Many a slip

Today’s picture is another from my brother in New Zealand.  It is a pied shag which he saw on a visit to a bird sanctuary although it is not a rare bird.

pied shag

It was raining when I woke up but by the time I had finished breakfast, the skies had cleared and things were looking good. The downside of the clearing skies was a falling thermometer and by the time that Dropscone arrived it was touch and go as to whether it was safe to pedal.  The day looked so nice that we took our courage in both hands and set off round the morning route.  We passed two or three icy patches and keeping to a modest pace, we got round safely to enjoy our coffee and scones.  We had had the best of the day for cycling because by the time we had finished these, the day was beginning to cloud over and the wind was rising.

I peered through he kitchen window and watched the bird show outside.  Interestingly (to me at least) I thought that I had watched the birds for ages but when I checked the time recorded on the pictures that I had taken, I found that I had only been there for a few minutes.  This first one was taken separately from the others while I was passing the window.

A sparrow, a rare visitor these days.

I tried not to take any more chaffinch pictures but the camera took several off its own bat, without me pressing the button (honest).

Here two stand quite still while behind them birds fly off in all directions.

Taken at 12.42
A jackdaw at 12.42 as well
A siskin fluffed up against the cold, taken at 12.45
A tiny siskin dwarfed by the feeder, taken at 12.46
brambling and chaffinch
I was taking the brambling when the chaffinch muscled in, taken at 12.46

The light was fading now and I spent a few minutes taking pictures of flying birds that failed to make the cut.  Static birds were a better option.

another sparrow
A second sparrow made it a big day for them, taken at 12.51
Up and down siskins on the peanuts, taken at 12.54

You may have thought from the quantity of bird pictures on the blog that I spend all day looking out of the window but as you can see, the quantity and variety of visitors means that this is not necessary.   On many days I will spend more time at the computer, cropping and tweaking the pictures than I do taking them.

Often, I will have two or three short sessions at the window during a day but by lunchtime today, it was so gloomy that I put the camera away and did other things.  After lunch there was a brief moment when the sun shone so I walked up to the Archive Centre to do a little business but by the time I came out, it was pouring with rain again and I got soaked walking home.  Mrs Tootlepedal had gone to get some muck during the same break in the weather and she too got thoroughly soaked on her way home. How we laughed.

There was nothing for it so I sat down at the computer and put a week of the Eskdale and Liddesdale Advertiser of 1882 into the database

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal and I walked along the road to listen to Paul Jones and Dave Kelly sing and play the blues at the Buccleuch Centre.  Dave Kelly can certainly play the guitar well and Paul Jones is no mean harmonica player and a fine singer so the evening went with a swing.  It was serious stuff with a history lesson before each song and there were moments when I felt a tiny fraction of frivolity wouldn’t have gone amiss but the whole thing was great.

When we came out, the road outside the hall was a sheet of ice and we had to pick our way over it with great care.  Tomorrow may be the day for the yaktrax at last.  Sandy was at the concert and he told me that he had been to see the starlings at Gretna.  As a result, there are some good starling pictures on his blog together with a some fine sunsets.




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

5 thoughts on “Many a slip

    1. Her muck collecting is on the basis of little and often so that she combines exercise with muck collecting. I’m with you on the whole CAPS LOCK THING as well. I have wasted much of my life retyping inadvertent capitals.

  1. Glad you, Drop Scone and Mrs Tootlepedal all got about without coming to grief on the icy surfaces even if you did get soaked through!

  2. Please tell Sandy I though his photos were amazing. Loved the “whale”, as well as the sunset with the pink shadowed clouds and silhouetted trees. Tried to comment on his but couldn’t. Hope you don’t mind being a messenger!

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