Today’s picture shows one of the many daffodils which are supplying most of the colour in the garden at the moment.


The early morning weather was not at all attractive to cyclists unless they were ones who were particularly fond of wind and rain.  As that number did not include me, I stayed at home and put my feet up until Dropscone (and scones) arrived for coffee.  He had preferred the gym to the elements.

While I was waiting for Dropscone to arrive, I spent some time watching a tremendous number of siskins coming to the feeder.  They are even outnumbering our chaffinches at the moment.



siskins and chaffinch
The odd chaffinch tried to get a look in.

Even the ground crew’s job had been taken over by siskins.


The rain let up enough to allow me to take a damp walk round the garden to look for new colour.  A dicentra and some aubretia obliged.



Things are definitely looking up.

Mrs Tootlepedal had seen a couple of jays on her travels up and down to collect manure and so we went up to Bessie Bell’s with camera in hand to see if we could get an action shot.  We saw a heron in one field…


…and a lamb in another…


…but no jays.  We even cycled up the road again after lunch, by which time the weather had become warm and dry, but there was still no sign of them.  In general birds don’t seem to be alarmed by passing cars but a pedestrian or a cyclist soon causes them to make themselves scarce.

After we got back from our pedal, which was a gentle affair of six miles, our B&B visitors arrived.  They had come down to open a local art exhibition and by coincidence, they were the previous occupiers of our house.   It has been much changed during the forty years we have been living here.

At the same time Sandy arrived and after a quick look at some tadpoles in our pond…

Still in very early stages of development.

…we set off to see of we could take pictures of the nuthatches at their nest.  We parked at the Kilngreen and saw some somnolent ducks…


…and a mystery bird which flew off before we could get a good look at it…

mystery bird
Possibly a common sandpiper

…but no nuthatches.  This was because when we arrived at the nest tree, there were vans and men working so we made a detour past the rabbit warren…


…admired some newly appeared leaves…


…wondered why the tree in the middle is covered entirely with moss while the ones on each side of it have much less….

mossy tree

…and arrived back at the nest site.  The workers had gone but so had the nuthatches and after waiting for a while we gave up and walked onto to another nest site.  No nuthatches there either so we walked back to the car by the new path.  At least there was a bee to be see on our way.


And a heron, of course, when we got back to the Kilngreen.


I was pretty tired when we got back and I was having a sit down when Mrs Tootlepedal remarked that two collared doves where billing and cooing on the lawn.  By the time I had stood up and picked up the camera, a passing hawk had put the wind up the doves who left at speed and happily unharmed.


Our accompanist for the choir rang up to say that she was ill and couldn’t come to the evening’s practice and I felt very tired indeed.  However after a reviving plate of sausage stew, I packed my laptop and some speakers into the car and went round to the hall where a good number of singers had arrived.  The computer played very satisfactorily, the singers sang very well and I enjoyed myself a lot more than I expected to.  We got some useful practice in for the concert in June.  The musical director will be back next week and my career as a conductor will be over.

We are going to the Peak District tomorrow and as we are going to the opera in Buxton in the evening, there won’t be a chance for me to make my usual post and I will post again, all things being equal, on Friday evening when we will be in Somerset.  We had a  grand week there last year with lovely weather and we are hoping for a repeat this year.  Our neighbour Liz has the heavy task of looking after the birds in our absence.

Today’s flying bird is a siskin, taken during the morning rain.

flying siskin



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Disappointment

  1. Nice to see the garden colour at last. Have a lovely break in Somerset, hope the weather is as good as last year.

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