A little activity….(and a lot of birds)

Today’s guest picture, kindly sent by her mother Jennie, shows that Maisie, a previous holder of the World’s Greatest Baby title, is developing other skills in New Zealand.

MaisieIt was a normal Sunday morning here.  Mrs Tootlepedal went off to sing in the church choir and I prepared a lamb stew for the slow cooker before getting the fairly speedy bike out for a gentle pedal.

I spent quite a lot of time cleaning the chain and lubricating almost everything else that I could see before departing in an effort to keep the alarming bike noises at bay.  This was generally quite successful and I had a much more peaceful ride than my last noisy excursion.

There was a brisk wind blowing and Langholm was just on the sunny side of a large and threatening pile of black clouds so bearing in mind that I wasn’t entirely confident that my bike wasn’t going to fall to pieces, I settled for my favourite easy twenty one mile ride of three seven mile up and back laps to Wauchope Schoolhouse.

Because the kindly powers that be have recently mowed the road verges there was no chance of seeing anything interesting at close quarters so I settled for a shot of the old school.

Wauchope school
They have felled several rows of trees here which has let a lot of light in.

In spite of the sunny weather, a glance at a neighbouring leafless tree showed that winter is on its way.

Wauchope treeWhen I got back home, I was treated to a cup of coffee and a slice or two of banana and walnut loaf, courtesy of Mrs Tootlepedal who had returned from church.

I had time while I sipped and chewed to idly press the remote shutter button for the camera, which was standing patiently on its tripod at the kitchen window.  This is nature photography at its most relaxing and leads to far too many flying bird pictures.  I will get it under control soon.

Meanwhile, here is some of today’s bounteous catch.

goldfinch and sparrow
A goldfinch takes a dim view of an encroaching sparrow
chaffinches
A chaffinch has a suspicious attitude to another chaffinch who is looking to sneak past it onto the empty perch.
sparrow
A sparrow flies in with such authority that other birds make themselves scarce.

A selection of chaffinches demonstrate the correct way to get a seed…

chaffinch
The approach
chaffinch
Braking
chaffinch
Last minute adjustments
chaffinch
Touchdown

In the midst of all the flying about, the chaffinches paused to have a discussion about the propriety of letting robins join in.

robin and chaffinchesThere was a “Look Mum, no wings” competition to see who could stay airborne longest without flapping.

2nd prize
2nd prize
chaffinch
The winner

Some tried and failed.

chaffinchI had to turn the camera off to stop myself taking even more and force myself to go upstairs for a shower.  When I came back downstairs after my shower, I resisted the temptation while nibbling on a toasted goat’s cheese and tomato open sandwich to take another fifty shots.

After lunch, I caught up on my correspondence and threw away many, many flying bird shots until it was time to go to Carlisle for our weekly choir practice.  The weather was beautiful on the way down while it was still daylight and pouring with rain on the way back when it was dark anyway.  It is rare that the weather is so well organised.

The conductor spent some time at the practice trying to get us to learn a little song of by heart and then sing it in canon.  This was not too bad but for some inscrutable reason, he then added a set of complicated hand gestures to go with the song and we had to do these with a partner in sets of four also in canon and while singing the song.  I did not shine.

The flying bird of the day was not my cleanest shot but at least it is not a chaffinch and it is using its wings.

flying goldfinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “A little activity….(and a lot of birds)

  1. You make such witty comments around your birds that it is well worth looking at the combination. I feel very sorry for the contortions you had to suffer at choir practice and hope the result will be worth the effort.

  2. You and my brother would get on well. He sets his camera up on the tripod in his backyard pointed at the feeder, and sits in his lawn chair in the shade shooting photos of birds.It’s a rough life, I’ll tell you, but you both get much better photos than I do!

    1. As I said to the conductor, “Just you wait until you are in your seventies and people make a fool of you.” He replied with a cheery smile, “Oh, I’ll give up long before that.”

  3. Mown verges bad, conifers removed good?
    You make taking your birds sound so easy: tripod, remote, camera waiting patiently… Anyway, the chaffinch making minor adjustments surely merits a 9 on ‘Strictly’. (Sorry if that’s lowering the tone of your blog.)

  4. That sounds a very challenging choir practice!
    Great flying bird shots – I liked the one with the robin.

  5. Mr Tootlepedal, by my reckoning you pack so many interesting things into your day – with so much going on outside your window I ponder the question how on earth do you drag yourself away to do the aforesaid ‘interesting things’.

    You are, however, multi tasking I notice, maybe that is the answer, drinking tea, eating cake, and taking 50 pics with just a flick of the wrist. Mrs T must be exhausted just watching you. Best wishes from Australia where we take a Public Holiday at the drop of a hat. Today Australians take a day off for the horse race “The Melbourne Cup” quoted as “The race that stops the nation”.

    1. It must be a famous race because even I have heard of it. I hope that you put a small wager on the winner.

      It is difficult to stop watching the birds when they are in full swing.

  6. “I did not shine” – brief, yet speaks volumes! I feel for you – choreographed moves are always a challenge for me. I just tell myself that it’s all exercise . . .

  7. They’re all flying birds of the day. Great shots! I am not excited about the prospect of choreography while partaking in a chorus and hope I am spared.

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