Battered to deaf

Today’s picture shows the English Channel town of Hastings, taken by my sister Susan who was visiting a gallery there.

2012, view from new Gallery

We are being led very gently into the colder, wetter weather and today was still fine but colder than it has been.  Rain and even snow are forecast for later tomorrow.

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir which left me with plenty of time to look at birds.

It is the nest building season.

blackbird nesting
This blackbird is making a nest just outside the kitchen window. I hope she succeeds.
sparrow nesting
I couldn't see where this sparrow went.

Many birds sat for portraits.

two goldfinches
Two goldfinches
three chaffinches
Three chaffinches. They didn't sit, they hovered.
Four...mixed: a greenfinch, male and female chaffinch and a sparrow.

Some birds didn’t hang about.

bird action
A goldfinch badgers the chaffinches
two siskins
Two siskins badger the chaffinches. The chaffinches need to get unionised.

I wandered round the garden in search of novelty but there was none today. I liked this forsythia which is getting better all the time.


I had time to turn a couple more barrow loads of compost.

After an early lunch, we drove to Gretna to the shopping village.  Mrs Tootlepedal did some virtual shopping there, i.e. she nearly bought something  but didn’t.  All was not lost as we had put her bike in the boot of the Kangoo and she got it out and cycled the 14 miles home.  I was going to drive home and then pedal out to meet her but by the time I got home, I didn’t feel very well so I waited for her to arrive which she did in very good time.

After we had had a cup of tea, she went for a rest and I felt perky enough to go for my customary walk round the Kilngreen and the Castleholm.  Spring was in the air.

Ducks were paired up.

duck pair

These may be mallard crosses as mallards will breed with just about anything.  The trees were full of life too.


I couldn’t see the heron in its usual spot but this was because it was lurking on the upstream side of the sawmill bridge for some reason.

heron lurking

Maybe it was there because a man had his dog splashing about in the water below the bridge.  While I was watching the heron,  the dog and man came up the stream under the bridge and the heron flew away.  This story literally unfolded before my eyes.

heron flying stage 1
Stage 1
heron flying stage 2
Stage 2

Those are big wings.

I walked along the other side of the river without seeing much of interest but, as always, I admired the graceful flying of the black headed gulls.

gull flying

I walked on up the Esk towards the Duchess Bridge, again without seeing anything out of the ordinary.  A complicated tree caught my attention.

tree on Castleholm

You can see part of the race course behind the tree.  If the weather is suitable, I will try to get some pictures of the horse racing when it comes off.

I pottered slowly back home and when I was nearly there, stopped to take this picture of Mike Tinker’s cherry tree.

cherry tree

(Old curmudgeon alert)

In the evening, we went off to the Buccleuch Centre where we were battered to death by an excellent singer called Ruby Turner.  I am too old to enjoy bands where the bass and drums are louder than the singer.  Apart from anything else, it makes it impossible to hear the words properly.  It is a mystery to me how five such talented musicians can enjoy making such a racket but they obviously do and, to be fair, most of the audience thoroughly enjoyed the din as well.

Because Ruby was such a great singer and the players in the band were so good, I quite enjoyed it, especially with the aid of a pair of ear plugs in the second half, when inevitably they turned the sound up even more.  Mrs Tootlepedal’s rapture was heavily modified.  Having unmercifully battered us with sound for two hours, the singer asked us all to stop making war and go for peace.  I was just about to go for peace when she came back on and gave us a 15 minute encore.   If this was soul music, sadly I don’t seem to have a soul. Of course I was reared musically on Buddy Holly songs that lasted two and a half minutes so ten minute rambles on a limited chord set can seem more tedious than uplifting.

(End of curmudgeon alert)

The part of today’s chaffinch is played by a greenfinch.

greenfnich flying


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Battered to deaf

  1. Great pictures, goldfinches are making a comeback where I live as well, not that I’ve ever seen them before in urban gardens. Good shot of the heron, I can never get good shots like that as they always fly off too quickly.

  2. This was an absolute Fireworks Finale of a bird post! Birds of every kind, skyrocketing about, showing off. My favorite, though, is the industrious sparrow that looks for all the world as if it is wearing a cat-whisker disguise.

    I’m sorry your ears were battered. That happens to me a lot, too. I’m afraid a growing curmudgeonliness is inevitable.

  3. Loved the complex bird pictures, the heron moving away and the spring flowers/blossom. Sorry the music was so loud, I can’t even go to that sort of concert even with earplugs. My view is that everyone else has deafened themselves at previous events and so needs the sound turned up so high.

    1. I think the deafness theory might be right but I expect that it is just what they are used to. I feel that it is kind of forcing the audience to enjoy themselves whether they like it or not and betrays a lack of confidence in the material by the performers.

  4. Excellent bird pictures. I liked the mixed bunch sitting for their portraits. Sympathies re the over-loud concert. I went to a choral concert two days ago which ran well over time, and then they did two encores without any request from the audience!

    1. I did catch myself the other day saying, “That was clever.” instead of my usual, “That was lucky.” Pride comes before a fall so I will probably drop the camera and break it next.

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