Top dog

Today’s picture comes from Bruce.  He took a picture of his terrier and it came out like this with (honestly) no editing.  I’ve heard of red eye but this is ridiculous.

blue eyed dog
Perhaps he is due a visit to the dog eye specialist

Although it was very windy when we got up, it wasn’t raining and the end wall didn’t require any mopping up which was a relief.  It was too windy for cycling and so Dropscone and Arthur came round for coffee and we put in a bit of work finishing off some slices of Christmas cakes as well as sampling Dropscone’s girdle scones.  It’s a hard life, as they say but someone has to do it.  We were joined by Mike Tinker who kindly helped us with a little cake eating.

While we were enjoying our coffee, I noticed a sparrowhawk flashing through the garden but the others were rather dismissive saying it could have been anything.

We had a good chat and when they left, the light had got good enough to make it worth looking out of the window.

I noticed that the lone brambling was back on the flat feeder.

lone brambling
It's the bird on the right of the picture

There were greenfinches about today, both on the hanging feeders…

greenfinch and flying chaffinches

greenfinch and goldfinch

…and on the flat feeder.

greenfinch and chafiinches

As you can see, the chaffinches were very busy once again.

flying chaffinches

Sparrows are still very scarce.  Here one shares a feeder with a goldfinch.

sparrow and goldfinch

It was the only one which I saw all day.  There were plenty of goldfinches though.

Goldfinches on feeder
With a greenfinch keeping an eye on them

flexible goldfinch

Then suddenly, the garden went quiet.   Often this is because someone has walked up the road past the front gate and unsettled the birds but on this occasion, it was a visitor of a different kind.  I make no excuses for showing several pictures of her (I think it is a female) as I may never get such a good chance again.  She was sitting quietly in the plum tree.


sparrowhawk turning

sparrowhawk turning more

Finally, she checked that I had got her good side…

sparrowhawk looking

..and flapped lazily away without reducing our resident flocks at all.

That made my day.

Mrs Tootlepedal came back from work soon after and although I am always pleased to see her, I was glad that she hadn’t come a moment or two sooner and discouraged the sparrowhawk from resting in the plum, tree.

After lunch, the wind dropped for a moment, and I was just thinking of going for a walk or even a pedal, when it got up again and started to rain as well.  I took the hint and went to put a week of the paper into the database instead and then I practised lounging around.  I am getting quite good at that.

By the time I sat down to write this page in the evening, the rain was lashing down and the wind was howling.  Even so, looking at the news bulletins, we seem to have had much less bad weather than the rest of Scotland so I mustn’t complain.

I leave you with a picture of the fine Christmas present received by my son Tony’s latest dog acquisition, Tara.

big bone

That will take some chewing.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

12 thoughts on “Top dog

    1. It is here often enough already without taking up residence. I haven’t seen it catch a bird but we do come across occasional little piles of feathers.

  1. Thrilled you got those splendid pictures of the sparrowhawk, I hope you put a copy of the best one on the kitchen wall as proof!

    Very glad to read too that no water came through the end wall when you thought it might.

  2. Those eyes, a fine example of what my blog friend Gerry calls ‘Robo dog’ I must send her over to see.
    You’ve had far more light than we have, the weather has been vile here today.
    I’ve not yet had chance to capture on camera ‘the’ sparrow hawk, though I see it often enough. My best sighting was when it landed on the wall next to where I was sitting, not sure who was more surprised, the bird or me.

    1. Yes, we seem to have missed the worst both to the south and the north of us.

      I was really pleased to catch the sparrowhawk as I may never get a chance again. It was just a happy accident that I was at the window at the right moment and that the bird decided to sit for a few seconds. I hope it happens again but I am not holding my breath.

  3. Oh my goodness, so much to see over here! Robo-dog, of course–and I must send Mrs. Uhdd a thank-you note for that–but the bird photos are outstanding. Scottish finches are more decorative than the ones who live in Michigan. Our goldfinches don’t have anything like those brilliant red bands. “Hawks is hawks,” and that is exactly what they look like. Really fine series.

    Now about those interesting cakes . . .

  4. Thank you for looking in. I am glad you enjoyed robo-dog. He is quite calm in real life as are most border terriers.

    The cakes are a product of cycling with a retired baker and being married to a good cook.

  5. Finally, excuse me I’m so slow, I’ve put two and two together, to figure out you are tootlepedal and Tom Hutton…doah!!! Great pics of the Sparrowhawk, I used to see them quite often, now rarely. I agree it looks like a female.

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