Not quite what was on the menu

Wirksworth

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Wirksworth.  As well as the train to the museum, there was another connection to Derby and Sheffield by the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

Wirksworth

We had been expecting a very rainy day today but it was surprisingly dry if rather chilly when we got up.

The day continued dry and got quite warm and although the sun was mostly absent and a few individual drops of rain fell from time to time, it ranks as one of the better days of the summer.  It would have been a great day for a good long pedal but I had been so adjusted to the possibility of rain and a day indoors that it took me ages to realise that I should be outside.

In the end, I had a look round the garden.

A lot of the dahlias are very spiky this year.

dahlias

The poppies are not.

poppies with no pollen
Many poppies had been visited by bees and abandoned.
poppies with bees
And bees were flying around looking for fresh pollen

Occasionally a poppy was to be found with pollen but no bees.  This was my favourite.

poppy

There were butterflies to be seen too.  We have two buddleias and both were in the butterfly business today.

peacock butterfly

Red Admiral butterfly

I did get my act together in the end and after coffee, I went off down to Canonbie on my customary 20 mile route.  There was only a light wind today and my legs felt quite cheerful so I applied myself to bicycling and only stopped for one cow…

horn cow

…which was too busy chewing to pose for a proper picture.

I got back at a good speed and had a quick look for butterflies on the Michaelmas daises….

bee on Michaelmas daisy

…but there was only a bee

I noticed that the Virginia creeper has some little flowers…

fox and cubs virginia creeper

…and the cubs have come to join the fox in the orange hawkweed.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hosting a committee meeting of her Embroiderers’ Guild group in the afternoon so after a quick lunch and a shower, I packed myself and my new lens into the car and went up to the Laverock Hide at the Moorland Project bird feeders to see what I could see, although the day had got a bit gloomy by this time.

The first thing that I saw was two other other enthusiasts already ensconced in the hide with big lenses at the ready.  I filled an empty feeder and sat down beside them as they clicked away furiously.

There were a lot of small birds to see…

chaffinch
Chaffinch
Great tit
Great tit
Siskin
Siskin
Coal tit
Coal tit
Blue tit
Blue tit

…and some bigger ones too.

Greenfinches
Greenfinches looking as fierce as ever
pheasant
A pheasant not in full feather yet
woodpecker
And a greater spotted woodpecker

The other two bird watchers had left before the woodpeckers came so I sat quietly and enjoyed three woodpeckers chasing each other about the trees.

I had thought of a walk while I was up there but a spell of very light rain for a while persuaded me that a cup of tea at home would be the best thing.

It had got quite warm enough by this time to make it feel quite like summer so Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out into the garden.  She did some heavy tidying up and mulching while I sieved some compost and trimmed one more of the box balls…and admired the combination of crocosmia, cornflower and poppies which the gardener had planned and which has finally arrived.  The camera can’t do it justice.

poppies, crocosmia and cornflower

I’ll try again if we get some sunshine.

I had a look for late butterflies or bees on the daisies again but there were none to be seen. The daisies were quite attractive in their own right though.

Michaelmas Daisies

I have pulled a muscle (even though I didn’t know that I had any) in my left arm and that combined with a nagging back is making me feel my age a bit at the moment so I went in and had a sit down before my flute pupil Luke came.

He tells me that he has passed his Higher music exam which involved  playing two instruments  and written work.  He didn’t get any help from me with his exam pieces so I can’t take any credit for this. He just worked very hard with his grandad and the teachers at the school.  I am very proud of him.

I tried very hard to get a flying bird this afternoon but the light wasn’t good enough so a head and shoulders of a woodpecker will have to do instead.

greater spotted woodpecker

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

31 thoughts on “Not quite what was on the menu

  1. I hope your aches and pains go away quickly. Lovely to see so many different birds together in one post and what with the butterflies, the bee and the cow, the flowers and your brother’s photo of the steam train it was a very full and varied post.

  2. I’m impressed with your close-ups! Good job Tom. Are you trying to put me out of business? 🙂

  3. Lovely colourful pictures from your garden and pin sharp birds from your new lens made this post most enjoyable. So sorry about your ailments though and hope they clear up soon. Congratulate Luke from me.

  4. Sorry to hear about yet another physical ailment, I hope that you’re up to snuff soon!

    The new lens is doing well for you when you’re shooting birds, just as good as the lens that you use for the flowers.

  5. Sorry about your arm and back, but hooray for Luke! So enjoyed looking at the pictures of the birds in your area. The birds seem both familiar and unfamiliar, and the coal tit looks very much like our black-capped chickadee, which just happens to be our state bird.

  6. Love the bird photos so clear and detailed and those poppies are still giving such a great deal of pleasure to the viewers and the bees! Rest is best for muscle problems…use a light camera for a while! Well done to Luke.

  7. Congratulations to Luke, your student on passing his exams and playing two instruments. Which instrument does he play in addition to flute?

    All the photos are lovely, but I particularly like those flower panels, and that first butterfly. Your pheasant looks a bit shy about having been caught without his full complement of plumage.

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