Today’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker’s NZ trip and shows Nelson Cathedral. He tells me that as it is in NZ, it has an earthquake policy, the final line of which says: ‘if the earthquake is a gentle event (i.e. no creaks in the building) services will continue’. I hadn’t thought that there might be a gentle earthquake.
Our good weather continued today, although it was a bit windier than it has been lately. Under the circumstances, I was quite pleased to have an excuse not to go cycling as we were expecting a visit from our friend Sue for lunch.
There was a complete lack of birds in the morning and it was a bit annoying that they appeared in the garden just as Sue arrived. I was listening with my full attention to every word that was spoken over coffee and at the lunch table, even when I might have been distracted by movement outside.
If I had been rude enough to get up with camera in hand in mid conversation, I might have seen this….
…or even this…
Sue noticed the arrival of a greenfinch so I make no excuses for having seen this finch festival.
After lunch, we piled into the car and headed up to the hide at the Moorland Project bird feeders, where we sat for a while watching a terrific amount of activity. Unfortunately, apart from a brief and unrecorded visit from a brambling, there were no unusually exciting birds to be seen.
It is always fun to see a greater spotted woodpecker though and there were a lot about today, pecking away at various feeders and chasing each other up and down trees.
The great, coal and blue tits were in sharing mode.
And there were dozens of chaffinches around.
There were several raptors flying over the hill when we came out of the hide but they were too far away to identify with confidence.
Mrs Tootlepedal has been suffering from a sore foot so she drove the car back while Sue and I walked the two and a half miles home from Broomholmshiels.
The weather stayed dry and there was even a hint of sunshine as we strolled along looking for things of interest on the way.
I always like a gate and this brand new belt and braces job caught my eye soon after we left the farm fields.
And bare trees are favourites.
Sue has been going to classes on plant recognition and had a keen eye for the ferns, mosses, lichens and fungi that we passed on our way once we had got into the oak and birch woods…
There were a lot of things to see just on the trees.
We saw fine displays of mosses beside the track in the wood and many spleenwort and ferns on walls when we got nearer to the town.
We finished out walk with a stroll along the river bank and since I had told Sue that we might well see a dipper as some point, I was very pleased when we found one singing its heart out near the suspension bridge.
We also met Sandy, who rather annoyingly told us that he had seen a tree creeper at the Moorland site when he was filling the feeders this morning. Where was it when we needed it?
We had a cup of tea and some of Sue’s delicious home made biscuits when we got home and then, after we had put the world to rights, it was time for Sue to head off back home. It had been a delight to have her company.
I rounded off a very good day by making curried cauliflower for our tea.
No plant of the day today but I did manage to catch a flying chaffinch out of the corner of my eye while we were having lunch.