Today’s picture is a  glimpse of something strange in a tree.

Being Sunday, I rose late, made Mrs Tootlepedal a nice cup of tea and lounged around in my dressing gown eating porridge and toast. (Actually that is pretty much my routine every day just now, except for making the tea, because the snow and sub zero temperatures are still preventing morning cycling).

It makes life a bit boring but not today because as I munched my toast, I glanced out of the window and caught a glimpse of something red in a tree at the end of the garden. What was it?

Was it a chaffinch?


I don’t think so.

Could it have been a robin auditioning for the Christmas card spot?


That didn’t look quite right either.

Then they came to the feeder…


…it was our first visit from a brambling. I wondered if it would just be a flying visit but they hung around for quite a time.


They even mixed with the local birds.

brambling goldfinch

After all the excitement of these colourful birds, we sat down and had a cup of coffee and a little peace and quiet.

LCOAs it was Sunday, Mrs Tootlepedal went out to a pantomime practice in the afternoon and I went to a concert given by the Langholm Concert Orchestra. It meets in Langholm, but the majority of the players travel in to rehearsals, some from over 50 miles away. This is a tribute to their hard working conductor, Arthur Tolson.

The orchestra played pretty well but they are seriously short of string players. Unusually for an amateur group, they have brass and woodwind in profusion but only seven violinists, one viola and three cellos. They battled hard to hold their own against the might of two trumpets, a trombone, three clarinets, two flutes, an oboe, a bassoonist and a French horn.

The visiting act were two players from an early music consort who gave us an entertaining programme on a wide variety of instruments. I can remember shawms, viols, recorders, crumhorns, a gitarre and  a rebec. There were probably more.



The lighting and the sound were being masterminded by fellow archivist, Bruce McCartney. He is a man who knows his light bulbs. The Archive treasurer’s husband Bob was the compère and provided some amusing items between tunes.

We sang carols with the orchestra and had a good time.


When I got home, I edited the bird pictures I had taken in the morning and fielded calls from my sister Susan and archivist Sandy Gill. They were both plagued with the unwillingness of computers to do what they did last time but luckily I was able to offer some assistance to them both.

I ate venison mince for my tea and I can report that it was very tasty and if I get the chance, I shall buy it again.It wasn’t dear in spite of what I was told.

I didn’t neglect our familiar birds this morning in the turmoil of capturing the bramblings and I add some of them here.

great tit
It's great


They may be supplanting goldfinches as my favourites
sis gold
They are both very fine birds
sis sparrow
The drabber female with a sparrow
ground force
A mixed bunch help with the cleaning up
The starlings have taken over the waxwings’ perch

Now I’m off to do half an hour on the bike to nowhere.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

2 thoughts on “Visitors

  1. I have never heard of Bramblings before, are they rare or what? You had some splendid pictures of them along with all the other birds. The concert sounded fun and you are so lucky that the sound man knows his stuff.

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