Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce. He noticed this fine work-in-progress by a local artist on the banks of the Esk.
I had birds, but not owls, on my mind when I woke up as I had volunteered to fill the moorland feeders in place of the regular fillers for Wednesdays who have gone on holiday. I was going to bicycle up but as I felt rather creaky after yesterday’s hilly ride, I cheated and took the car instead.
Once there, I filled the feeders and sat in the hide for a happy hour of bird watching.
There were no unusual visitors but the usual suspects were entertainment enough.
Greater spotted woodpeckers came to feed all through the time that I was there.
They were joined by a lot of small birds.
There were a great many blackbirds about.
Some of them were feeding young but although I could hear them I couldn’t see them as they were up in the trees to the side.
I spotted a robin which perched for a moment before disappearing.
And a jay arrived and proceeded to scattered my carefully put out seed in all directions.
I had a look around when I left and was pleased to see a fine crop of orchids near the hide.
On my way down, I stopped to look at the chicken-in-the-forest fungus on the oak tree which Sandy and I had noticed before. My interest was to see if the oak tree looked poorly as the fungus should be an indicator of illness in the host. The leaves did look a bit spotty.
It was one of those days when it was always threatening to rain so when I got home, I mowed the front lawn while the going was good.
We watched a programme about the Hampton Court Flower Show on the telly last night and one of the presenters visited the Rose Garden tent. She picked out a couple of good roses to have in your garden and I am happy to say that Mrs Tootlepedal is well ahead of the game and has them here already.
We had a lot of blackbirds in our garden too today.
They were old enough to feed themselves.
Mrs Tootlepedal has been busy in the garden and that always means a lot of stuff to dispose of so we were intending to get the petrol shredder out and get rid of the pile in one go after lunch. Before we could start though, it started to rain and so we retired indoors and enjoyed a stage of the Tour de France. When it finished, the rain obligingly stopped too so we got the shredder out and set to work.
The plant material had got so soggy in the rain that after we were half way through it, the shredder clogged up and we stopped to clear it out. We took the hint and postponed the other half until a drier day.
Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to point out a new dahlia to me. It is one of her secret plants, blooming in seclusion behind several others.
The shredding pause left us handily placed to watch the struggles (eventually successful) of Andy Murray at Wimbledon. They lasted so long that we had no time to do anything else. I was not unhappy with this.
The flower of the day is my favourite among the Sweet Williams….
…and the flying bird of the day is one of our resident siskins.