Today’s guest picture is another from our daughter Annie. On her way to the concert with the mighty organ, she passed this noted London landmark which was obviously suffering from a bad attack of red eye.
This is the post for Monday. It is another belated post as my internet provider had not managed to get its act together after 24 hours. It finally regained consciousness this morning. I should probably refer to it as my previous internet provider which it will very soon be.
It is interesting to me that after it was taken over by the large company, the large company wrote to me saying that as an upgrade to their service they were removing my ‘free’ e-mail address. I had to transfer the address to another company who let me keep the same address (for a fee). Quite apart from the linguistic crime of calling a reduction of service an upgrade, the company may not have realised that the removal of the e-mail link to the service makes changing to another provider much less of a problem. I expect that I may not be the only one who thinks this way.
Back to business – and once again business was the mot juste. I counted fifty siskins outside my kitchen window at the same time, some on the ground, some on the feeders and some on the plum tree. There were twenty or thirty chaffinches too and quite a number of goldfinches. I filled the feeders three times today.
The siskins were appalled to see a chaffinch trying to join their exclusive seed eating club.
Mind you, siskins are pretty appalled by other siskins….
And goldfinches don’t like anybody very much.
I couldn’t get a good local forecast because of the internet situation but I rang Dropscone up and he checked it out and told it me that it should be warm and dry, although with 20 mph gusts as well.
I set out looking from some of the promised sunny spells and by the time that I had got to the top of Callister, 6 miles from home, it was so gloomy and misty that I thought about turning back. I couldn’t see the windmills only a couple of miles away and it looked certain to rain. However, I have great faith in Dropscone and if he said it wasn’t going to rain then it wasn’t going to rain so I pressed on.
It was an odd sort of day. Looking straight up, it was sunny but looking forward or backwards, the hills were swathed in low cloud or mist. I settled for enjoying the sunshine and not bothering about the mist which seemed to disappear when you actually reached the hills anyway. It wasn’t good light for photographs though I stopped to take this potential ox bow lake because I had seen an actual one on a blog that I was reading recently.
The roads are just beginning to be lined by daffodils…
…like these ones at Eaglesfield.
I found a curious tree near the border…..
…but mostly I concentrated on pedalling and was pleased to clock up exactly forty miles.
I checked the pond when I got back and although some of the spawn looks damaged, it does look as tho0ugh tadpoles might be developing.
The crocuses have had a hard time with several frosty mornings and wind and rain giving them a battering from which they haven’t really recovered. One or two are in good shape but mostly they are looking rather sad.
I had to refill the feeders which had been almost emptied while I was out on the bike and it didn’t take long before the birds were back trying to empty them again.
I wonder if it is that fact that I know that this is a female chaffinch which made me think that she was landing with great elegance. Anthropomorphic sex stereotyping. Very poor.
I was pleased to see a greenfinch as one of my Somerset correspondent had remarked that she had just the first for a long time in her garden.
We don’t get many but they are quite regular.
We had larger visitors today as well, a dove and a pigeon….
…and two flying visits (unsuccessful) by a sparrowhawk.
I was interested in this bird…
…which looked like a chaffinch but had some unusual colouring. I thought at first that it might be a brambling but I don’t think so now. Has any reader got a good suggestion?
In the early evening, I went to Carlisle to pick up Mrs Tootlepedal from the station. I had time to admire the network of rails and overhead wires leading into the station, a reminder of the time when seven separate railway companies shared the station.
She arrived bang on time and it is very good to have her back.
I found a frog of the day….
…and a flying bird too.