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….
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….
…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.
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.
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.
I had time for a quick look at our own birds…
…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….
…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….
….so I turned round again and headed back to Callister to do another ten miles.
There were still patches of mist on the way….
…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.
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.