No pedal, no tootle


Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone and shows a pastoral scene near Peebles, which he had time to enjoy while officiating at a golf competition at the end of last month.

sheepI would like to have got out for a pedal today as I have been a bit short of cycling action recently but the strong winds and persistent rain proved to be a considerable disincentive and I spent the day mainly indoors instead.

I had to venture out into the wind and rain for a little shopping and some business and then Dropscone came round for a coffee and somehow that filled quite a bit of the morning up.

I did look out of the kitchen window from time to time through the day to check on the portable feeder.

Starlings weighing up the problem of getting at the coconut shells
One found a way with a bit of effort

Later in the day, a rook considered the same problem…

rook…and came up with a different answer.

rookOn the seed feeder, a chaffinch behaved with casual rudeness.

chaffinch stampingThe feeder was quite busy during the day…

busy feeder…but a couple of flying (but unsuccessful) visits from a sparrowhawk kept things quieter in the afternoon.

Generally, it was miserable outside.

blue titThe sedum was untroubled by any bees at all.

sedumI managed to put the day to some use by getting a couple of weeks of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database and putting one of our more tricky Carlisle choir pieces into the computer so that I could practise it properly.

I put some pellets out into the tray on the new feeder on the lawn but the jackdaws come so quickly and eat so greedily…

jackdaw…that I can only do it once or twice a day without bankrupting myself.

I didn’t get a tootle as my flute pupil Luke is away in Belgium visiting First World war battlefields.

The rain only stopped after the light had disappeared for the day but at least it was dry when I went off to our monthly camera club meeting.  We were pleased to welcome a couple of new members and fourteen of us sat down to enjoy a really splendid set of images taken by members.

It is was particularly interesting to see what other people had made of the opportunities of the cattle show and some of the results were quite stunning and a tribute to the skill and patience of our local photographers.  Not everyone had been to the show though so we were treated to a wide variety of other shots as well which included red squirrels and cobwebs from a nature reserve and scenic shots of Venice and Rome.  We all agreed that it had been a well spent hour or so.

By the time that I went home, the skies had cleared a bit and the temperature had risen quite a lot so we are hopeful of a better day tomorrow.

It was not a day when a good flying bird was easily to be found.

flying chaffinch

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “No pedal, no tootle

  1. The photography club sounds like a good time that I would have enjoyed. We have one here but it’s very formal and has too much ISO and F stop talk for me. I’d prefer one that was more like a group of friends getting together to look at each other’s photos. That’s what yours sounds like.

    Your sedums are much lighter pink than the ones I’ve seen in the local park. I’ve noticed that bees visit lighter colored asters more than the dark ones. Maybe it works the same with sedums.

    1. We are trying to combine F stop and ISO talk with more basic concerns and just the simple enjoyment of looking at photographs. Members are very generous with advice and suggestions so we are generating a good atmosphere at meetings. It is really interesting to look at other people’s pictures and learn what they have seen in situations when you have been looking at the same thing but not seeing the same thing.

    1. I always enjoy the moments when birds are weighing up new problems. They seem to get it worked out before they try for the most part unlike me. I rush in headlong.

  2. Thank you so much for the rook and jackdaw pictures. Corvid fanatic that I am I find them delightful. Also the blue tit in the rain. Kudos on managing a flying bird in the rain.

  3. I would love some rain! The sedum is beautiful, and I love all the birds. I have not tried growing any sedum here, yet.

    Our main feeder visitors now are chickadees and house finches. The larger birds are moving into the apple trees and drilling conical holes in the apples. One can reach up from down below to pick a perfect looking apple, only to find a conical hole drilled in the top. When the rains begin, the holes fill with water, and one gets a good dousing. Birds can be heard laughing…

    1. Your wild life is not being kind to you at all. Wasps are the biggest peril to our fruit and there have been very few of them this year, a side of effect of the cool, wet weather I suppose, so our apples are faring well. Surprisingly, the first crop seem to be sweeter than usual so that must be down to the sunny days in September.

  4. The rude chaffinch is hilarious!

    It’s good to hear that not only has the local camera club survived, but has added a few new members. That sounds like a nice sized group, not too big, not too small. I hope that it continues to go well.

    1. We could do with four more members (or all our present members turning up at the same time) but it is a good size and there is a lot of useful conversation with tips being dispensed and learned during the tea break.

  5. Love the piggy back chaffinch photo! How many different types of bird seed/ feed do you use? I did the Chelsea chop on my sedum this year and it’s just started flowering- better late than never!

    1. I mainly use sunflower seed hearts and they attract the finches and sparrows and tits though the larger birds, starlings, jackdaws and rooks like them too if they can get their beaks on them. I have recently been putting out a mixture of three sorts of pellets (in small quantities) in a covered feeder which is mostly used by the tits. I sometimes put a raisin or two in there as well. The new feeder on the lawn is getting the pellets (the pink ones go down best) and the coconut shells are filled with some sort of suet or fat mixture. The feeder on the lawn is there to get the birds to fertilise the lawn for me and it will be moved regularly over the winter months.

      1. Thank you for the information on the seed you use. I use niger seed , peanuts and mixed bird seed but I’m going to try the pellets and sunflower seed hearts now and see how they go! If the birds here don’t take to the sunflower seed hearts I’ll eat them myself!

  6. Well, I’m glad you have the entertaining birds to watch on a rainy/windy day. I certainly enjoyed the pictures you shared! You are very generous to your feathered visitors. How lucky they are! 🙂

  7. Very nice pastoral scene from Dropscone.
    Glad to hear that you had a good attendance and interesting time at the Camera Club.

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