Today’s guest picture shows that the weather must be better in the south than it is here because my sister Mary saw this tremendous display of colour in the Isabella Plantation in Richmond Park yesterday.
We had a nice sunny day here today which was welcome but the brisk and chilly wind that came with it was less fun. I wasn’t very keen to cycle as I am still feeling a bit tired after Monday’s efforts so I was happy to go up to the Moorland bird feeders with Sandy, as it was his day to fill the feeders.
I was less happy to find road menders operating a noisy digger just behind the bird hide and although the road maintenance is very welcome, it did lead to a decided scarcity of birds for us to look at. We made a note of what we saw and although we thought it was a dull morning, we still counted 10 different sorts of birds..
The pheasants were not frightened at all by a little noise though.
I did see a woodpecker in the distance but before it could get settled, another one arrived and chased it away. It didn’t stay long either and a distant glimpse of them was all that I could get.
As it was rather chilly out, I went back in and stared out of the window, The chilly weather may have held back the flowers but it has encouraged the birds back to the feeders and I spent quite a lot of time watching goldfinches today.
They were in combative mood today.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help with the driving for the disabled. She likes this very much as they have electric bicycles for the the volunteers to use when they go round as stewards with the pony traps and she can zoom effortlessly uphill on them. I am looking to buy an electric bike when the time comes.
After lunch, I went out for a very gentle pedal on the slow bike just to turn my rather stiff legs over a few times. I was hoping to see a few birds while I was out so I started by going to the Jubilee Bridge to see if blue tits really were using the old nuthatch nest.
The evidence speaks for itself. A pair were nipping in and flying out…..
I cycled back to the sawmill bridge and peered over the parapet to see if there were any dippers about. There was a pair of them too. I watched them live up to their name for a while and then they flew down nearer to me and one kept watch while the other disappeared into a hole in the banking.
After stopping on the Kilngreen to snap a herring gull at the Meeting of the Waters…
…I cycled back to the suspension bridge and propped the bike against the railings and went down to the waterside to see if I could catch a swallow swooping over the water. I couldn’t but I was able to watch a pied wagtail by the water’s edge instead.
During the day, both Mrs Tootlepedal and I exercised our hard won democratic right to vote in the general election but It doesn’t, as I write this, look as though our votes are going to lead to return to sanity in the way the country is run. Still, there are a lot of votes to count and the exit polls may be wrong.
In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre with Sandy but we had a frustrating time with passwords and couldn’t get connected to the internet so I left him there too meet a visitor and came home. I put a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the database using my own computer. I was doing an edition for the 18th December 1889 and was intrigued to find an enterprising retailer offering “tit bits, rare bits and dainty bits” to the discerning Christmas shopper. More mundanely she was also offering buns, cakes and shortbread.
The flying bird of the day is that wagtail, skimming off in search of something to eat.