I remember how to do it

Today’s guest picture shows a regular visitor to Irving’s feeder.


I start today’s post with an item from yesterday.  Just after I had put the blog to bed, there were loud noises outside.  It was a very misty night and the pink footed geese might well have been lost and checking where the rest of the gang was.

It is rather upsetting to hear them as the geese sound really unhappy.  They were still making a noise early in the morning but they had safely gone on their way by breakfast time.

Just to join in with the rest of the town, Mrs Tootlepedal now has a cold so she didn’t come with me when I went up to the Laverock Hide to act as a fill-in feeder filler for the Moorland project.  It was just as well that she didn’t come as she likes to sit and look out for raptors but today all she would have seen today was this….

mist at Laverock
Looking west

…or this.

mist at Laverock
Looking east.

I filled the feeders, fighting off the army of pheasants around my feet, and admired the king of the castle…


…before going into the hide to spend a little time watching the birds.

There was plenty of action….

great tit and blue tit

…but not enough light to see all of it very well.   I could see that both the blue tit and the great tit are probably long term residents of the glade as they both have rings and the birds here have been ringed fairly regularly.

great tit

The tits don’t have very large beaks and the great tit picked out a lump of peanut and flew off to a handy branch to deal with it.  It clamped it firmly under one foot and pecked at it until it was small enough to eat in one go.

great tit

I was delighted when a woodpecker arrived at the nuts…


I think this is the same one a little later.


The woodpeckers get ringed as well as the small birds.


I came back into the town and picked up a prescription for puffers which I need a lot in the cold and damp weather which we have been enjoying.

Mrs Tootlepedal cycled up and gave me some much needed guidance in the matter of purchasing her Christmas present and then we went home.

After coffee, we went out to see about digging up the Christmas tree from the garden.

Thanks to Mrs Tootlepedal’s expertise with the spade, it was soon resting in a pot in the garage, waiting to come in to the house  later in the week.

Christmas tree

I had time for a quick look at our own birds…

chaffinch and goldfinch

…before getting the fairly speedy bike out to take advantage of a marked improvement in the weather.  It was warm (9°C) and relatively windless and the mist was beginning to lift so I set off up the Wauchope road hoping to remember how to pedal a bike.  It had been 15 days since I last went cycling.

The legs were soon back in the old routine and as I got to Callister, the last of the mist was clearing away….

Callister mist

…so my timing was perfect.  I wasn’t in a very adventurous mood though and I turned back at the end of the straight and cycled back to Langholm.

It was a lovely day by the time that I got there….

Whita in sun

….so I turned round again and headed back to Callister to do another ten miles.

There were still patches of mist on the way….

mist on Wauchope road

…but the sun was doing its best and lit up this fine Christmas tree which needed no artificial decoration.  At about 30ft high, it might be a little too big for most front rooms though.

conifer with cones

By the time that I was on the last leg, the mist had cleared entirely and it was as nice a day as you could hope for at this time of year.


But with the solstice only a day or two away, even a really nice day doesn’t last long and when I got home, I only had time for a quick goldfinch shot….


…and a cup of tea before the light had faded so much that the only thing the camera could see when a blackbird walked past was its beak.


The evening was a bit subdued because Mrs Tootlepedal’s cold hadn’t improved at all and I have got a hint of one coming back as well.

We might have gone to a screening of The Nutcracker Suite but the three piece suite seemed a better bet.

(We don’t actually have a three piece suite, just a sofa and two chairs but I couldn’t resist the joke.)

The flying bird of the day is a helicopter which was buzzing around in the afternoon.



Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

38 thoughts on “I remember how to do it

  1. When you were on your ‘three piece suite’ did you see the hair ice in Judi Dench’s programme on trees this evening? Interesting role played by fungus!

      1. Available on catch-up: ‘Judi Dench: My passion for trees’, whole programme very enjoyable, but the hair ice was at about 45 minutes as I recall.

  2. Those geese certainly made a racket! Lovely views under such different weather conditions. Do hope your respective colds go away and stop bothering you!

  3. Great bird action, love the pheasant being king of the castle. Hope colds stay at bay through the holidays for you both. And it is always nice to get guidance on the gift, then later you can pat yourself on your back that you got it right.

  4. On a miserable evening, the three piece suite was a good choice. I chuckle at the picture of you shooing pheasants out from underfoot! It’s hard to believe there’s a cold that can take on Mrs. T. – hopefully you can both nip things in the bud and not suffer too long with the current plague.

    1. The pheasants, having been hand reared, are not afraid on anyone and will literally step on your foot to get at a fallen seed. It does make shooting them seem a little odd to say the least.

  5. Pretty neat having the geese recording in your blog. They do sound upset and would upset me if I had to hear that for an extended period. Hope they resolve whatever the trouble is. I enjoyed your pictures and was happy to find a chance to visit your blog once again. With the wedding a success and now behind us, life will surely return to normal. ~Susan

  6. I got a taste of the foggy weather passing through London on Tuesday. Not much different here in Stockholm yesterday, but we got in a few walks and a Christmas tree. Your bird action is always beautiful! I hope the colds go away and enter Christmas cheer.

  7. Lovely guest picture.
    Glad to see that the weather brightened up in time for your ride. Sorry about Mrs T’s cold, and your impending return of one. Hope they do not linger.
    Matilda will have fun decorating that tree.

  8. I hope that your colds don’t interfere with your Christmas plans in any way!

    It was nice to see the birds on the feeders from the Laverock hide, especially the pheasant and the woodpeckers. On such a short day of sunlight, it was great that the sun was finally able to burn off the morning fog, but the good thing was that you captured it all as it happened, adding a great deal of variety to your photos today.

  9. I hope the Christmas tree does well inside. You’re lucky you can still dig.
    The geese certainly make quite a racket. I wouldn’t want them outside my window when I was trying to sleep.
    It’s nice to see your still green landscapes.

  10. It is nice that you can dig your tree. We would have to take a pick-ax to the ground here. Such a fuss those geese were making. Are there predators in the area they were trying to warn off?

  11. Wow! Biking this time of year. Yes, great that you can dig your tree. As Brenda indicated, it wouldn’t be possible to do so in Maine.

  12. I very much like your misty scenes and the birds. Your goldfinches are much more colorful than ours. I think we had a lot of those birds you featured as your flying bird of the day when the wildfires threatened last summer! (Very clever!) 😀

  13. All the birds, especially the ones with red on them, make the most lovely ornaments in your post. I must say you fare better with fog and clouds than I do. I’m especially fond of the red vent on your woodpecker. I hope your colds give up and leave you alone for the holidays.

  14. A fine squirrel at Irving’s feeder! The pheasant looks ready for a handout too. 🙂

    I am sorry Mrs. T’s cold is lingering, and yours may be returning. The one’s going around here seem to be much the same, threatening to come back. Seems like they never quite leave.

  15. Sorry to hear about the colds. The three piece suite option seems a good one – we too have a had a selection of chairs and settees over the years. I last had an actual suite in 1987…

    Bird photos were great, as was the helicopter.

    I got a grey blur the day before yesterday when trying to photograph a fly by Redshank. Can’t even tell there was a bird involved, and I nearly dropped my stick in the river. Bah!

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