In the absence of a guest picture today and in
spite of a answer to a flood of requests, a flying chaffinch takes centre stage today.
You can see from the relatively clear picture, that it was a much brighter day in Langholm today and that matched my mood as I too was much brighter all round. I am not out of the woods yet because I can’t do much in the way of physical exercise without getting puffed out so cycling will have to wait. I did think about a pedal today but good sense made an all too rare appearance so I didn’t actually do any.
More painful was refraining from mowing the lawns which are to be heard weeping gently as I walk past ignoring them. I did think of mowing them but a searing glance from Mrs Tootlepedal when I mentioned it soon put that idea to bed.
All this enforced idleness and the better weather gave me a chance to wander round the garden after breakfast. I never fail to be impressed by how much roses change each day.
Three days ago,, these two appeared in the blog as promising buds and baby, look at them now.
They will go quickly too though unlike the Japanese anemones and clematis which hang on for a long time. Here are one of each together with a very unexpected rhododendron flower which shouldn’t be out at all.
I was just about to make some coffee when Dropscone dropped in with a fresh supply of scones. He also brought a large bucket of whey protein powder which he had got at a very advantageous price on a two for one offer. This stuff is to help recovery after a hard pedal. That will be the day.
I had a lot of time to watch the birds in the morning. I took the picture of the chaffinch at the top of the page at 1/1250th at f6.5 and just to how that the results of the photographer are greatly assisted by slow flying birds, here is a departing tit taken at exactly the same settings.
They flap their wings so much faster than the chaffinches that they are hard to pin down.
Sparrows are more obliging sometimes.
And the birds were literally queuing up to get into the shot.
We had a good number of goldfinches today and I was hoping for a goldfinch flush but a chaffinch squeezed in at the back of the shot.
On the ground, a hedge sparrow or dunnock put in an appearance. The large number of cats visiting us tends to put off the birds that feed on the ground so it was nice to see one.
The robin that is around at the moment seems to have got the cat message and approaches the feeder from the plum tree instead of from low bushes.
Mostly the plum tree is full of chaffinches though.
In the afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to the health centre to look after the desk at a flu clinic. I should have been there myself, getting my jab, but my cold stopped my going so I got into the car and made a short excursion instead just to get out of the house.
I drove a couple of miles up the Wauchope road to see if I could spot a buzzard or two. They are often flying round there when I am out on my bike. I found a place to park and admired the view….
…which was a good mixture of sunshine and cloud.
I looked at a little waterfall in the Wauchope which the recent rain had made loud enough to notice.
Not seeing any buzzards, I moved back down the road a bit and got out of the car to stretch my legs. A buzzard immediately came out of some trees and wheeled and turned across the sky above me. I dashed back to the car and as a I picked up my camera, the buzzard straightened up and headed off. They do it on purpose you know.
I consoled myself with a picture of my favourite ruined cottage.
Our trees have not really started to turn in earnest yet but some cold weather over the next couple of days may see some change in colour.
As I drove home, I saw a heron standing on the top of the weir at Pool Corner…
…and that put me in mind to visit the Kilngreen while I was out and about to see what the ducks and gulls were up to.
A little ducking…..
….a little waving….
…and a stately fly past.
I was thinking about going to Carlisle to play recorders in the evening but my friend Susan was in Wales so I would have had to drive myself which was not an appetising thought and one of the group, when consulted, thought that I had a Christian duty not to share my cold about so i took the hint and stayed at home.
The flying bird of the day is one of the goldfinches.
On a point of information, a helpful reader emailed me to say that the moth that appeared in a post the other day is an Angle Shades moth. It is a Mediterranean moth which migrates north. I’m surprised that you didn’t all know that.