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  • Barbara Copperthwaite

Day 8: Read & WIN!


A kingfisher was one of my many spots…

Over on my wildlife blog, I love to share my latest nature sightings. Yesterday was such a wonderful experience that I just had to share it with you, too.

It was a dark, dull and decidedly damp start to the morning yesterday. With such bad light, it had been a last minute decision to bring my cameras along on the walk but there was a corner of blue in the sky that held the promise of growing. By the time I had reached the park, the sun was peeking out occasionally.

I have been walking every day in Highbury Park for over two years  now. Sometimes it feels as though I have seen everything there is to see. And then it brings me a surprise, like a shy child presenting me with a gift. “See?” it seems to be saying, “I have a lot more secrets left to tell. You think you know me, but I have so much more. Keep watching.”

Yesterday it revealed something very special.

First, though, I tried and failed to get some photos of Long-tailed Tits. They called merrily to one another as they constantly moved from branch to branch, almost teasing me as I focused…pressed the button…and took a picture of an empty branch yet again.

Then I tried to snap a Goldcrest which landed right in front of me. Just the one, unusually, as they tend to gather together at this time of year. It flitted onto the branch of a bare bush beside the path and posed for me. For several seconds I simply watched, transfixed, then slowly brought my camera up…. Failure again.

I walked to the little entrance of Henbury Pond, where so many dragon and damselflies live in summer, and saw something bluish fly across. There was a plop as something hit the water and came almost straight out again. A sparkle of brilliant electric blue. There! A Kingfisher!

But the park had more in store for me. As I walked on I saw four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and then, cooing above me was a partridge in a pear tree. What a brilliant way to end my wildlife walk.

  1. Can YOU spot today’s Christmas-related reference in this blog? If you can, email it to to enter my competition – and YOU could have a character named after you in my next novel!

MORE WAYS TO WIN! Three lucky people will have characters named after them in my next novel. They might be a baddie, or a nosy neighbour, they might even be bumped off, who can say, but they could have YOUR name.

To be in with a chance of winning this unique prize, all you have to do is take part in my Christmas countdown search. Every day for a fortnight I’ll be hiding a Christmas-related reference in a post on this blog, or somewhere over on my website All you have to do to enter is email me that days’s reference (e.g., I might randomly mention seeing ‘three wise men’) at

You can enter as many times as you like. The more days you take part, the more entries you’ll accrue – so the greater your chance of winning!

I’m also running similar competitions across Twitter (you can follow me @BCopperthwait) and my Facebook page ( BarbaraCopperthwaite) and you’re free to enter those as many times as you like, too.

Over on Facebook, every day for a fortnight I’ll be posting a fun, easy question based either on Christmas, me, or my books. Just ‘like’ the post and leave your (correct!) answer in the comments section, and you’ll be entered into the prize draw. 

Over at Twitter, you simply have to retweet me using the hashtag #FlowersForTheDead. Each retweet is an entry and, again, you can enter as often as you want.

Good luck to everyone! 

* The winner will be announced on Christmas Eve

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