The first visit this year of a siskin. The weather was horrible and it was difficult to get a good picture but now that they have arrived, I should get an opportunity soon.
Dropscone phoned early this morning and as the weather was very windy and pouring with rain, we agreed to give the morning ride the go by.
Mrs Tootlepedal and I passed the time by staring at some waxwings which had returned again today. The day was so gloomy that there was no hope of getting a good shot of an individual bird today.
I ate a leisurely breakfast, had three extra slices of toast, waited for the rain to stop and then got my slow bike out. When it is as windy as this, I like to keep as sheltered as possible so I rode up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and back three times to make up my twenty miles.
I took a picture for each lap. This shows the caul at Pool Corner and gives a good idea of how much rain there had been overnight. The wind was straight in my face going up to Wauchope Schoolhouse and on the heavy bike, I was reduced to 6 or 7 mph from time to time even on the fairly level sections. The secret is to get in a very low gear, pedal steadily and think of something else as you go along. Of course, It is a different story coming back downhill and downwind.
On the second lap, I captured this relaxed herd of belted Galloway calves. They were so small that they almost looked like pigs. They are very strongly marked and the white stripe could easily do duty in a soap powder ad, it is so bright. I did take another picture on this lap but while I was taking it, a large lorry passed me and threw up a six foot wall of water from a puddle which absolutely drenched me and spoiled the photo.
I completed the 20 miles at 11mph which gives a good idea of how tough I found the going. As usual, a good cup of coffee helped ease the pain.
After lunch, the task of the day was to fix my reclining chair which had unceremoniously deposited Mrs Tootlepedal onto the floor last night. When we took it to bits, we found that the central holding piece to which the legs are attached had broken. Surprisingly, it was only made of plastic. I took it up to Latimer’s to ask them to send for a replacement part and even more surprisingly, they said they couldn’t get one because the chair was too old. It is a sign of the times, as the old fogies say, when a chair that is a bare eight years old, is too old. What does that make me? (No need to answer that.) In the end, and after several journeys to and from Latimer’s, a solution was found. We took three jubilee clips, joined them together and then squeezed the legs and the plastic block together again. The chair seems to work well. Dr Tinker sat in it tonight and never fell off once.
When the chair repair had been completed, I took a few moments off to look at the feeders. Mrs Tootlepedal longs for new and more exciting birds but I am quite content at the moment to look at what we have already.There is quite enough activity to keep me interested. The different birds, as I have remarked before, seem very happy to share the feeders and this makes for varied viewing.
Here is a siskin and a bluetit….
In the evening, Mike and Alison Tinker came. They had just returned from a short holiday near Oban where the weather had been challenging to say the least. While Mike enjoyed a small French lager and conversation with Mrs Tootlepedal, Alison and I waded into Handel in C and then Handel in a minor. The evening was rounded off by a small hot chocolate for the ladies (as the Pub Landlord might say) and a small lager for me.