Today’s guest picture was sent to my by my friend and ex-colleague Marjorie who is on holiday in Yorkshire.  It shows a memorial on Lissett  Airfield to the dead of 581 squadron who were based at the airfield there.  You can see the names of the dead inscribed on the sculpture.  I was bowled over by this work.


I read in the papers that this October is likely to be one of the driest on record and I can quite believe it.  We had another dry day today and although it was not a very sunny day, the light winds made it pleasant to be out.

I was feeling a bit better today than yesterday but I still took things easily and spent a very quiet morning doing nothing more energetic than cycling up into the town to order more supplies of coffee and visit Sandy who was manning the information hub in the Market Place.

And I watched the birds.

Since I have added some sunflower hearts to the feeder, we have had an increased number of bird visitors and today the feeders were kept busy.

coal tit, great tit and blue tit
We had steady stream of tits – coal, great and blue – all day.

The number of tits visiting is very heartening as there were hardly any to be seen earlier in the year and there were fears that the bad spring might have caused a big drop in numbers.

The goldfinches seem to have been moulting as they are looking rather scruffy.


They are also just as ready to bicker among themselves as the sparrows are.


But they will share the feeder.

goldfinch and coal tit
Goldfinch and coal tit
Goldfinch and great tit
Goldfinch and great tit

After lunch (sardine pate – but the fish diet doesn’t seem to be improving my brain at all), Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and I got the fairly speedy bike out and went for a very slow pedal.

I was pleased to see that the business of connecting the Ewe Hill wind farm to the grid is getting near completion…

Ewe hill windfarm
Only about a mile or so to go.

…as the turbines have been turning for some weeks without doing anything useful so far.

There was plenty of colour on my route as the hedges are beginning to turn and there was a gorse bush in full bloom near Gair.

hedge and gorse

Thanks to my slow progress, I was feeling quite cheerful and added a mile or two to my customary twenty.  I rode down to Gretna and crossed the border into England over this mighty bridge.

Border bridge

…and then almost immediately turned left and headed back towards Scotland.  I had picked on this route in the hope of seeing some of the barnacle geese that come to our part of the world in the winter months.

As I pedalled up the road back to Scotland, I could hear faint honking that sounded as though it might be geese but I couldn’t see anything.  Finally the honking became loud enough to make me stop and look around and I could just see what might be geese settled in a distant field. I was disappointed as I had hoped for a better view and was about to pedal on when it became apparent that the honking was now in stereo.

I turned round and saw a large skein of geese flying from the west….

barnacle geese

… and as they got closer, the geese in the field flew up to join them with shouts of welcome…

barnacle geese

…and then the whole lot settled back down in the field.

barnacle geese

I wished that I had been able to get nearer to them but as I stood and watched, two more skeins flew over…

barnacle geese

…so I had no shortage of geese to watch.

Pleased with my route choice, I cycled the rest of the way home in a very good mood.

There was more colour on the way….

Milltown of Sark, back in Scotland again
Milltown of Sark, back in Scotland again

…and although my ride had been mostly cloudy, Whita was bathed in sunshine against a grey sky behind as I got near the town.


I managed 33 miles but what with stopping to take pictures of hedges and watching the geese for some time, the ride took me most of the afternoon and there was little time for anything else before I had to make my tea and get ready to go our with Susan to play with our recorder group in Carlisle.

There were four of us this week and Roy produced an excellent variety of music and we finished with a trio sonata by Telemann for treble and tenor recorder with a bass recorder and (electronic) harpsichord accompaniment.  This was a very good way to round the evening off.

My flower of the day is a composite of late October garden colour….

garden colour October

…and the flying bird is a shy goldfinch, hiding behind the feeder.


Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

24 thoughts on “Goosed

  1. It seems to be getting drier in many places but your countryside still seems lush and looks more colorful each day.
    Our Canada geese are stopping over to see what the corn harvesters might have spilled. Yours must do the same.
    The memorial will be hard to forget, I’m sure. I hope we never have to erect another one.

    1. That was what Hadrian’s Wall was built for of course. More of those Europeans coming over to England and running things to suit themselves. No wonder they had to try to stop the English escaping to ‘Free Scotland’.

  2. In my area I see the Canada Geese flying by early in the morning. They honk all the way! 🙂

  3. You certainly did get goosed, and I thought that there were a lot of the Canada geese around here! The scenery there is even better (if that’s possible) with the addition of the brightly colored leaves. It’s also nice to see some of the old familiar birds back at the feeder again.

  4. Love the photos of the geese, there were so many of them. Pleased that there was activity at your feeders for you to take those lovely photos. A very moving guest photo.

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