Not in the picture

Today’s picture is another of my sister Mary’s from her walks around London’s open spaces. This swan was on the Serpentine.

I’ll be a swan soon!

It would have a hard time swimming round here as the weather continues to be at or about freezing. Annoyingly, the forecast keeps saying that it will get warmer and then at the last moment, it changes its mind and says it won’t. Currently they are holding out hope for some warmer weather on Wednesday. I’ll believe it when I see it.


Because it snowed last night, at least the going underfoot was much more secure today and when we were out for our walk, we even met a hardy cyclist pedalling up the snowy road towards Lockerbie.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I had planned to go to Gretna at twilight to see the starlings and then on to Carlisle to see the pictures but when the time came, still with snow on the road and the temperature just below freezing, we decided to stay at home and watch the telly instead. I’m sure we could have gone but I have lost my appetite for driving in freezing conditions in the dark.

The birds were out in force again today. The siskins seem to be the first to get active and they are utterly fearless, letting you get to within a foot or so before they saunter off. This makes for photographic opportunity. I realise that there are many pictures of siskins already on the blog but I can’t resist another.


They are very agile little birds as you can see below. The picture is the right way up.


The bramblings come a bit later in the morning but once they are here, they hang about.


I am getting nearer to getting a really sharp brambling picture as they get less likely to shoot off as soon as I appear.


I am putting out some seed on the ground for the birds that can’t or won’t get on the feeders. I find that my advice of a couple of days ago on how to recognise a chaffinch by the direction it is looking, turns out not be very useful.


Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out for a walk in the late morning and, as I said, the going underfoot was a great deal better than yesterday so we went up the Wauchope road.



Once again, it was a winter wonderland (as in, “I wonder when this winter is going to end”) and my eye was caught by this tree which seemed to have a lot of branches about it.

wauchope road



The walking was quite strenuous in the snow and slush and as you can see, there hadn’t been enough cars up the road to clear a track for us. Mrs Tootlepedal regarded this as a bonus as it gave her more exercise per mile than easier going. I was just jiggered.


Mrs tootlepedal
Mrs Tootlepedal strides out

It was a brilliantly sunny day again but the wind was quite nippy and it was a relief when we turned after a mile and a half to come home.


We stopped to admire these icebergs which had been washed well onto the shore at Bessie Bell’s. I wonder if we will see ice floating down the rivers like it did this year again in our lifetime. Mrs Tootlepedal thinks we should take a lump or two home to cool our champagne. If we had any champagne, I would.


On our way home, we noticed big clouds building up behind the monument and we began to expect the worst but the day stayed fine if cold.

On my return I noticed this blue tit enjoying the fat ball.

blue tit

Other little birds nibbled seed on the bird table. We try to cater for all tastes.

bird table

In the afternoon, I put a week of the E&L into the database and in the evening, I did some work on the Heritage DVD so the day was not entirely wasted.

I am sorry if the pictures are rather repetitive at the moment but it is hard to find new things to photograph when it is difficult to get about. They do reflect life as it is….stay in the house and stare out of the windows. We are getting cabin fever.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “Not in the picture

  1. Once again, beautiful pictures of the birds ( and the Monument). Thank you for letting us enjoy a glimpse of living things…. we too are suffering from cabin fever and spending too much time staring out of the window at the frozen landscape. The dreaded January blahs have set in!

    1. It will be normal for you but we have been having a run of very good winters and these last two years have come as a bit of a shock to the system. Two months of freezing weather is a lot for us.

  2. Loved the Siskin head. I have great trouble sorting out the bramblings and the chaffinches, every time I think I have got it I’m incorrect!

    Sorry about your horrid slippery weather.

  3. No problem with the picture here, I like that you are getting progressively closer to the birds.

    Next week – a Siskin nostril.

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