Today’s picture, taken by my sister Mary while on a walk, shows my sister Susan striding up Primrose Hill with all of London laid out behind her on a glorious day to welcome the start of the new year.
Things looked good here too at the start of the day with a generous helping of blue sky to go with breakfast so it was with considerable enthusiasm that I packed up my gear and waited for Sandy to pick me to go to fill the feeders at the Moorland feeding station. We arrived in bright sunshine, filled the feeders, set up the cameras on tripods and sat back to wait for interesting birds to turn up. We had been sat for roughly thirty seconds when it started to rain out of a clear blue sky.
The new year started to feel very like the old one. What followed was a reminiscent of early keystone cops movies. We took the cameras in, the rain stopped. We put the cameras out, the rain started. All this while the sun was still shining not far away.
In between the rain, we managed to take a few pictures. There were lots of tits about and it was easy to see how busy Cat has been at the bird ringing.
I had sandycam with me and managed to catch a distant shot of a woodpecker leaning over from a tree trunk to collect a seed from a feeder rather than its usual peanuts.
You can see how many smaller birds there were about. To add to the problems with the rain, a hawk swooped down and cleared the birds off. It didn’t stop long…
…and the hungry birds were back at the feeders within a minute of its departure. We did eventually get the cameras set up again.
Even the woodpecker had a ring on its leg.
Things started to go very grey and when it started to rain again, we packed up and headed for coffee.
After lunch, I had a bit of work to do and when I had finished, things had settled down well outside so I took a couple of feeder photos…
… and then once again I got the Avanti out and went for a pedal. It was getting a little late so I was pleased to have my Christmas lights with me because this meant that I didn’t have to rush to get home before sunset. I went up to Barnglieshead for a change and was regarded by interested animals as I went.
This is probably an alliterative animal as I think it will be the bull of Bell of the Bloch.
I stopped for a sunset shot…
…but it was quite dark by now so I put my new lights on as I headed for home. I didn’t need them to see but I did need them to be seen. As only one car passed me, they haven’t really earned their keep yet. It was a short journey of just 12 miles but I have learned a lesson about going too fast and too far too soon so I am going to increase the workload very gently in January after only managing 60 miles on the bike in the whole of December.
I put a week of the newspaper index into the database when I got back and the rest of the day slipped peacefully away. I think that it is probably too early to have a definitive opinion on 2013 yet but it has been OK so far. I have updated my cycling page although 2012 is not a year I will remember with any great cycling pleasure except for our jaunt in France.
A flying chaffinch was found to start the new year off as the old one had finished. No rings here.