Free at last

Today’s picture, sent to me by my sister Mary shows a pelican in St James’ Park being searched by the police.

Hyde Park pelican

Hooray, the sun shone.  It shone all day.  It was sunny.  I was sunny.  Because it was sunny, Dropscone rang up to see about a morning pedal but it was quite windy and he had only got home from his trip to London at half past two in the morning so we agreed not to go. It was in fact very windy and when I went up after breakfast to fill up the feeders at the moorland feeding station, it was starvation with a savage north westerly wind.  But it was sunny.

great tit
The feeders were busy as usual in the sun. This is a great tit with a chaffinch passing overhead.
many chaffinches
Multi-storey chaffinch accommodation with occasional greenfinch

The obligatory woodpecker obligingly put in an appearance just to keep me happy.


When I got home, there was a lot of bird action there too.  The low winter sun isn’t as good for taking pictures as you might expect because of the strong shadows that it casts but I snapped away regardless.

chaffinch in the sun
The sun brought out the colour in this chaffinch. Did I mention that the sun was out?
Here is an untypically chubby greenfinch basking in the sun. The sun was out.
diving goldfinch
The sun catches the wings of this goldfinch
chaffinches goldfinch
Colourful finches in the sun
A chaffinch on full steam ahead
This is the first brambling that I have seen actually on the plum tree feeeder.
A robin specially for my sister Susan. It is standing in the sun.
chaffinch feet
A chaffinch showing that it has washed its hands before taking a meal

All the garden bird pictures were taken within an half hour.  Inspired by Sandy’s video, I also took a short video of the plum tree feeder but it needs a bit more work than I had time for if it was to appear here.  If I get another decent day soon, I will have a second go.

After lunch, because it was sunny, I got the slow bike out for a pedal. I got the slow bike out because the speedy bike is still at the bike hospital having a service.  Before I got the bike out, I spent quite a lot of time putting on many, many layers of clothes because the wind was still whistling from the north west and it was decidedly chilly.

I set off into the teeth of the wind with a view to having a quick scoot back with the wind behind me.  I really wished that I had had the speedy bike with me because on the slow bike I stick up into the wind like the Eddystone lighthouse and it was very hard going.  Although the wind was strong, it wasn’t strong enough to be a safety hazard but I was still pleased to be able to stop to take a picture of the neatly stacked  timber at the Bigholms wood.

stack of logs

This is the same wood, looking back at it from the bottom of Callister.

Felled wood
They still have the bit on the right to fell. I don't know why they leave odd trees standing.

I went out to Paddockhole and it took me a long time in a heavily gusting wind.  My average speed was under ten miles an hour, which is slow even for the slow bike.  Here is the cottage at the bridge.

Cottage at Paddockhole

I now had the sun and the wind behind me and I took just under twenty minutes less to get back to Langholm than I had taken to get out to Paddockhole.  To give an idea of the wind strength, I was able to cycle at 30 mph along the flat bit of road past the quarry.  I would be quite pleased with that on the speedy bike.

I stopped to take a picture as I got near Langholm purely to show the cloudless blue sky.

Blue sky

As you can see, the road is in shadow and I was really glad that I had dressed sensibly because even with all my layers, I was getting slightly chilly.  Nevertheless, because the sun was out (I don’t know if I have mentioned that), I didn’t want to waste the day so I turned round when I got home and went back up the road to add another five miles to the trip.  I covered 26 miles, working quite hard, and it is sobering to think that I was at least ten minutes slower than a really good marathon runner can do 26 miles.  Of course they might not be quite so quick with 500m of climb and a twenty five mile an hour wind for half the trip.

I was pleased to see the heron was on station at Pool Corner.  It was probably enjoying the sunny weather.

heron at Pool Corner

After tea, Mrs Tootlepedal went away to rehearse with her old choir because, sadly, she is going to sing at a fellow chorister’s funeral tomorrow.  I went with Sandy and Jean to do our usual stint at the Archive Centre.  We worked very hard, of course, and thoroughly deserved our subsequent refreshment at the Douglas Hotel.

I should have mentioned that it didn’t rain today.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

10 thoughts on “Free at last

  1. All hail the sun! Slow-bike is better than no-bike.

    I like the pelican photo. Maybe you could put heaps of fish on one your bird feeders. The results could only be….interesting.

  2. The reason they leave odd trees standing is to give the Raptors a place to perch as they look for prey.

  3. I understand that you had a spot of sun yesterday, wow! Thanks for the robin picture, much appreciated.

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