I couldn’t resist it.

Today’s picture, sent to me by my daughter Annie, shows the sort of visitors bird feeders get in London.


The first view from the bedroom window this morning was delightful but had a definite drawback  from a cycling point of view.

Frosty lawn

That changed my plan for the day and I went along to John’s shop and bought a Sunday newspaper to pass the time.  I did glance out of the window once or twice.


sparrows coal tit
A coal tit watches some sparrows arguing

After a while, because it was still to cold to cycle, I got bored and drove up to the moorland feeding centre.   I didn’t get a photo opportunity there but was interested to see that the nets which Dr Barlow uses to catch birds for ringing were still up.  She had a good haul yesterday, including a goldcrest and a sparrowhawk.

I didn't realise that it was such an elaborate operation
The nets hadn't put the birds off

I soon drove on down the hill to the bridge across the Tarras.  I added to my collection of pictures of rivers from bridges.


By the time I had got home and had lunch, the temperature had risen to 5C and I put many layers of clothing on and took the slow bike out for a leisurely ride.  Cycling fast in very cold weather does not do my chest any good so I kept at a pace that didn’t require any additional puffing or panting.  I recently read a blog by Gerry Patterson on the need for cyclists to suffer and the pride that serious cyclists take in their and other cyclists’ suffering.   Although you have to admire this attitude,  I think that it slightly misses the greatest wonder of bicycles which is their ability to let you go significant distances in relatively little time without any great effort at all.  Athletes of all sorts, swimmers, runners, climbers et al, can suffer but only cyclists can go 15 miles on a Sunday afternoon through beautiful countryside in and hour and half without turning a hair.

Here are some of the things I met on my trip.black cattle

Callister Hall
Callister Hall on the top of the hill at Callister. This used to be an inn. It would be wonderful to be able to stop for a coffee there now.
Below St Bride's Hill
The view towards the farm at Bloch from below St Bride's Hill
I met this former colleague out for a walk with her daughter
Belted Galloways
Belted Galloways

When I got home, I was taken by the sight the moon lurking over the top of Whita Hill.

Moon over Whita

The day was so beautiful that I couldn’t resist the temptation to visit the starlings again.  I offered to take Dropscone down but he was busy so I invited my archiving partner Jean and she jumped at the chance.  The drive down in the evening sunlight was a treat in itself and the sunset when we got to Gretna was top notch.

Sunset over the M74

The starlings did not disappoint.

Early formations

Starlings gathering


Jean had brought her camera and was snapping away too.

Jean snapping


It was very cold and we didn’t wait until they had roosted. I took one last picture as we headed for the car and it shows the difference in light when looking away from the sunset.

These were right above the services building

This was looking back across the car park towards the Lake District hills.

sunset at Gretna

As we drove back across the motorway, we had to stop to see if we could capture the low lying mist on the country towards Eastriggs.

Nutberry Moss

Once home again, I had another look at the moon.


I have cycled every day this week and have now reached 6000 miles which is my target for the whole year.  Last year I had reached 5500 when the snow came and put a stop to cycling for the rest of the year.  This year, because the target has been reached already, I am expecting a mild winter.  Time will tell.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

14 thoughts on “I couldn’t resist it.

  1. Photos are superb. I particularly like the one of the sunset and the layer of fog towards Eastriggs.

  2. I’m humbled by your mileage, Tootlepedal. I am behind you by a substantial margin…how did you do all those miles without suffering!?

    Great photos as always.

    1. Very slowly. I never average more than 16 mph. Being an old age pensioner, I have plenty of time to pedal and I can choose the best time of day to avoid getting wet. I also avoid going up Mt Ventoux wherever possible. Having Dropscone come round for the morning pedal often gets me out when otherwise I might have looked at the weather and gone back to bed. I still sometimes suffer but never on purpose.

  3. You have surpassed yourself with today’s pictures, the starlings were even more memorable than the last ones and the birds and views were delightful.

  4. yes the net system does look quite complex doesn’t it.. when I am ringing on consecutive days I ‘furl’ the nests overnight.. using an extra guy string to spin the nets very tightly so that no birds will get caught when I am absent.

  5. Always a honour to be photo of the day, although put to shame by the rest of the superb photos. What a wonderful day.

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