Today’s guest picture comes from my Langholm friends Jim and Sandra. They are visiting Australia where they met some down under bird life.
We enjoyed another chilly but sunny day and if you could keep in the sun and out of a relentlessly nipping wind, it was not too bad at all.
We had a quiet morning, mostly reading newspapers and listening to the radio. I did a little bird watching every now and again.
The male blackbirds were chasing each other about when they weren’t posing or eating so I think that they must be our native blackbirds claiming their territory.
There were no siskins or goldfinches about today so the chaffinches had a free hand and flew about in every direction.
Dunnocks and robins made occasional appearances.
A greenfinch looked relatively happy today (by greenfinch standards).
Mrs Tootlepedal spent some useful time clearing up in the greenhouse getting ready for the new season and I made a pan of vegetable soup for my lunch.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal turned to cooking and made several fish pies and I wrapped up well and went out for a pedal.
I didn’t want to go too far from home as the wind would be against me on the way back and it was very cold so I went five miles up the road and back twice. This is not as boring as it sounds and I enjoyed myself.
I stopped once or twice.
It was a lovely afternoon when the wind was behind you.
I was going to take a picture of the gate at my turning point on Callister when I noticed a movement among the tussocks. The head of a deer poked up…
…but it sneaked away without letting me get a better shot.
I went along the river on a circuit of the New Town of Langholm as part of my route in the hope of seeing oyster catchers. There were none about on the first pass but two had arrived by the time I went along the bank for the second go round.
Good route choice.
And crocuses were almost out in the garden when I got home.
Mrs Tootlepedal was also out in the garden but she was finding it chilly too and came in.
The sun was still out though and it seemed too good a day to waste indoors watching Scotland getting beaten by England at the rugby (I am never optimistic about Scotland’s rugby chances) so I got changed and went out for a short walk.
I was hoping to see some black headed gulls and I was in luck and saw one straight away when I got to the river.
Then I saw ten more.
It was as good a day for walking as it had been for cycling, especially as I was reasonably sheltered from the wind.
The sun was dropping in the sky and lit up the moss on the wall after the Sawmill Brig.
It is obviously a good place for moss…
…which is thriving.
I always like the colour of the bark when low sun strikes a pine tree…
…and the trunks looked good too as I went along the new path.
An old tree trunk, now used as a bench had an interesting selection of colonists on it. One of the ‘helicopter’ seeds was actually rooting in a crevice in the wood.
I had noticed that the moon was already high in the sky so I took a hopeful shot as I walked along and after a tweak in the photo editor, it came out surprisingly clearly.
When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal told me that against expectations, Scotland were leading in the rugby match. I watched until half time and then, fearful of causing them any bad luck by showing excessive expectation, I started cooking our evening meal. I received messages of amazement from all of our three children during the half time interval. Annie, our daughter, was watching the match in Berlin while attending the Berlin Film Festival.
In spite of my best intentions, I kept sneaking back in during the second half and taking a quick look. England (dropping the ball, giving away penalties and getting a man sent off) were playing like Scotland and Scotland were playing very well. It was all most unsettling.
In the end, we won. The first victory over England for ten years. Our daughter was watching the game with an England supporter in Berlin and he just couldn’t understand why she was still so worried when Scotland were 15 points up with only two minutes to go. He obviously hasn’t seen what Scotland can do when it comes to losing matches in the last minute that they should have won.
Now that I know that they are going to win, I may well sit down and watch a replay of the whole match in comfort.
All in all, it turned out to be a better day in every way than I had anticipated.
The flying bird of the day is one of the gulls at full stretch.