Marching orders

Today’s guest picture, taken by my brother, shows Mr Grumpy’s Dutch cousin spotted in the Vondelpark in Amsterdam.

Mr Grumpy in The VondelparkI had a quiet but entertaining morning, While Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a church choir practice, I stayed in in case I was need for any building consultations .  It turned that there was no need for consultations but I was kept entertained when I was visited by the first cyclist of the day.

This was Dropscone, who had been round the morning run in dry but breezy conditions.  We had a cup or two of Old Brown Java coffee and one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s drop scones.  Dropscone was in cheerful mood as not only had he gone round the morning run in a reasonable time but he had also played golf well in Saturday’s competition.

After he left, I took the Kangoo up to the garage to get a new tyre fitted as one of the rear tyres had only just squeaked through the recent MOT.  Then I strolled home, catching up with Mrs Tootlepedal as she came out of the church.

We hadn’t been at home long before the second visiting cyclist of the day arrived.  This was Sandy, who had been for his first ride of the new season.  He stopped for a cup of tea and we arranged to meet in the afternoon.

As the wall workers had finished their tasks,  a number of other speedy visitors arrived while Sandy was sipping his tea.

flying chaffinchflying chaffinchAfter Sandy left, I had time for a quick look at the snowdrops in the garden…

snowdrops..before going off to visit the physiotherapist to  see how she thought I was doing.

I got modified approval.  She was pleased with my general progress but I need to do much more work to strengthen my quads on the affected leg (I hope that cycling will help there) with more regular exercises.  I also need to work harder on straightening my knee out and do some regular calf muscle stretching.  All this means that I shall have to concentrate hard over the next few weeks to make sure that I don’t get overconfident and stop working before the leg is fully functioning.

I have long standing tendonitis in my ankle which has been getting painful lately and I got some advice on that.  The main thing is to ease off on walking until the pain goes down.  As I need to exercise my knee, I have been walking quite a bit so I will have to cut back on that and do static exercises more instead.  Luckily she thinks that cycling will not be harmful so I am hoping for warm days and calm winds.

I picked up the car with its new tyre and got home in time for lunch and a quick look out of the kitchen window. The chaffinches were still flying in.

flying chaffinchAs arranged, Sandy came down after lunch and we went off to visit the Moorland Bird feeders.  As usual when we go to watch birds, the sun went in and it started raining.  This would have put paid to our visit in times past but now thanks to the new bird hide, we were able to sit under cover and wait until the rain stopped.  Sandy took a picture of the watcher watching the birds.

Moorland bird hideWe had brought some picnic chairs with us and we were able to sit in warmth and comfort and watch the birds.  There were lots of birds to watch.

female pheasant
The female pheasants are less showy than the males but still have lovely plumage looking for all the world as though it is embroidered..
male pheasant
The male certainly is showy.

There were great tits and blue tits in abundance but just the occasional coal tit to be seen.

great tit
A great tit on the peanuts
great tit
Another waits its turn.
blue tit
A blue tit surveys the possibilities
coal tit
One of the only two coal tits that we saw

There were several visits from a woodpecker but it was reluctant to come within close range of my lens.

woodpeckerAnd we also got a flying visit from a jay just before we left.

jayThere were plenty of finches about.

siskin and greenfinch
A siskin and a greenfinch indulge in a grumpy staring match.

We had a lot of fun watching a pheasant finding a way to get at some seeds which were not meant for her.

climbing pheasantIt was so snug and comfortable in the hide that if we had brought a sandwich and a flask of tea, we could have stayed all afternoon.

But we hadn’t so we didn’t.

I took the rest of the day easily to look after my ankle until it was time to pop outside twice, once to admire a developing sunset…

sunset…and then to catch the International Space station trundling over head.  The picture shows (as far as my trembling hand will let it) just how far it goes in 2 seconds.

ISSIn real life, it goes in an absolutely straight line of course.

In the evening, I went off to play trios with Mike and Isabel and it was an excellent way to end a useful and interesting day.

The flying bird of the day was not the best flying picture that I took but it was the most unusual.

flying woodpecker

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

34 thoughts on “Marching orders

  1. The bird pictures are especially wonderful today. I love the pheasants. And your Coal Tit looks a lot like our Chickadee. Sunset is beautiful. Glad to hear you are making such fine progress with the knee too.

  2. What new and beautiful birds for today. I like especially the female pheasant, both her feather arrangement and her stretch to the feeder platform, the blue pattern on the jay’s wing and the black and white pattern on the last bird’s wings. Is it a raptor of some sort?

  3. No blog from me today, as you know my camera was otherwise engaged, but it was a pleasure to be your spotter in the new hide.

  4. That’s a great shot of the heron by your brother, and yours of the pheasants as well. That female really is a beauty.
    The new hide looks wonderful but I wonder if everyone will be wishing it was twice as big before long. It looks like it could become a great place to just hang out.

  5. A very productive first day in the hide with a great selection of great photos. Congratulations on catching what looks very much like the woodpecker in flight. They do not hang about!

  6. What a great idea the new hide was. It looks very comfortable and will no doubt encourage more visitors (you might have to install a shelf for lunch bags and flasks!). I enjoyed the pheasant on tip toe!

  7. What a splendid post full of good things. I liked all the pictures of the different tits taken from the new hide. Glad you got useful advice from the physiotherapist, it would be a shame to go through all that pain and not have a good working knee as a result.

  8. The hide looks splendid and great for photography.
    Sorry to hear about the ankle tendonitis but good news that bicyling won’t be harmful.

  9. Your photos from the hide are excellent, I wished that there was something similar at some of the places that I go to photograph birds. However, here, anything like that would soon be vandalized to the point of being unusable.

    It sounds as if you and your new knee are doing well, I hope that the weather is suitable for cycling so that you can continue the great progress that you’re making.

  10. You saw a great variety of birds. Always take your flask and some food with you as never can tell how long you will be.

    The hides at Baron’s Haugh in Motherwell are always cold as the local yobs pulled the wooden shutters off to use for firewood when they went down there drinking at night.

  11. Pheasants are much underrated birds. I always think they have the most beautiful feathers. It’s a pity you’ve been warned off too much walking but hopefully the weather will be kind for cycling.

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