Its a lovely sunny day here today although its very cold. So I stopped off for a quick walk around Millennium Wood early this morning. I had almost finished my circuit of this small reserve having only seen a few birds - the usual carrion crow and wood pigeon (in fact I saw more dogs/dog walkers than birds!) when I stopped for 10 minutes to check out the mature oak trees.
This area was far more productive and I managed to add blackbird, robin and great spotted woodpecker to the reserve bird list. Well actually, I am "cheating" a bit here as these birds were all seen just off the reserve so I've decided to have two lists one of birds seen on the reserve and one of birds seen on and from the reserve!
I spot something new every time I walk round and this time it was a log pile - good for minibeasts and there were loads of holly berries along the entrance road. In fact, the berries on the reserve still seem untouched so surely something will be along soon to feast on them. Clumps of seedheads scattered everywhere might attract some goldfinches too.
Last night we went on a theatre trip to see Sleeping Beauty, a play written by Rufus Norris and based on the original story by Charles Perrault. It was presented by the Birmingham Rep at the Crescent Theatre. The journey was a complete nightmare as the traffic in Birmingham was at a virtual standstill and it took us an hour to cross the City Centre. The performance was due to start at 7.00 p.m. and I drove into the car park at 5 to 7 thinking I was going to miss the first half of the performance. Luckily the car park is only a 100 yards from the theatre and I managed to grab the second parking space on the first level(someone must just have left) and I had even more luck in that the performance was a bit late starting so I made it with seconds to spare!
I'm glad we finally made it as it was great Christmas treat. The play is a musical, humorous but gruesome and frightening in parts. Its not a Disney type version of the story more Roald Dahl or Grimms Fairy Tales (does anyone else remember The Grimms Brothers stories and Hans Christian Andersen? My grandparents had copies of each and when I was little I used to frighten myself dreadfully with the stories - I still shudder over the story of The Little Match Girl - I am sure it must have given me nightmares!).
The play is full of princes and princesses, fairies, ogre/ogress and slaves with some great lighting, sound and special effects and a really clever use of puppets. It would appeal to both children (aged at least 7) and adults and as the publicity for the play says "Expect fairytale romance, hideous ogres, sinister spells and a magical Christmas show like no other!"
A nice glass of mulled wine and a mince pie at the interval completed a great evening out even if the traffic was horrendous!
Publicity photo for the show taken from the Birmingham Repertory Theatre's website.
SATURDAY CRITTERS - Amsterdam Zoo
34 minutes ago