Adding up

Today’s guest picture from my brother Andrew shows the rivers Trent and Soar in full flow.  For once the weather in the south of the UK has been wetter than in the north so far this year.

Rivers Soar and Trent

Dropscone had business to do so I was able to let a very windy and drizzly morning slide by outside while I read the papers, snug indoors.  In the end I roused both myself and Mrs Tootlepedal and went off to the Moorland Feeding Station to fill the feeders.  As we arrived, we were able to watch a hen harrier flying over the Tarras valley.  Sadly it was too far away to get a picture.

Once again, as soon as we had finished filling the feeders, it was all action and the clearing was full of birds.  There was nothing in the way of exciting new visitors and the light was poor so I didn’t linger long but I couldn’t resist taking a picture or two even if the quality is poor.

There is always a woodpecker about.
There is always a woodpecker about.  This one was too far away for my camera.
The greenfinches seem to have stopped visiting our garden. Maybe they are all here.
great tit
There were a good number of great tits about
blue tit
There seemed to be a few more blue tits about than has been usual.

The pheasant shooting season is over and there were plenty of survivors about, pecking away at fallen seeds.


The most obvious missing bird of those which we would expect to see at this time is the siskin.  There were one or two at the Moorland Feeders and there was one on our own feeder when we got home.


When Dr Barlow came to ring birds in our garden last April, the majority of the birds in the nets were siskins.

The weather had improved by lunchtime, with the wind dropping and the clouds lifting a bit so after a quick bowl of soup, I got the speedy bike out and pedalled 22 miles to Gair and back.  The wind was against me on the way out today so the journey home was pleasantly undemanding.

My target for the year is an average of 14 miles a day and I am only managing an average of 13 a day at the moment but considering the weather, I am quite pleased with that.   The jet stream is well south of where it should be and is feeding in a conveyor belt of Atlantic lows so there is no prospect of a change in sight.  I will just have to bite the bullet and keep on pedalling in the wind and the rain.

I had hoped to get a short walk in the late afternoon but I got delayed when I went up to the High Street through talking to two of the people who are selling our Archive Group postcards.  Rather surprisingly, since there are few visitors to the town at this time of year, the cards are selling quite well and I have been asked to take up some more.  This is very satisfactory.

In the evening, I went with Sandy and Jean to the Archive Centre and we did a power of work between us and felt that we had really earned our light refreshment in the Eskdale Hotel afterwards.

As my blog has become a bit of a photo journal over the years, it is very hard to sit inside and not take pictures but at least it makes for shorter posts for busy readers.  It’s an ill wind.

The flying bird of the day is, unsurprisingly, a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch






Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Adding up

  1. The birds are all so colorful. Love the pheasant and woodpecker, and that one with the beautiful yellow and gray feathers, wings spread. Lovely photos! ~SueBee

  2. A very nice bluetit picture even if it was a gloomy day. Congratulations on managing to keep up your bicyling average despite the weather.

  3. That’s certainly a higher cycling average than I am managing. And mine is inside on a stationary setup…not weather dependent. Kudos!

  4. That woodpecker is quite dashing. I’ve seen Pheasants here in Ohio but they’re usually in tall grass being rather secretive- unless they get lazy and use a footpath!

    1. There are so many of them about because of the shooting that they are always getting run over on public roads. Being bred in hen houses, they have not much of a natural survival instinct.

  5. Funny how the varieties of birds have changed over the years. We used to have more sparrows and starlings than anything and hardly ever a tit. Now blue tits and great tits are common enough to go unremarked while a sparrow or starling has us all running to the window. I blame next door’s cat!

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