Plenty of time for snaps

Today’s picture is another from my sister Susan’s recent trip to NZ and shows Mirror Lake a celebrated tourist attraction.

Mirror Lake

We couldn’t match that sunshine today and with the now customary bitter east wind blowing vigorously, it was a rather cold, grey day but once again without any rain.  I couldn’t go cycling with Dropscone as I had an appointment to get my blood tested at the Health Centre.  I was expecting him to call in for a coffee on the way round but he didn’t appear.  I found evidence that he had been in the vicinity when I discovered two scones in a plastic bag hanging from the back door handle.   It later turned out that he hadn’t realised that I was in when he came.  I thoroughly enjoyed the scones but missed getting the full story of his magnificent triumph in the golf club’s winter competition.  Congratulations to him.

It was one of those days when my get up and go was missing and an easy chair was a welcome option but I did rouse myself enough to finish sieving the compost and to start turning the next bay.  I also managed a little more lawn spiking.  I wouldn’t like it to appear that I had done a lot of work because if you had blinked, I would have been back indoors before you opened your eyes again.

Mrs Tootlepedal was at work again and no sooner had she returned than I noticed this redpoll on the feeder.  Two welcome sights simultaneously.


The feeders were as busy as usual…

A chaffinch with its eye on the ball
siskin diving
A diving siskin
brambling and chaffinch
A brambling uses body language to warn off a chaffinch

In a more restful moment, I took a picture to show off the colourful plumage of a brambling and thought that it was handsome enough to deserve a frame.


No one can accuse the chaffinch that was sitting watching in the plum tree of being handsome.

chaffinch on one leg
Reminiscent of Dudley Moore as Tarzan

After lunch, I was mooching about doing nothing much when fortunately the phone rang and it was Sandy who was equally at a loose end and anxious to break the tedium by visiting the moorland feeders.  I was happy to join him.

I may have remarked on this before but for the last two years the air over the Solway has been very hazy and we have hardly been able to see the Lake District hills on the southern shore.  This year, for no very obvious reason, the air has been much clearer and we have been able to see the hills for day after day.  I make no apology for including the view from the Moorland feeders yet again.

Lake District

If anyone can explain the improved visibility, I would be glad to know.

I kept my camera in the hand when we first sat down and it wasn’t long before a woodpecker appeared at the peanuts on the far side of the glade.


It was too far away for a really good shot so I concentrated on things nearer to hand.


This dunnock has been ringed
This cock pheasant was striding up and down, generally challenging anyone who thought he was tough enough to come and have a go.  None took up the challenge.

After a while, we set up the cameras on the tripods and used the remote.  I directed mine towards the nuts favoured by the previous woodpecker.

I got some very nice pictures of blue tits…

blue tit

…and great and coal tits….

great tit and coal tit

…but no woodpeckers.  It wasn’t dull though because I got another picture of great and coal tits, this time on the opposite sides of the feeder.

coal and great tit

The excitement was too much for me and I took the camera back into hand.  The woodpecker reappeared.  Toujours gai.

There were a lot of chaffinches about and they were in flighty mood.  I caught them as they rose as one after an alarm.


There may be the odd greenfinch and brambling in there too.

It was very chilly as we were exposed to the wind and after about an hour, we had had enough.  I took one more picture of the hills….


..and retired for a cup of tea and the last of the toasted teacakes with Sandy.

Sandy went off home and I returned to doing nothing material.  It is wonderful how many ways of doing nothing that I can devise.  We get two newspapers every weekday which helps.  I did have time to notice a great tit in the garden…

great tit

..and once again it made me wonder why there are so many up at the moorland feeders and so few down in the garden.  We have had plenty in previous years.

I also enjoyed the sight of a tiny siskin scaring a chaffinch rigid.


There was no recorder group meeting this week so I was able to extend my rest and relaxation right through the evening.

The flying bird of the day is a novelty.  I just caught a pheasant as it flew past us at the moorland feeders in pursuit of a female.


Out of interest, I am putting in the original redpoll picture which I took today.  It might explain some muddiness in the markings on the bird in the picture above.  It’s one of the ways that I waste time when the weather’s bad or I am tired.

redpoll with string

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

16 thoughts on “Plenty of time for snaps

  1. It’s hard to tell the difference for me between the red polls and the house finches. I am getting better at bird ID, but I get it wrong it seems just as often.

      1. Some of my house finches are so so red that I wonder if they are a different kind. But age, diet, and who knows what else can cause all sorts of variations!

  2. Well, that siskin, what a fighter! Everytime I think you have taken the best bird pictures ever you come up with more winners. Thanks for the Lake District hills, wonderful. Hope you feel more energetic today.

  3. Very impressed by the redpoll picture after your work on it. Sorry about the lack of energy. Excellent photographs, and splendid views of the Lake District.

    1. I have a very good camera (Nikon D7000) which lets me take pictures at a high ISO so that I can get a quick shutter speed. It also has a very quick autofocus. It helps to chose birds which hover or glide.

  4. I can’t quite decide which I enjoy more, your photography or you witty comments! Today it has to be the photo of the redpoll. Quite some years since I saw one of these little beasties.

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