Another duck

Langholm

Today’s guest picture is an unusual shot of a new part of the town with the seventh hole of the Langholm Golf Club in the background.  It was taken by Dropscone.

Langholm

We woke up to another glorious morning but it proved to be something of a false dawn as there was a very cold wind blowing and the day clouded over during the morning.

The frogs were still out in strength.

frog

Following the sound advice to go back and try and take a better picture, Sandy and I had a cup of coffee and went off to the Kilngreen to look at ducks and crocuses again. We went down to the Skippers Bridge first, as we had received a report that otters might be seen there…..not by us today though so we went back to the ducks.

The sun was still shining when we got there.

I almost saw a pair of oyster catchers…

Oyster catchers

…and I did see a lot of ducks.

mallards
The colour of the water was as pretty as the colour of the ducks.

I had to do some smart ducking to avoid being knocked over by flying mallards…

mallard in flight

mallard in flight

…but there were some more restful moments too.

mallards

I tried to take some crocus pictures but it was too windy as you can see from this ruffled gull and they wouldn’t stand still…

black headed gull

…so I settled for some gull chasing instead.

black headed gull

As you can see from the background to that last shot, the sky had clouded over so Sandy and I left the Kilngreen and walked over the Castleholm on a hazel flower hunt.  They are hard to spot unless you know where to look.  Even when you see one, they tend to look like a tiny red dot and it takes a clever camera to see their full beauty.

hazel flower

For the technically minded, I held the twig in one hand and used the other to take the picture with the Lumix.  One handed cameras are good value.

We kept a desultory eye out for nuthatches but with the sun gone, it was too chilly to hang about for long in the mean wind and we soon packed up and headed for home.

Mrs Tootlepedal was still busy painting and decorating when I got there so I made her a light lunch and then spent some time considering whether a grey day with a biting wind was a good day to go out for a pedal or more suitable for taking a day’s rest.

I spent so long considering this that the decision was made for me and I did a little business on the computer instead of cycling.

I may not have been very busy but for some reason, the bird feeder has attracted a huge amount of traffic lately and I counted over 50 birds on and around it at one time this afternoon.

busy feeder
In the air…
chaffinches
…and on the ground below as well as in the plum tree above.

There were almost too many birds about for a good photogrpah.

chaffinches

Mike Tinker came round later in the afternoon with his useful electric chain saw and sawed up a large hawthorn trunk which Mrs Tootlepedal had spent several weeks trying to uproot.  I didn’t think that she would ever manage it but like that ram and that dam, she had high hopes and they were realised.  Once the trunk was sawn up, it was soon made into logs ready for our stove.

In the evening, we went to the Buccleuch Centre to see our local amateur operatic society put on a performance of Sunshine on Leith, a musical based on the songs of the Proclaimers.  We had enjoyed watching the film but had never seen the stage show before.

We thoroughly enjoyed the evening.  The acting was very competent and the pace was  good enough so that the jokes made you laugh and the pathos made you feel sad.  You can’t ask for anything more than that.

The music of the Proclaimers is deceptively simple but somehow, for me at least,  it has real depth as well and the words and music complement each other with very effective results.  The singing of the principals was excellent and the playing of the small band did the music justice.

I saw two unusual things during the day.  One was a blue tit on the feeder, only an occasional visitor these days…

blue tit

…and the other was Jim waving furiously at me from the town bridge.  Some people will do anything to get their picture in the blog.

Jim on the Town Bridge
You wouldn’t believe that the bridge is slap in the middle of the town from this shot.

The flying bird of the day is an obliging gull which staged a fly past on the Kilngreen this morning.

black headed gull

 

 

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

46 thoughts on “Another duck

  1. The mallard shots certainly have a lot of pop to them lately.
    That’s a great photo of the female hazel flower. I don’t think there are many who understand just how hard it is to get one of them.
    I also take one handed photos with the Lumix. Its image stabilization is hard to beat.

  2. The mallards are excellent, but my very favorite is the ruffled gull. What with all the birds, not to mention the hazel flower, I’m beginning to believe that spring will come. (Jim seems to be conferring a blessing on the whole invisible town. Either that or instigating an uprising. I don’t know him well enough to draw a conclusion.)

    1. Both at the same time knowing him. He is always up in arms about something but this was a friendly gesture as he had spotted me snapping away below.

  3. What lovely colours the mallards are. I agree with Gerry, there does seem to be the possibility that Spring is here and the ruffled gull is excellent. The Ruffled Gull would be a good name for a seaside pub.

    If you ever have an idle 5 minutes, look for HIbs fans singing Sunshine on Leith on youtube – there’s some great footage from a couple of big games. Absolutely fantastic and as you say, somehow very moving.

    We have many blue tits and other tits on our feeders at the moment along with an army of goldfinches, but we are trying to work out if there is a way we can feed the small and interesting birds and somehow discourage the pigeons who just peck around on the ground picking up the bits the little birds drop and make a horrible mess either on the lawn or the patio. There’s about eight regular visitors and they are very annoying.

    1. A shotgun? Only joking. I don’t think that there is a solution. The Hibs fans were excellent singers. They just need to get goal scorers to match and all will be well.

  4. What a plethora of birds you host in your garden, a pleasure to look at. Glad the show was so good, you are fortunate to have such a facility close by.

  5. Excellent duck pictures, and the fluffy gull is very appealing.
    Glad you enjoyed the musical.

  6. Oh, such lovely sharp bird pictures, Tom! I especially like flying shots of the mallards. Their bodies look so bulky you wonder how they can stay in the air. It makes me think of watching a big fat jet and pondering how it can stay in the sky. There are good scientific reasons why of course, but it still has me amazed. 🙂

  7. Ducks do go a bit do-lally at this time of year. They often stop the traffic in the village, occasionally using the pedestrian crossing. But more exciting than that, we have otters, sighted right in the middle of the village. Everyone is thrilled, except the pike in the canal.

  8. Excellent photos of the mallards and gulls! I really liked the witch hazel as well, that wasn’t an easy shot to get no matter what camera you’re using. Whatever tips from the expert that Sandy received and passed along to you sure are working!

      1. Don’t be. I’m terrible to cameras because of using them while gardening. I try to clean my hands first but it’s hard out in the field. The death knell was always “system error zoom”. Probably got dirt in the zooming part. I tried carrying camera a zip lock bag but my working environment is just dirty.

  9. I know what you mean by a biting wind – we have had a strong NE wind blowing for a week now and it’s cold! I am glad you found your hazel flowers – such an excellent photo too!

  10. Nothing like a chainsaw sometimes, although mostly I work with a bow saw, pruning saw and loppers.

    Mallards are very colorful ducks in feather and personality. There was a place along River Road near Mystic Connecticut I would feed the ducks as a youngster. The ever-present Mallards were a hungry lot.

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