

7 June 2017.

7 June 2017.

Not long and the chicks were snuggled together, and being fed by both parents. 7 June 2017.

The new family. 7 June 2017.

Such a beautiful sight. The new family. 7 June 2017.

More food. 7 June 2017.

The new siblings snuggled together with mum. 7 June 2017.

UPDATE 9 June 2017: Last night’s Springwatch had a brief update and showed that the fostering is going really well. The relevant segment starts here at 19:00.

The adult male is feeding the foster chick outside the nest, while the adult female feeds the Cathedral chick on the nest. 8 June 2017.

So far the Cathedral chick hasn’t ventured off the nest.

The chicks together, 10.50 am, 9 June 2017.

The foster chick trying out its wings: there’s been a whole lot of flapping going on. 9 June, 4.26 pm.

UPDATE 12 June 2017: Both chicks are now out of the nest, mainly hanging round on the parapet out of view of the webcam.

Round and round the apple tree … redux

Last night was very cold, and we woke to a heavy frost, the fiercest yet this winter. In the secret garden next door we were treated to the lovely sight of our first fieldfare (Turdus pilaris) of the winter, a new arrival from Scandinavia or points further east. He was flying between the tall beeches that surround the garden and the central, old apple tree, with its spread of windfall apples on the ground beneath, chasing off any blackbirds (Turdus merula) that got too close to his stash.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris). Photo by Bengt Nyman.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris). Photo by Bengt Nyman.

Now this might be a bit of a stretch, and I have no idea of the longevity of fieldfare, but I wonder if this is the same bird that stayed in the secret garden for well over a month during the winter two years ago. Fieldfare normally travel in flocks, so seeing a singleton is unusual enough. The fact that this one is displaying the same territorial behaviour towards the secret garden makes me wonder ….

The secret garden, surrounded by tall beech trees and with its old apple tree in the centre. The fieldfare was in one the beeches when I took this, not that you'll be able to spot it.

The secret garden, surrounded by tall beech trees and with its old apple tree in the centre. The fieldfare was in one the beeches when I took this, not that you’ll be able to spot it.

Our visitor two years ago finally left us when our neighbours on the other side of the secret garden started having lots of treework done, involving noisy chainsaws. The day that started, he left. We didn’t see him last year. It’s lovely to have him (or one like him) back.

And as a double bonus, this morning I heard the first song thrush (Turdus philomelos) singing. They sing through the spring and early summer, and then stop, starting up again in winter. It’s wonderful to hear.

Update: 24 January 2017: We have had several days of very hard frosts and sub-zero temperatures at night. Two days ago our lone fieldfare was joined by four others, and the blackbirds were down feeding on the apples too. It seems the greater number meant that the original fieldfare gave up on chasing everyone else off. Yesterday we counted ten fieldfare. We have been supplementing the apples with oatmeal, suet, sultanas, sunflower seeds, chopped up dates and figs: I think the birds eat better than we do!

Update 27 January 2017: The apples are now gone, and so too are the fieldfare: we started putting out extra apples just too late to keep them around (they didn’t eat any of the other offerings). Oh well. It was lovely having our loner and latterly his friends for as long as we did.

Blackbirds in pop music

Blackbirds (Turdus merula) are one of my favourite birds. So any time they are celebrated, I’m happy. Here’s a brief look at three very different groups of musicians from the UK who have been inspired by one of our loveliest native songbirds.

A male blackbird, Turdus merula. Photo by Sannse.

A male blackbird, Turdus merula. Photo by Sannse.

In early May this year Radiohead released ‘Burn the Witch‘, the much-anticipated first single off their first album in five years, A Moon Shaped Pool. The song was teased by the band with a short, enigmatic snippet of footage, of a stop-motion bird singing to the sound of a blackbird’s song.

A post shared by Radiohead (@radiohead) on

When ‘Burn the Witch’ was released, we could hear that the blackbird’s song was the introduction and the coda to the song, and that the lyrics  ‘Sing a song on the jukebox that goes / Burn the witch’ and ‘Sing the song of sixpence that goes / Burn the witch’ referenced the traditional British children’s rhyme, ‘Sing a Song of Sixpence‘, a rhyme that refers to four and twenty blackbirds being baked in a pie, and later to a blackbird pecking off a maid’s nose. Jolly stuff, these traditional rhymes, but aptly fitting with the grim subject matter of Radiohead’s song.

Just the other day I discovered that what I had long-thought to be an image of a range of evening sunlit limestone peaks reflected in still waters of the Thai coast on the cover of Kate Bush‘s double album Aerial is in fact a waveform of a blackbird’s song. (Observation was never my strong point).

