A day to get outside for a bit

Brooklands

Today’s guest picture is the last from Dropscone’s trip to the south.  His daughter Susan is a great motor racing fan so she took him to visit the historic Brooklands track.  There is not much of it left.

Brooklands

Yesterday’s rain had disappeared today.  This was particularly pleasing as I had to start the day by visiting the Moorland Feeders where I was acting as a fill-in feeder filler for the regular couple who are enjoying (I hope) a holiday in New Zealand.

It was almost sunny so I was hoping for interesting birds and some good light.  I got neither.  Oddly, the light was very poor, probably because it was hazier than it looked at first sight.  We seem to be in a  period of very high humidity and it was lurking around the 90% level all day.

There were a great many chaffinches…

moorland feeder chaffinches

…and a lot of squabbling siskins…

moorland feeder siskins

…and of course, the usual seed thief.  Not sorry today, not sorry at all….and making sure that I got her best side.

female pheasant

I don’t know when the birds here were last netted and ringed but a least one chaffinch is loyal to the feeding site.

ringed chaffinch

I stayed for quite a time as it is easy to feel that the moment that you get up to go all sorts of interesting birds will turn up so you linger for another few minutes just in case….but they didn’t so I left and went home.

There were siskins and chaffinches there too.

siskin and chaffinch

We did have a brief visit from two blue tits to break the monotony…

blue tits
The one on the right has something in its beak which gives it that odd look.

…but mostly it was chaffinches.

chaffinch flying

It was warm enough to stroll round the garden and I took a picture of some very damp snowdrops in the morning and then again in the afternoon.  In spite of the dry day, some of them were still damp five hours later

snowdrops

After lunch, I went for a thirty one mile pedal.  I would have liked to have gone further but my legs were on strike and thirty one rather slow miles was my limit.  I had to work so hard just to get round that I didn’t have much energy or thought for taking pictures but I did stop once or twice, if only to get a breather.

There was some fine gorse on the Gair road.

gorse

but it didn’t stand out in the grey conditions.

Things brightened up for the second half of the ride though and I stopped to admire a wind sculpted tree…

Tree near Chapelknowe

…though the road men may have helped the effect by lopping branches on the road side.

I stopped again at our own mighty  Río Pequeño, the boundary between Scotland and England.  No need for a wall here, only a very daring person would attempt to cross this river when they came to it.

Sark

The sun was making things very pleasant as I approached the last few hills before getting home…

Tarcoon

…but my mood was slightly darkened as I plugged up the next hill when I was passed by an old geezer pedalling an electric bike….and not just passed but left for dead.  It was most annoying.

He looked thoroughly serene.

When I got home, I had a walk round the garden to check on the daffodils.  There is still only one rather depressed one out but there is promise of more soon.

early daffs

The low sunshine was so golden that I couldn’t resist a quick jaunt on the slow bike down to the river.

Town Bridge

The days are getting longer but the sun is still pretty low at 4 pm.

pine trees
The low sun brings out the colour on the trunks of the pine trees

Mr Grumpy and friend were to be seen just up from the Meeting of the Waters.

heron
It was a case of taking the rough….
mallard
…with the smooth.

I had a last look at the pine trees….

pine tree

…and went home, where I had a sit down, a shower and a massive fry-up for my tea.

In the evening, I went up to the Archive Centre to help a new archivist get to grips with our system.  It is a fairly tedious business at first with a great deal to learn but he stuck in well and we made a lot of progress.  Another session or two will be needed before he becomes a fully fledged data miner.

There was a goldfinch or two among the chaffinches and siskins in the garden and this one made flying bird of the day.

flying goldfinch

 

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “A day to get outside for a bit

  1. No snowdrops or daffodils here yet though a sheltered spot in the churchyard has a few snowdrops and even a primrose! We have had a lot of cold, rain, fog and dreary weather in the last few days. Does that qualify for driech? Being this far south probably disqualifies me anyway!

  2. Amazing what a relatively constant wind can do to a tree. They have the strongest roots as well as an unbalanced crown.
    The snowdrops and daffodils are a pleasure to see, as always.
    The racetrack is a great piece of the past.

  3. I would say that an electric bike is cheating also.

    I loved the female pheasant, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a close up of a female before. The evening images were also very good.

  4. Love the photos at the Moorland feeder such activity from all the birds- no wonder they need feeding when they use their energy up by squabbling. Wonder if they squabble when foraging for natural food ( not provided). It is getting lighter day by day and wetter too!

  5. The female pheasant is looking quite lovely in that photo. If one is going to steal seed, might as well look regal in the process.

    I like your boundary between England and Scotland. 🙂 I am sorry our side of the Pond is providing so much entertainment. There are days we do not know whether to laugh or cry. I don’t listen to the news much these days.

    The snowdrops and daffodils are always welcome heralds of spring, not far off now. Our snowdrops finally came up and are about to bloom.

    1. I am definitely crying. Having a special adviser who is dedicated to creative destruction may be fun for the president but less so for those about to be creatively destroyed.

  6. Mr T, I have another lichen site hint for you from a reader on my blog who commented, “You must be familiar with Paul Stamets and his Fungi Perfect site? I have a couple of his books here.” I had not heard of him.

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