Masterly inactivity

Today’s picture is another attempt by a robin to corner the Christmas card slot.


It was a bright but chilly day when I woke up and I managed to cycle a good deal less than I had planned.  In fact, I managed not to cycle at all.  This was a waste of that rare thing, a sunny Sunday morning.  I really did mean to go out but I managed  to find enough excuses to delay the start of the ride until it was too late.  First I had to wait in while Mrs Tootlepedal was singing in the church choir in case the tiler arrived.  Then the tiler arrived and I had to watch him at work so that I could be ready for the moment when the tiles were finally finished.

It came.  Here they are.

One of the ‘patchwork’ squares
A detail of the ‘patchwork’ band.
The tout ensemble

There is a little painting round the edges to be done as you can see.

After that I had to sit down for a while to recover from the excitement.  Then there was the fact that it was still only 4 degrees and my legs hurt so I feebly gave the whole pedalling scheme up.

As the tiler’s van was once again outside the kitchen window, I couldn’t look out of it at the birds so while he was busy, I went upstairs and looked out of the B&B window instead.  It gave me a whole new outlook on life.

Looking down at a chaffinch.

I quite liked it and stayed there for a few more shots.

collared doves in the walnut tree
There were seven of these collared doves in the walnut tree at one stage which is most unusual. They didn’t come to the feeders.
Box balls
The golden box balls gleamed in the sunshine.

The plum tree was as popular as ever.



blue tit


I don’t know what they were all looking at over to the left but it must have been interesting.

The birds were not as busy at the feeder as usual because of the van parked beside it but it didn’t seem to discourage the blue tits.

blue tits

blue tit

It was a good viewing spot and I will use it again, even when no van is parked outside the kitchen window.

The reason that it had got too late for cycling was that I had agreed to go out on a photo expedition with Sandy if the weather was fair. He rang me at lunchtime to say that he was on the top of a hill experimenting with time lapse photography but he was c9oming and he arrived soon afterwards.  Mike Tinker came round at about the same time to help me with the task of unscrewing and tidying up a set of trestles which I used to use for our slot car racing group but which are now just taking up space.   They were screwed together so firmly that it took great strength and mechanical aids to get them apart.  With all three of us working, the job was soon completed and Sandy and I set off for the Moorland feeders in pursuit of the perfect woodpecker picture.

The sun had gone in by this time which was probably not a bad thing as it is easy to get blown highlights on the white of a woodpecker’s chest if it too sunny.

Once again, we were using tripods and remote shutter controls.  This means guessing where the birds will come and then sitting around hoping for the best.  I won out in the first round of positioning as an obliging woodpecker soon turned up on the feeder that I was focussed on.

They generally land on the tree next to the feeder first.
It spent a good deal of time pecking at the peanuts.

I have put a full frame uncropped picture in here to show how close we can get the camera to the feeders using the remote.  The birds didn’t seem to be disturbed by the clicking of the shutters now that we have been up once or twice before.   For those interested I was using my 70-300mm zoom at 70mm or these shots.  This was so that I could take in the tree and the feeder.

woodpecker full frame

Sandy had drawn a blank with his target so we moved the cameras to look at seed feeders rather than the peanuts for the next session.

coal tit
My choice turned out to be a coal tit magnet
coal tit full frame
This is an uncropped shot again to show how close we can get to the feeders.

We then tried the peanuts again for our last session and this time fate was kind to Sandy and he had a lengthy visit from a woodpecker.  He had set the camera to movie mode and I look forward to seeing the resulting clips.  I had a thin time at my feeder and this great tit was almost the only visitor.

Great tit

The light was quite poor by now and we could appreciate the value of the remote shutter control as otherwise we couldn’t have taken any half decent pictures from where we were sitting behind the screen.   Next time I go up to the moorland feeders, I am going to be brave and really zoom in on a feeder in the hope of getting a good close up even if it means sitting there and capturing nothing.

We came home and enjoyed a cup of tea and a chocolate biscuit and I devoted the next hour to weeding down the many pictures that I had taken during the day to the score that I have used here.  This is always a painful process on a day when maybe a hundred pictures have been taken in all.  I don’t envy Sandy the task of looking through the many hundreds of pictures that will have resulted from his time lapse experiment.

After that, I devoted the rest of the evening to serious pro style resting.  Having looked at the dreadful forecast for next week, I am now rather sorry that I was so lazy this morning as cycling opportunities may be few and far between.

On the bird cam front, it was a very disappointing day as I didn’t see a single bird visit the feeder tray.

Today’s flying bird is a chaffinch seen from above,






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

8 thoughts on “Masterly inactivity

  1. Glad to see color with the tiling job. I was worried that all that thinking and investigating and deciding only yielded white tiles, as in the previous blog. Congratulate Mrs. T

  2. Wow, what a treat to see the new tiles in situ, I look forward to seeing them with my own eyes sooner rather than later. Lovely, lovely having all those perching birds and your final picture is one for the competition folder. Sorry about the lack of cycling though.

  3. The tiles look lovely – well worth waiting for.
    What a lot of splendid bird pictures today.

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