The cover of Aerial by Kate bush, featuring the waveform of a blackbird's song.

The cover of Aerial by Kate bush, featuring the waveform of a blackbird’s song.

And birdsong, predominantly blackbird song, is featured throughout the album. ‘Prelude’, the first track of A Sky of Honey, the second disc of the album, starts with a male blackbird singing, followed by a wood pigeon‘s call which Bush then mimics; the track ‘Sunset’ refers to blackbirds singing at dusk, and features the song of a blackbird at the very end of the track and merging into the next track, ‘Aerial Tal’, where Bush mimics the call of one in the style of an Indian taal; and the final track, ‘Aerial’ features more blackbird song (and a blackbird alarm call) while Bush laughs.

And of course the most famous use of a blackbird’s song in modern music is in ‘Blackbird‘ by the Beatles: in the latter part of the song a male blackbird can be heard singing.

Here they are, without accompaniment. In all cases, this is the spring song of the blackbird. They do sing later on in the year, but the spring song is the best.

Just magical.

Bringing our wildlife pond back to life

One of the first things we will do when / if we make another garden is put a wildlife pond in. Until we had our pond, we hadn’t realised how much it brings to a garden: not only do you get movement and light with the reflection of the skies (and cloudscapes), but it brings in a whole host of wildlife. Hedgehogs drink from it, birds bathe in it, frogs and newts breed in it, dragonflies and damselflies flit over it, lay their eggs and leave them to grow into the most Geiger-esque larvae (also called a nymph, though anything less nymph-like it’s hard to imagine). We used to spend hours pond watching.

Our pond 10 years ago, 1 June 2006.

Our pond ten years ago, 1 June 2006.

Gradually, over the years, the pond silted up. We weren’t the best at maintaining it, and an umbrella plant (Darmera peltata) I had put in the bog area to serve as a mini-gunnera gradually took over, shading the water. For the last three or four years we have had frogspawn but never tadpoles: something wasn’t working right in the pond. This summer it sprung a leak deep down and most of the water drained out.

Over the weekend at the beginning of the month we decided to take action. On the Saturday we undertook the VERY smelly job of emptying the last of the sludge out of the pond. We chucked it on to the surrounding flowerbeds to act as an organic mulch (and already as I write, the geraniums are forcing their way up through it). That we disturbed just one frog (Rana temporaria) and one immature common newt (Lissotriton vulgaris) was a sign of how poor a habitat it had become.


I’m glad this blog doesn’t have smell-o-vision. The silt was very, very stinky.

Then we covered the old liner with some very thick dust sheets in case something had come through the old one to make it leak, and put a new liner over it. The pond took several hours to fill.


Partially full, several hours later …


As the pond was filling we were buzzed by a dragonfly – a female southern hawker (Aeshna cyanea). I don’t know how it detected the water, but it was straight on the case!

On the Sunday we edged part of the pond with stones and made a pebble beach, added three bags of pond soil, and replanted / threw in the few pond plants we’d salvaged from the previous incarnation, such as water forget-me-nots (Myosotis scorpioides) and Lesser spearwort (Ranunculus flammula), plus the ever-present duckweed.img_7092

Sludgey silt in the foreground.

Sludgey silt in the foreground. Plank to aid any beasties that might fall in.

Then we left it for a week, as work intervened. During that time the soil settled and the water cleared, frogs found the pond, and we saw our first greater water boatman (Notonectidae or Pleidae) and our first whirligig beetle (Gyrinidae), plus southern hawkers laying eggs on the few plants. Sadly the mosquitoes have also found the pond … Yesterday I bought some more plants, and as autumn is coming, the pond is complete for now.


Turves laid to cover the liner.

Turves laid to cover the liner and create another easy access area for critters.

New plants added: Brooklime (Veronica beccabunga), bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and Iris louisiana 'Her Highness'.

New plants added: brooklime (Veronica beccabunga), bogbean (Menyanthes trifoliata) and Iris louisiana ‘Her Highness’. I try to stick to British natives but couldn’t resist the iris.

It’s getting towards the end of the growing season so nothing will really happen until next spring – hopefully then we’ll have frogspawn that actually turns into tadpoles!

Update Sunday 18 September; We had a day out at the Harold Hillier Gardens and Arboretum near Romsey in Hampshire, and on the way back stopped at a specialist aquatic garden centre. Couldn’t resist the frogbit (Hydrocharis morsus-ranae), a yellow water lily (Nuphar lutea), and a water hawthorn / water hyacinth (Aponogeton distachyos: okay, I know this last one’s not a British native, but it’s so pretty …). The garden centre sold great ramshorn snails (Planorbarius corneus) at five for £2.50, but I was too mean to fork that out for them. So I was happy to see there were some snail eggs on one of the leaves of the Nuphar lutea plant we bought …

Mr Frog happily ensconced in the rejuvenated pond.

