Today’s picture shows the Market Place in Langholm. The bunting is in preparation for Langholm’s Great Day.
In marked contrast to our recent weather, we had another fine day today and I got up early and went up to the moorland feeder station because Cat Barlow had told me that she would be ringing birds early in the morning. Sandy came up too but there was no sign of Cat so we hung about looking at birds while we waited. There were several woodpeckers about, bickering with each other.
After a while, it became obvious that Cat wasn’t coming so we went home and had a cup of tea and a slice of toast. I put my mobile phone on charge and it popped up with a message from Cat saying that she wasn’t coming which explained her absence. She said that she would be up later as she was having a lie in after getting home for a late night because she had been ringing gannets. She leads a varied life. I cancelled a planned pedal with Drop and waited for her call to go up.
Meantime, Sandy went home and I took a stroll round the garden.
I am not showing so many bird pictures from the garden just now because there is nothing really new, nevertheless the feeder is usually pretty busy.
About 11 o’clock, Sandy and I decided to go back up to the feeder to see if Cat was there. She wasn’t so we filled up the feeders and lurked about for a while. I saw this bird…
…which was new to me. I thought that it might be something exciting but Cat and Alison Tinker both told me that it is a young robin. I learn something every day.
I am pretty certain that this is a young great tit because the black stripe doesn’t go very far down its front.
At this stage, I got a text from Cat saying that she would be starting ringing at one o’clock so we went home again. Sandy took my new digital voice recorder away as he was going to a conversation meeting during the afternoon. I had a quick lunch and went back to find Cat and a friend busy rigging her nets. It had got a bit windy and the sun was out and both these things make the nets easy for the birds to see so Cat didn’t expect a great catch. A loud squawk announced the arrival of a young woodpecker but otherwise few birds hit the nets.
The woodpecker was charming, except when biting Cat on the finger.
Cat’s skill in releasing the birds from the netting and gently handling them during the ringing is a joy to watch but my joints were nagging a bit and the catch had no novelties to photograph so I made my way home after a while. I intend to go back again tomorrow morning when she will be ringing again.
Once home, the garden called and I gave the middle lawn a quick mow. Mowing little and often, every day if possible, is the principle of transcendental lawn care (TLC). Time spent on lawn care is time well spent.
Mrs Toot was able to pick the first sweet peas of the season. It was a bit of a problem as the sweet peas have been grown in strong netting to stop the birds chewing them to bits as they grow.
I spent some time dead heading roses and was pleased that these white roses looked not too bad after clearing off the dead and soggy ones.
Looking about, I was struck once again at how Mrs Toot sprinkles her favourite flowers all round the garden rather than having banks of them in one place. Here is a scattering of delphiniums.
During the day I had finished clipping the two front box hedges and Mrs Toot had done one at right angles and I thought that the result looked quite neat.
There are plenty of hedges left to do so there is no danger of getting bored.
New yellow flowers have been spotted…
After a lot of standing around through the day, I thought that my legs needed stretching so I got the slow bike out and pedalled the three miles up the road to Wauchope School.
I passed some shorn sheep on my way which were showing the reason for the their gathering which I had witnessed yesterday.
Sandy brought the recorder back with some recordings of conversations among Langholm’s senior citizens which had been going on. We are going to experiment with transcribing some of these to see how they come out. He told me in passing that a photograph of his from our recent exhibition had won a prize in a local photographic shop’s competition. It will now be entered in a national competition. I was impressed. It was a jolly good photo so it deserved to win a prize.
In the evening, Mike and Alison came and while Mrs Toot and Mike enjoyed a glass of wine, Alison and I enjoyed playing good music as well as we could (fairly well tonight).
Today’s flying bird is this rather scruffy greenfinch.