A change in the weather

Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Ada who was walking along the road to Newcastelton when she saw a very unusual bird at rest on the Langholm moor.  It was there as part of the works on maintaining our pylons.

helicopter at pylon

Our run of grey but dry days under a ridge of high pressure came to an end today as low pressure swept in, and we got a grey but very wet morning instead.

Luckily I was in church singing in the choir while the worst of the rain was on, but unluckily by the time that the sun came out in the afternoon, we were on our way to Carlisle to sing with our Carlisle choir so we couldn’t make much use of it.

Mrs Tootlepedal did get a moment or two to do some gardening after the rain stopped but it was still pretty wet…

drops on the line

…though we were very excited by this.

first daffodil bud

The changeable weather is forecast to bring frost tonight so we may have to wait a bit more until the flower opens.

I didn’t take part in the Great Garden Birdwatch this year as there are too few birds about to make spending an hour looking at not much at all a very attractive use of time.  I know that an absence of birds might as interesting to researchers as a lot of different species but it is not interesting to the onlooker.

After I had made my my mind up not to take part, a few birds appeared just to annoy me.

I haven’t seen a blackbird for a few days but today…

male blackbird

…I saw two…

female blackbird

…and the robin arrived as well.

robin

After another very slow start, a few birds began to trickle down to the feeder around the middle of the day. It was siskin time, with first these two….

two siskins

…and then two more…

four siskins

… and finally a competition for perches.

five siskins

A lone chaffinch tried to get into the action but the siskins were having none of that.

chaffinch warned off by siskin

Mrs Tootlepedal’s fake tree is very good value and I often see birds waiting to come to the feeder taking advantage of its nailed on branches.

siskin on fake tree

After lunch, we went off to Carlisle and had a most enjoyable sing with our choir.  Ellen, our musical director, is mixing up new songs to be learned with putting a bit of polish on more familiar tunes so we are getting a good mixture.

Ellen was telling me that she had to wait for two and a half hours in the emergency lane of a busy motorway last week until the breakdown man arrived to help her after a tyre blowout.  As anyone who has had to use the emergency lane of a motorway will know, this is not a happy experience, so we were pleased that she had managed to get down safely this week.

As an iced bun fell into my shopping bag when we stopped for supplies on the way home, a day which had started out looking very miserable, finished pretty well.  Especially as there were three other iced buns in the same packet.

A female siskin appears as the flying bird of the day.

flying siskin

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

23 thoughts on “A change in the weather

  1. I didn’t do the Great Garden Birdwatch this year, but then I never do, as I do the BTO’s weekly one (you don’t have to do as much as an hour, or anything like), and fear double-counting. That’s my excuse anyway.

  2. I’m glad your birds showed up after all. Mine are noticeably skittish this winter, especially on gray days. And then I look out later and the feeders are empty. Really like the siskin portrait on the “fake” branch.

  3. Thought you might like to know I got a pine siskin to snatch some seeds from my hand. They all seem to be going crazy fighting over perches on the feeder in the middle of some serious rain and strong wind gusts. I stood out there with my hand up and sure enough had several land on my hand (one at a time). One even landed on my head (more precisely the hood of my rain jacket). Then, when the sunflower seed feeder went empty, I managed to get a couple of chickadees to snatch some seeds from my hand. I’m also noticing that an occasional siskin seems to be getting some extra bright yellow plumage. Perhaps an approach to courting season.

      1. Thanks. I would have liked to have a picture of the siskin on my head, but Eric was busy. I didn’t even get to see it. Just felt it. That was enough.

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