Mr Frog happily ensconced in the rejuvenated pond.


I was awoken last night at about 11 (we’re usually early-to-bed merchants here) by a horrible noise I knew too well: a hedgehog in distress. Two summers ago, during a really hot and dry spell, we had several very upsetting nights when hedgehogs were being attacked by badgers in our neighbours’ gardens. Back then we were alerted by the awful shrieking calls of the poor hedgepigs in distress. Last night it was déjà vu – we’ve had a hot, dry spell; badgers can’t get at their normal prey food of worms because the ground is too hard and dry and the worms have gone right down into the deeper, moister soil, and so they turn to the hedgehogs for food.

Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). Photo by Jpbw.

Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). Photo by Jpbw.

So I threw on my clothes, grabbed my torch and went out in to the back yard, ready to chase off a marauding badger. What I found were two hedgehogs together, frozen in a sheepish ‘you haven’t seen me, right?’ attitude, but clearly in a state of, how can I put this delicately, interrupted love. So I turned the torch off, apologised to them, and came back to bed. As did they ….

For the next hour we were treated to not only the unearthly shrieks but also a heavy, guttural grunting. The hedgepigs were making sweet hedgehoggy love in among the plant pots. Fingers crossed there’ll be a good-sized batch of hedgepiglets arriving soon.

Lets's hope lots of these little fellows are the result of last night's festivities. Photo by Calle Eklund/V-wolf.

Lets’s hope lots of these little fellows are the result of last night’s festivities. Photo by Calle Eklund/V-wolf.

Animal jewellery

I love nature and wildlife so I’m always happy when I get my hands on some animal jewellery. I have some new pieces in my Etsy shop as of yesterday:

Vintage sterling silver frog stick pin. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage sterling silver frog stick pin. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage handpainted lapwing pendant in sterling silver handmade surround with chain. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage handpainted lapwing pendant in sterling silver handmade surround with chain. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage sterling silver and blue glass dolphin brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details.

Vintage sterling silver and blue glass dolphin brooch. For sale in my Etsy shop: click on photo for details. (NOW SOLD).

They join the animal jewellery I already have: click on all photos for more details.

Vintage horse and bear pendant and chain, based on a Viking-period design. Finnish.

Vintage horse and bear pendant and chain, based on a Viking-period design. Finnish. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage Art Deco enamel and silver sailfish brooch.

Vintage Art Deco enamel and silver sailfish brooch.

Vintage puffy fish charm bracelet.

Vintage puffy fish charm bracelet. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage cloisonné enamel brooch, Ancient Egyptian Horus or Ra-Horakhty falcon, Egyptian Revival pin.

Vintage cloisonné enamel brooch, Ancient Egyptian Horus or Ra-Horakhty falcon, Egyptian Revival pin. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage silver butterfly brooch.

Vintage silver butterfly brooch.

Vintage Scandinavian silver leaping deer brooch by A Klokker, Denmark.

Vintage Scandinavian silver leaping deer brooch by A Klokker, Denmark. (NOW SOLD).

Art Deco scorpion brooch with glass jewels.

Art Deco scorpion brooch with glass jewels. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage silver and enamel peacock brooch from Thailand.

Vintage silver and enamel peacock brooch from Thailand. (NOW SOLD).

Elegant vintage Danish sterling silver clipon earrings.

Elegant vintage Danish sterling silver clipon earrings. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage enamel and silver butterfly bar brooch.

Vintage enamel and silver butterfly bar brooch.

Vintage 830 silver bird ring, Danish silver openwork ring, eagle, hawk, raptor or dove, Scandinavian silver.

Vintage 830 silver bird ring, Danish silver openwork ring, eagle, hawk, raptor or dove, Scandinavian silver. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage sterling silver fish brooch.

Vintage sterling silver fish brooch.

Vintage enamel and silver red cardinal bird brooch.

Vintage enamel and silver red cardinal bird brooch. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage lion and unicorn heraldic brooch.

Vintage lion and unicorn heraldic brooch. (NOW SOLD).

Vintage sterling silver brooch with birds and grapes, French by H Teguy.

Vintage 800 silver brooch with birds and grapes, French by H Teguy.

Vintage mesh metal purse with dragon design and blue cabochons.

Vintage mesh metal purse with dragon design and blue cabochons. Okay, it might be mythological but it’s still an animal ….