Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who has visited Chatsworth. I am going to live in a place like that when I grow up.
We had another fine and sunny day today but once again my stubborn cold refused to give up its grip on me so instead of cycling, I settled for the very agreeable substitute of a cup of coffee with Sandy followed by a walk.
While I was waiting for him to arrive, I looked out of the kitchen window. The early morning sun is not at all helpful for taking pictures of birds at the feeder is in the shadow of the house and you end up with lots of shots like this.
The rather blue background indicates that we had another frosty morning and the fluffed up robin below the feeder confirmed that it was chilly.
By the time that Sandy and I had had a cup of coffee and arrived at the Moorland bird hide, all trace of the frost had gone and we walked down to the bridge over the Tarras in glorious conditions.
There was not a cloud in the sky.
We were able to watch a hen harrier hunting and a heron flying past as we walked along the open part of the walk but soon we were plunging downhill through the woods…
…until we reached the river bank.
It is a peaceful spot….
…and it still looked very welcoming although the trees on the river bank have shed all their leaves.
We walked over the bridge and checked out the horsetails which grow along the river in abundance there.
Although the ones round this tree were still green, most of them were dry and brown.
We didn’t see much else of interest…
…but the walk through the woods was delightful.
When we got back to the hide, we spent a few minutes inside, in the hope of seeing something interesting but just about the only birds on view were coal tits…
…and chaffinches so we didn’t stay for long.
I got home just as Mrs Tootlepedal returned from church and choir practice and I set up the camera at the kitchen window in the hope of some more friendly light.
The birds deliberately flew into any shadow they could find just to annoy me…
…although as usual, the camera was recording more information than it was letting on.
These are exactly the same pictures lightened up a bit.
Still, it wasn’t very satisfactory so I pointed the camera at the plum tree with better results.
The sunflower seeds were drawing most of the business again today…
…but there were occasional visits to the new mixed seeds by coal tits and this blue tit who preferred to remain anonymous.
We had quite a good crowd but the attendance is not helped by predatory cats roaming the garden and Mrs Tootlepedal spotted one of the invaders making off with one of our birds. Our cat scarer is not 100% efficient it would seem. In fact, as kind readers pointed out when I said that we had got one, they may well be 100% inefficient.
In the afternoon we went to our Carlisle Choir practice. Once again I was only able to croak my way through the songs and as my breathing was not in peak condition, my brain was subject to a bit of fading and I made several rather glaring mistakes. In spite of it all, it was worthwhile and I hope to be in a better place next week.
The flying bird of the day is the sole chaffinch who wasn’t quick enough to find some shade to hide in.
Looking at the picture, I see that I will have to clean the kitchen window.
The moon was out when we got back from choir. Not quite full.