Today’s guest picture, sent by Dropscone, shows how the greenkeeping staff at a prestigious golf course still use traditional methods for preparing the ground. The only thing lacking is that they should have their trouser legs tied up with string.
I had thought of offering to go with Sandy to help fill the Moorland feeders this morning but when I woke to find that it was pouring with rain, I decided that it might be better not to bother him.
I saw him later in the morning anyway, when he came for coffee. He is hoping to produce a blog or two arising from his recent trip to America and Mexico so I will keep an eye out for it.
The rain had stopped by the time that he had arrived and the light had improved a bit so while we sipped our coffee, I kept an eye on the birds…
…and a chaffinch kept an eye on a blue tit.
We have more tits coming to the feeder this year than ever before as far as I can remember and it is a great pleasure to see them every day. I saw at least five blue tits at the same time today. Generally I only see two coal tits at one time but whether the regular coal tit visitors are always the same birds is anyone’s guess.
We had two less frequent visitors today, a starling….
…and a collared dove.
After Sandy left, I had a look at the weather forecast and it suggested that if I waited until midday, any of the forecast snow would be just to the north and the east of the town and there might be a chance of a peaceful pedal here before the temperature dropped again.
I did wait and there was a chance of a pedal. My phone battery was flat and Mrs Tootlepedal was getting ready to go to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh so I settled for an unadventurous 21 miles going up and down the road to Wauchope Schoolhouse three times and I met Mrs Tootlepedal going up the road as I came back down on the last lap.
I had another look at the birds over lunch.
It had been mostly chaffinches so far…
…but there was a sudden influx of greenfinches…
They took over the feeders and were soon coming and going in all directions.
Some goldfinches arrived and tried to stake a claim…
And when the greenfinches left, the goldfinches took to squabbling among themselves.
It was quite a pleasant day and I would like to have gone for a walk but I had to visit the doctor as I am suffering a little discomfort in one eye. She assured me that there was nothing to worry about and said she would make an appointment for me to see an eye specialist at the hospital.
This might seem a bit contradictory but she explained that the eye trouble should settle down of its own accord within six weeks or so but if by any chance it didn’t, I would have to see the specialist. As an appointment will take at least six weeks to come through, she reckons that I will be able to cancel it before it comes up if the eye is better but if the eye doesn’t clear up, I would have to wait a further six weeks at least before getting treatment if I didn’t already have an appointment. It all makes sense in a rather weird way.
I noticed this vivid shrub on a neighbour’s fence beside the road just outside our house on my way home.
It was enough to gladden anyone’s eye.
In the evening, Susan kindly drove me to Carlisle where we enjoyed an excellent evening of playing with our recorder group. One of our members, Heather, is a music teacher and she told us that she gave a piano lesson this week to a young pupil who has moved to Atlanta. She used Skype very satisfactorily and has learned that many music teachers are now using Skype for music lessons. The only downside that she can see at the moment is that it is impossible for her to play duets with her pupil.
The leaf of the day is a combination of spirea and cotoneaster by our back fence….
…and the flying bird is one of the chaffinches.