Two good visits

Canary Wharf from Greenwich Park

Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s visit to Greenwich.   You get a  good view of the London money grubbing machine behind the palace from the park there.

Canary Wharf from Greenwich Park

We had another calm, dry day and it was well above freezing so I had a choice of going for a morning pedal or going up to the Moorland bird feeders with Sandy.  As my legs were noticeably remembering that I had gone out cycling yesterday, I decided that the bird watching might be the thing to do.

I had time to look at our own garden birds before I left and was pleased to see a brambling among the usual suspects.

brambling, coal tit and blue tit

The decision to go to the hide at the bird feeders….

Laverock bird hide

…and spend an hour looking down this rather unprepossessing glade….

Moorland bird feeders

… turned out to be a very good one and Sandy and I were royally entertained by birds large and small.

There were pheasants of course….

Pheasant

pheasants

…and tits, finches and robins….

chaffinch, robin and coal tit

…visiting the tree stump just outside the hide.

And of course there were woodpeckers too.

woodpeckers

It was quite hard to get a woodpecker picture as there always seemed to be another one chasing off the one you were trying to shoot.  There were moments of peace and quiet though.

woodpecker

And on this occasion there was some icing  on the cake as well.

We not only saw a tree creeper….

tree creeper

…which crept up a tree and disappeared…

…abut we also we saw a nuthatch.

nuthatch

In fact the nuthatch appeared so regularly that we think that there must have been at least two on the go…

nuthatch

…as they appeared on both sides of the glade.

nuthatch

Whether it was one, two or three birds, it is always a great delight to see a nuthatch which I think is one of the most elegant of small birds so Sandy and I were in a very good mood when we came back for a cup of coffee.

I didn’t have long after coffee as Mrs Tootlepedal and I were going out for lunch but I found enough time to make up some cards for the newspaper shop to sell on behalf of the Archive Group.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been volunteering at the Buccleuch Centre and she was so impressed by the look of the food there that she took me out to lunch to try it.  She was right to be impressed as it was very good.

After lunch, we drove off to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh.  It was a gloriously sunny day by this time so the drive over the hills was a pleasure in itself.

At this time of year, Edinburgh is in the dark by the time that we get there so playing inside is the thing.  Matilda was in fine form and she and Mrs Tootlepedal and I built a bridge out of blocks.  This was a developing project which started small enough for a Dinky toy to get under the bridge but, as time went on, it was raised a bit and toy dogs and cats went through, then diggers and dumper trucks and then Matilda herself crawled through and in a final superb moment, her father managed to slide and slither his way underneath the edifice to universal applause.

After tea, Matilda and I played snap in an expansive way which involved quite a lot of running around (by Matilda) shouting, “Snap!” and laughing loudly.

The evening finished with some more considered play as shapes were pushed through matching holes on a block where Matilda was supervised by her mother Clare.

Matilda
You can catch a glimpse of the bridge in the foreground

Our journey home was uneventful and I will sleep well tonight after such a vigorous time playing.

The disappearing flying bird of the day was one of the woodpeckers being chased off this morning.

flying woodpecker

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Two good visits

  1. ‘Well above freezing!’ Yeovilton, just a few miles from here in Somerset, was the coldest spot in the the UK today, apparently. I don’t think the temperature has made it to 0° all day.

  2. I wonder if that tree creeper was looking for lichens to build its nest with. If so it found the right tree.
    I also wonder if the pheasants are smart enough to know that they’re safer there near the hide, or if they’re just after the food.
    Maybe Matilda will be a civil engineer and build really big bridges one day.

  3. A nice collection of birds at the feeders. I particularly like the female and male pheasant portraits side by side. Your pheasants seem a bit more ornate than ours, sporting more white. Pheasants come through here from time to time, and I am surprised we have not seen any wild turkeys, yet.

    Matilda is looking more grown up with every picture. She will make a fine engineer someday.

  4. Wish I had been there to see the bridge building.
    Glad you had plenty of interesting visitors to the Bird Feeders.

  5. It continually astonishes me how much you fit into one day! the brick building sounds great fun and you certainly saw a good collection of birds.

  6. I’m not sure if your nuthatches sound the same as ours, but I love their buzzing and grumbling. Matilda is, not unexpectedly, growing so fast. You are fortunate to be close enough to see her regularly.

      1. Oh dear, I’m not sure that buzzing and grumbling best describes ours either. I’ll have to work on better terms, but it’s so hard to translate bird sound.

  7. Lovely bird photos especially the colour showing up so well on the pheasants.
    Bridge building is such great fun for all ages – lovely photo of the budding engineer.

    1. The light in the glade is never very good because of all the trees but without the trees, there wouldn’t be any birds. Life is never perfect.

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