It droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven

My sister Mary sent me such a fine selection of pictures from her walk in Regent’s Park this morning that I couldn’t choose between them and have made a composite guest picture of the day.  This is a first.

Regent's Park 05.04.14 00

She had better weather than us.  It was raining when we got up and apart from a few moments when it took a short break, it rained for the rest of the day.

I managed to catch a siskin in front of a flock of daffodils which gave the morning a falsely cheery air.


A more realistic view of the day was provided by this redpoll.

Its make-up looks as though it is running in the rain.

For a mercy, it was a gentle rain on the two occasions when I had to go out.

My first excursion was to the producers’ market in the Buccleuch Centre.  There I was able to stock up on fresh fish, local cheese, organic meat and some dry cured bacon.  As I  had some cheerful conversation before I left the Centre and added a cream doughnut to my shopping bag at our local shop on my way home, it was a thoroughly worthwhile expedition.

After a cup of coffee, the retired but indefatigable Mrs Tootlepedal suggested a cycle ride and so we donned many layers of wet weather gear and ventured out in the drizzle.  The wind was very light which always makes rain more bearable while cycling and the temperature was kind too so we enjoyed ourselves in  spite of testing the wet weather gear quite thoroughly towards the end of the nine mile ride..

The birds are busier than ever at the feeder and I would like to ale to pretend that it takes great skill and patience to snap a flying bird out of the kitchen window but the truth is that on days like this, it would be hard to miss one.

typical feeder scene

When the light is this poor, it is harder to get a good picture of a bird in the plum tree which is a few yards further away.

chaffinch in plum tree
The plum tree looks as though it will have some good blossom on it this spring.

I divided the rest of the day between cooking sour dough crumpets, watching the the telly, looking at the birds and working on the computer.

The sour dough crumpets turned out well after my recent practice.  They have the great advantage of needing no time to prepare and allowing me to make only a few at a time as well as refreshing the sour dough starter.

The birds are always interesting (to me at any rate) to watch. In addition, the camera lets you see thanks that the naked eye would miss.  This apparently sedate chaffinch below has its left foot out ready to shove the siskin off the perch.

chaffinch and siskin

Some things you learn to expect.  A redpoll flinches under a siskin onset.  The redpolls seemed to be more bedraggled than the other birds today.

siskin and redpoll

Mrs Tootlepedal thinks that our blackbird nest is being occupied again this year.  When it stops raining, I will go out and check.

We were visited by a brambling today which brightened things up a bit.


There were some nice notes of regularity among the comings and goings at the feeder.

regular feeders
Two siskins, a redpoll and a goldfinch
goldfinches in formation
Goldfinches in formation

And moments of action.  The chaffinches are quite happy to dash in, snatch up a seed and dash off to nibble it elsewhere.

chaffinch with seed

On the computer front, after considering the money and the hours that it would take to upgrade Mrs Tootlepedal’s little netbook to a new operating system, I threw in the towel and bought a modestly priced tablet for her instead.  I hope that it will meet her needs but only time will tell.   I also hope that Microsoft will notice that they have lost a customer and burst into tears but somehow, I don’t think that they will.

We have made some decisions about fixing the end wall of our house so that rain will stop coming through it and I shall put up with the heavy rain and wind that is forecast for tomorrow with more equanimity than usual as a result.  The plan is not going to come to fruition for some months though so I won’t go into details until it is thoroughly matured and I shall keep putting out the buckets meantime.

A flying goldfinch makes a change today from the endless chaffinches.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “It droppeth like the gentle rain from heaven

  1. London is definitely several weeks further into Spring than Virginia. By the looks of your daffodils, you are a week or two ahead of us as well.

  2. After weeks of being away from the blog due to dodgy internet connections and general business, it was a joy to see and read your blog. I’ve so missed the birds and yours and Mrs Tootlepeddles adventures.

  3. loved the rather damp redpoll. Congratulations to you both for bicycling in spite of the rain.

  4. A brambling !!! They are such beautiful birds!! Even if they argue a lot for food, they are very interesting. I have seen a few tens of bramblings this winter. 🙂 They are only winter visitors for our country.

  5. I’m glad you didn’t pick just one of Mary’s pictures – they’re all breathtaking! I enjoyed the contrast of the siskin/daffodils and the sad little redpoll. ~SueBee

  6. Your bird photos are just astounding to me. I think many of them would make fabulous jigsaw puzzles. I love how you manage to catch so much action. Regent’s park looks so lovely and peaceful among the bustle of such a large city. A thank-you to your sister for sharing her photos to cheer us all.

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