Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew, who was surprised by this slice of city life when he visited London today.
The morning was rather disorientating as I was fairly sure that it was Monday but Dropscone arrived for coffee bringing a batch of treacle scones. These are traditionally found on a Friday. He told me that he felt that it was so long since we had had had treacle scones, that having them on a non standard day would be worth the mental disturbance that it would cause.
He was right. We ate the Friday scones on a Monday and the heavens did not fall in.
While we sipped and nibbled and chatted, the feeder was full of goldfinches and siskins and as soon as Dropscone left to get ready to play golf, the siskins and the goldfinches departed with him. I was left with some chaffinches.
The day was a little warmer than yesterday but much windier although the windy conditions didn’t seem to stop the birds arriving.
A robin or two have become a frequent sight again after a prolonged absence which made me worry that they might have left the garden for good.
There was a moment of bright sunshine just after lunch….
…which made me think of an outing but I dawdled about a bit because I realised that most of my flying chaffinches lately have been males so I thought that I would try to catch a female winging in today. The reason that the flying chaffinches have been mostly males seems to be because we have far more male visitors in the garden than females but there are a few…
…but sadly, my timing was out.
While I was waiting for another female chaffinch to arrive, my eye was caught by a most unusual sight…
…behind a clump of grass in the back bed.
I put my hunting shoes on and went out to investigate.
There was a pheasant among the snowdrops.
It gave me a hard stare…
…and stamped off down the vegetable garden.
The pheasant shooting season stopped on 1 Feb so perhaps the keepers have stopped feeding the birds and they have to find food where they can now. Mrs Tootlepedal put out some seed so we will see whether he returns.
I was encouraged by the gleam of sunshine and decided to brave the brisk wind and go for a pedal.
Once I got going, I found that the wind really was brisk so I settled for three iterations of a four mile trip to Cleughfoot and back, keeping in the shelter of the Wauchope valley. The winds were brisk enough to make my average speed going up the gentle gradients to Cleughfoot faster than the return journey downhill. At one stage I had my head well down and the afterburners on and could still only manage 9 mph down a slight incline.
On my third lap, a hefty gust of wind actually blew me off the road (only by a few inches fortuntaely) and I had to stop until it eased off. I was very glad not to be out on an exposed hill road.
I stopped to take a few pictures on the road to Cleughfoot.
As you can see, there was some gentle sunshine and when the wind was behind me, it made the day perfect for cycling. When the wind was against me, it made it pedalling a real challenge and between the two states, I had the most enjoyable 25 miles of cycling that I have had for some time and came home thoroughly cured of any winter blues.
My good mood was enhanced first by my flute pupil Luke, who worked very hard when he arrived for his lesson, and then further when I joined Isabel and Mike for some enjoyable trios after tea.
The flying bird of the day was not the best picture that I took today but I liked the balletic pose so I have put it in anyway.