Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia. A wood pigeon has made a nest in her hornbeam tree and looks quite comfortable there.
We had a dry and sunless day and the wind had calmed down a lot so I thought it might be a good day to get out on my bike. Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Carlisle to help sort the choir music out and in her absence, I pleasantly surprised myself by getting my bike out, then cleaning and lubricating the chain and finally getting on it and actually going for a ride.
Even with the lighter wind, it was still quite chilly so I concentrated on getting round the 20 mile Canonbie route as quickly as possible (not very quickly) and didn’t stop to take any pictures.
I made up for that when I got home and watched the birds and walked round the garden with camera in hand.
The birds keep coming…
…from all directions.
And they keep squabbling too.
While I watched the birds, I made some red soup for lunch (carrots, sweet potato, red peppers…..it was very red) and when Mrs Tootlepedal came back from Carlisle, she had time to have some for her lunch before she went off again, this time to Lockerbie to catch the train to Edinburgh to visit Matilda…
…who was enjoying some flowers herself this morning. (Photo by Dad)
When she had gone, I sieved a little more compost and then put my camera in the slow bike’s back bag and went off to see what i could see beside the river.
There were a lot of grey and pied wagtails flitting about on the rocks in the Esk at the Cogie….
…but the light was dull and they were too far away to get good pictures. I enjoyed sitting on a handy bench and watching them though.
Then I went up to the stretch between the bridges where I had seen the goosanders yesterday but they weren’t there today.
Two oyster catchers kindly stood in for them.
One looked for food in the pools among the rocks.
While I was watching the oyster catchers and simultaneously talking to a fellow camera club member and his wife, I was distracted by a low flying object….
…which turned out to be the goosanders going up river at speed.
I followed them at a leisurely pace and found them floating about in the Ewes.
They did a lot of underwater work but I would need a whole different camera set up to photograph them fishing.
I hoped to catch a dipper too but I only got a fleeting glance of one as it flew off immediately I got near it at the Sawmill Brig. I didn’t spend time hoping that it would come back but moved on past the tree of the day…
…which was enhanced by sheep and went on to the Jubilee Bridge in the hope of seeing nuthatches at the nest there.
I was in luck and saw a couple of visits.
I think that the nuthatch was busy making the insert into the nesting hole which makes it as narrow as practicable.
I got home with time to tackle the crossword before settling down to process the day’s pictures and then have a baked potato for my tea.
In the evening, Susan came to pick me up and we went to Carlisle to play with our recorder group. We had an excellent evening of music (and first rate biscuits and tea to follow). We are going to meet a little less often after many years of trying to meet weekly and our next meeting won’t be until the end of May so it was good that we had such an enjoyable evening of playing to mark the end of an era.
Mrs Tootlepedal had returned safely from Matilda, with whom she had played Snap, by the time that I got home.
The flying bird of the day is a serious minded chaffinch, keeping a wary eye out for any unseemly rough behaviour at the feeder.
He has the air of Mrs May about him, I thought.