Ring for the bill

Today’s picture shows a really welcoming green waste site visited by my brother.  It’s not easy being green.

green waste

This morning, I got up promptly, ate some cereal and set off in the car to the Moorland bird feeders where Cat Barlow had told me that she would be netting birds for ringing again.  She was already there and set up by the time I arrived.

Cat ready to go
The first birds already bagged and ready to ring. Cat looking keen to get going.

We were sitting in the car for the ringing as it was pretty chilly for her to do work outside that can’t be done in gloves.  (I have fully mastered photography while wearing bicycle gloves.)

While the first batch was being ringed, a woodpecker arrived in the nets.

woodpecker netted

This one turned out to have been netted some time before but it is still re-recorded before being released again.

woodpecker recording

After quite a slow start, a good number of birds found the nets and Cat was very busy untangling, recording and releasing.  As always, the blue tits gave her the hardest time and their handling was accompanied by many merry squeaks of agony.  Luckily there weren’t too many of today.

We had an interested spectator…


… possibly auditioning for a role in a black and white film.

If we got bored, we could always admire the distant snowcapped lakeland fells.

snowcapped hills

Many birds were dealt with and as I have showed pictures of the ringing before, I have put the pictures I took on my facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.376905918992782.110344.100000201310181&type=1

Dropscone points out to me that you must be signed into Facebook to see the photos.

I have put this coal tit in here regardless because I like them so much.

coal tit

Gavin Graham turned up and as I was quite cold by now, I went home and put the coffee on.  Before I had a chance to drink it, I got a call from Gavin to go back up to the feeders so ignoring the wonderful smell of freshly brewed nectar, I drove back up the hill.  It was worth missing the coffee.

male crossbill

Cat had netted a pair of crossbills, a bird I have never seen before.  They are truly handsome little birds, a little bigger than a green finch and wonderfully coloured as you can see.  That is the male in her hand up above and below.  You can see why it is called a crossbill.

crossbill male

As they are usually found at the top of trees, I was very lucky to be able to see one so close.  The female is not quite so gaudy but still beautiful.

female crossbill

Don’t tell the Leveson enquiry but this lovely girl was soon surrounded by photographers.

belle of the ball crossbill

Since they were a pair, Cat carefully released them one straight after the other.

female crossbill flying
Ladies first

male crossbill flying

That was an unexpected treat and I am grateful to Cat for letting me share it.  Dr Barlow was so delighted that I can’t help remarking that she looked like the Cat that had got the cream.

The last bird to be ringed was a greenfinch.

A close relative of the crossbill and a handsome bird too.

When I got home, it was lunchtime and I had a plate of sweet potato soup.  Looking at the thermometer, I saw that it was warm enough for a pedal but, for once, good sense kicked in and I really did rest my ankle.  I am going for an x-ray on it tomorrow and I will know more about what I should and shouldn’t do after that.  On top of the ankle, my joints have started to hurt a bit in a general sort of way and I am wondering if I have contracted something that is causing this.  Mrs Tootlepedal feels it may not be unconnected with the march of time but if it doesn’t fade away, another visit to the doctor looks likely.

Instead of cycling, I put the programme for the Langholm Walking Festival on to the walks website and those interested in a guided walk in beautiful country can see the programme here.

I did take a couple of pictures of birds in my own garden too.

a brambling feeling the cold
A brambling feeling the cold
a rook on the flat feeder
A rook.

In spite of the chilly weather, I have had a really interesting week what with going to Newcastle, the rugby and the ringing.  Next week has a lot to live up to.

Note: if you would like to see the ringing or the rugby pictures and don’t have a Facebook account, ask anyone you know who is under thirty.  They’ll have one.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

17 thoughts on “Ring for the bill

  1. Glad you thought the Crossbills were worth giving up your coffee for. Superb photos of them and the other birds as well.

  2. The woodpecker looks shocked. “I can’t believe I’ve gone and gotten myself netted again!” It looks like a fine way to spend a morning, except that I can’t help but notice all those Band-aids on Cat’s fingers . . . I expect the crossbills were worth it, though.

  3. How exciting for everyone to see the crossbills, I have saved the male to my own computer. I liked yout dog/film allusion, the dog was very good in the film.

    Hope you get to the bottom of your ankle/joint pains on your several visits to the doctor.

  4. Liked the photo of the wee dog – he looked very interested in what you were doing – whereas the boxer dog at the Rugby on Saturday looked totally bored with the match!

  5. The crossbills are beautiful, I’m glad you were summoned to record them. And the Lakeland fells look rather beautiful too.

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