Another eponymous day

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Mary.  She felt that the size and quality of bridges on the blog needed moving up a notch or two.  She was boating on the Thames recently and thought that this one would do the trick.

Tower Bridge

Having said in a recent post that there were few blackbirds in the garden, the blackbird community set out to prove me wrong.  There were several blackbirds in the garden today and this one made sure that I didn’t overlook the fact.

blackbird close up

It was dry and cool and exceedingly gloomy when we got up so that it almost felt as though it was still night time as we ate our breakfast.

In an attempt to lighten the gloom, I checked to see if Sandy was up for a cup of coffee in spite of his bad back.  He was and although he was, like the weather, a bit gloomy when he arrived, which anyone who has suffered from a bad back can well understand, coffee and conversation with the Tootlepedals perked him up a lot and he was smiling cheerfully as he left.

We then addressed ourselves to Christmas matters by addressing a good number of Christmas cards and while Mrs Tootlepedal was finishing the job, I made some leek and potato soup for lunch.

While the soup was cooking, I checked on the birds.  The light had improved enough for me to be able to a picture or two.

A siskin and a goldfinch had spotted something interesting over there.

siskin and goldfinch looking

A male and female chaffinch exercised their wings.

greenfinch and chaffinch wings

Flying chaffinches were to be seen coming from above….

high flying chaffinch

…the middle…

middle flying chaffinch

…and below.

low flying chaffinch

An unsuccessful fly through by a sparrowhawk put paid to any more bird watching and I went and had the soup.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I discussed a walk but I felt that my legs were in need of a cycle ride and in the end, we both went out on our bikes but individually and separately.

I settled for some boring miles up and down to Callister and Mrs Tootlepedal chose a more interesting five mile route round Potholm.

The sun was out as I started the ride and things looked quite good as I passed a favourite tree near Bigholms.

bigholms tree

When I looked at the wall beside the road, there was even a touch of spring about.

sring in the air

However, by the time that I got to the top of Callister, the blue sky was retreating and clouds were coming up from the south…

callister as evening falls

…and the light was fading again.

callister tree

I wanted to get twenty miles in before the light faded entirely so I scurried back down the hill to Langholm and then came back up the road for a couple of miles to make up the distance.

The sun was almost gone as I turned…

blochburn sky

…and a light sprinkling of rain added wings to my heels for the last two miles home.

We had a second helping of Mrs Tootlepedal’s fish pie for our tea and then, having had my pedal, it was time for a tootle as the other members of the recorder group arrived for the last play of 2019.  Mrs Tootlepedal left us to it and went off to watch a screening of the Nutcracker Suite at the Buccleuch Centre.

We had a most enjoyable tootle and we are already looking forward to the fist tootle of 2020.  Jenny and Sue who have a 20 mile drive to get home may not be enjoying that so much as it was quite foggy on their way here tonight.  During the day I was on the phone to my brother and he told me that the temperature in Derby hadn’t got above two degrees all day because of winter fog, so we were lucky here.

In spite of the layers of flying chaffinches, a goldfinch is the flying bird of the day because I like its ‘Look mum, no hands!’ attitude.

flying goldfinch no arms

 

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

19 thoughts on “Another eponymous day

  1. It looks like a beautiful day for a ride there. It has been grey and cold over here all day.

    The trees at this time of year have as much personality as the birds at the feeder. I particularly liked the blackbird closeup.

  2. It was only recently I discovered their is a winter migrant population of blackbirds in the UK, I just assumed I was seeing a lot more because they had no leaves to hide behind in the winter!

    1. I discovered that a year or so back. The migrant blackbirds tend to have black beaks I think. What was also a surprise was some research by Chris Packham on his mother’s blackbirds when they discovered that the blackbirds in her garden were often different ones, not just the same ones every day.

  3. Great photo by your sister- they do things big in London- not necessarily better but definitely bigger! Love the trees in the sunset and the blackbird portrait photos.

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