Miserable morning

Today’s picture is another from my brother’s visit to a bird sanctuary.  It is a takahe and must be the most thoroughly ringed bird in the world.


It was another lovely, sunny day today.  Sadly for the frog, it was below freezing and the frogspawn in the pond was thoroughly frozen.  I was quite pleased by the frost as it meant that I didn’t mind my enforced idleness so much and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir, I made a serious dent in Les Miserables.

It turns out to be a very good read and I don’t feel that skipping a paragraph here and there is going to count against me too much in a 1200 page book. It was interesting enough that I didn’t take my first picture through the kitchen window until lunchtime.

female chaffinch
By this time the sun was just catching the feeders
male chaffinch
A dark hedge made for a dramatic contrast
In the full sunshine there was hectic activity among the chaffinches

I felt the need to get out of the house so I took the car up to the Moorland Feeding Station, hoping to see a woodpecker or two.

two woodpeckers
I saw two

Both of them had been ringed.

ringed woodpecker

It was sunny but very cold and I thought it wise not to stay too long.  There were a lot of the usual suspects about…

coal tit
A coal tit. It had been ringed too.
A pheasant
A pheasant stepping out

..but there was a bird that was new to me up there.

Reed bunting
Mrs Tootlepedal looked it up and we think it is a reed bunting.


On my way home I stopped to see if the goosander was still there today but because I had got the good camera with me, there was no sign of it.  I had to make do with an outbreak of gulls….


… and a detail from the Erskine Church.

Erskine Church

This is quite ornate for a Presbyterian church.

On my way back, I took three views because for once the sky was quite clear over the Solway.

view over Solway

view of Lake District

Not perfectly clear but a lot better than it has been lately.  Looking north, it was very clear.


By the time I got home, the light was beginning to fade a bit and although there was still a lot of feeder fun, there wasn’t an opportunity to take a really good picture but being me, I took two anyway.

a greenfinch holds chaffinches at bay

A plump robin poses on a shrub which Mrs Tootlepedal cut back while I was out.

plump robin

Happily, there was some excellent cycling to watch on the telly from the new Olympic velodrome in London and as long as you can ignore the commentators telling you at great length what you can easily see for yourself, track cycling makes for good viewing in my book.  Because the hall was full of genuine enthusiasts who had got tickets for this event because they couldn’t get them or afford them for the Olympics, the crowd was in fantastic form.  It may be a bit of a disappointment at the real Olympics when the hall is full of IOC placemen, sponsors and people who bought tickets for this because they couldn’t get them for the synchronised swimming.  (Scotland won more gold medals than any other country.)

The rest of the day meandered away somehow but without much improvement in my sore wrist which needs to get a lot better before I can contemplate serious cycling.  I am relying on time the great healer.

I finish with a late chaffinch much enhanced in the photo editor.

chaffinch landing




Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

14 thoughts on “Miserable morning

  1. Glad you went up to the Feeder Station when you did. I had the job of filling up the feeders this morning and when I went up at 11.00am there was not a bit of seed left in any of the feeders. Within 5 minutes of filling them all up it became very busy with the 2 Woodpeckers the most prominent. Only sad part of the visit was the deer lying dead at the side of the road just before you turn of for the Feeder Station. It must have been killed while I was up there as it was not there when Gaye ran me up and I noticed it on my return walk back before I went onto the old railway walk.

  2. The woodpeckers are dandy ones – different than any I’ve seen. Mrs. Chaffinch has a soft, pretty appearance and a penetrating gaze. Today’s astonishing sight though has to be the view across the Solway – those are impressive hills. I would like to have some like that to look at.

      1. They do indeed look good. (By comparison the highest points in the state of Michigan are about 600m tall – and we don’t have a lot of those.)

  3. Sorry your sore wrist is still such a bother and hope it gets better quickly for you. I loved the Solway Firth pictures and was glad you included a robin!

  4. Sympathies re the wrist – hope it will soon recover. What a plump looking robin, maybe it was fluffed out because of the cold. Glad you had some sunshine.

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