At home


Today’s guest picture was kindly sent to me by expert bird ringer, Dr Cat Barlow who had met this young kingfisher with an injured beak, probably caused by inexperience and hitting the bottom while diving for prey.


The calm and sunny weather of the last two days gave way to greyer and windier weather today so I was very glad to have a good excuse not to go out on my bike.  The excuse was provided by my friend Sandy who has finally moved into his new house after months of hard work getting it made ready.

As a result he was now free for a cup of coffee and I was delighted to have his company.

Before he arrived, I looked at poppies out of an upstairs window….


…and then went out to check on them more closely.  They were abuzz with white tailed bumble bees.  There were sometimes two or three in the same flower.

bumble bees on poppies

They seemed absolutely frantic so the pollen must have been extra good today.

I had time for a look at a crocosmia…


…before I went in.

Sandy is still busy getting things shipshape at the new residence and I was happy to volunteer to visit the Moorland Feeders and do the feeder filling for him when he went home after coffee.

I cycled up on the slow bike which gave me time to admire the views at Skippers Bridge…

Skippers Bridge

…from both sides….

Skippers Bridge

…and check on two sorts of tiny white flowers beside the road up the hill.

tiny white flowers

And I mean tiny.  The ones on the right were about 5mm across and the ones on the left were a lot smaller.

When I got to the hide, Corrie, another camera club member, was already there and I sat and chatted with him after I had filled the feeders and although there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary to see, I snapped away as we chatted.

chaffinch, blue tit, great tit and coal tit
A chaffinch, a blue tit, a great tit and a coal tit

When Corrie left, a woodpecker came for a feed….


…and then I pedalled off home too.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Edinburgh to visit Matilda and her parents and I watched a bit of the Tour before going off to meet Sandy again for a prearranged walk up Meikleholm Hill.

It was greyer and windier than earlier on but it was dry and not too chilly so we weren’t complaining although the brisk wind made photographing flowers a bit tricky.

Sandy took things seriously….

Sandy snapping

…and I did my best.

Once again there was a rich tapestry of wild flowers to enjoy…

Meikleholm wild flowers

…with lots of orchids…

Meikleholm orchids

…flowers with additional soldier beetles….

red soldier beetles

…and a lot to see in general.

Meikleholm hill wild flowers

When I lifted my eyes to the hills, there were things to look at there too…

Becks farm
Becks Farm getting the silage in
Potholm Hill
The ridge of Potholm Hill showing why this is such great walking country
The racecourse on the Castleholm below ready for the Common Riding race meeting

And there was a bonus horse and rider as well.

Horse and rider

To round off a pleasant if short walk, there was a nice gate as we left the hill.

Meikleholm gate

I got back home in perfect time to take a loaf of bread out of the bread maker.

In the evening, Susan arrived to drive me to Carlisle for our monthly recorder group meeting and with four of us present, we  had an enjoyable evening playing music both ancient and modern.

The flying bird of the day is a small flock of sheep on the way to the Moorland Feeders.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

22 thoughts on “At home

  1. The small white flower on the right might be lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea.)
    Interesting how the orchids look so much alike except for their color.
    The kingfisher is a beautiful bird and very hard to get photos of here.

  2. It’s nice to see Sandy back again, he’s been gone so long that I had forgotten how many times he used to appear here. Loved the kingfisher, ours are similarly shaped, but lack the bright colors that yours have.

  3. A lovely walk with countryside views of the bridge, the gate and the horse and rider. Hope the kingfisher had his beak mended.

  4. I saw Sandy’s blog post on your day out, too. You both have very beautiful photos of flower and countryside.

    I hope the kingfisher’s beak mends. From what I have read about chickens, it sounds like the beak can possibly regrow.

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