Not out

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. Like my sister Mary in London, he enjoyed a good sunset in Derby yesterday evening (with added water).

We didn’t enjoy anything very much here today. It was cloud right down to the ground all day from morning until night. After breakfast, Mrs Tootlepedal did manage a walk in light rain and I visited John’s shop for basic necessities, but that was the limit of our excursions.

Even today’s header picture had to come from elsewhere so limited were my photo opportunities. It shows that the sun doesn’t always shine in East Wemyss. Our son Tony was driven to sit by a really good fire and watch a film in the face of persistent rain there today.

I did look out of the window to see if any birds were battling through the rain. A chaffinch made it…

…and I saw a goldfinch complaining about the weather to a friend.

Generally, goldfinches always seem to be more affected by rain than chaffinches.

As it turned out though, the rain was the least of their worries.

On its second visit of the morning to the garden, a sparrowhawk picked one of the goldfinches off the feeder, and then stood on our lawn to eat its meal…

…giving me a hard stare when it caught sight of the camera.

It is sad to see a little bird meets its end like this, but it would be equally sad if there were no sparrowhawks about, so a balance must be struck.

Of course, this did mean that there was a pretty quiet time at the feeder for a while, and only a very cautious blue tit was to be seen.

After lunch, I did think of putting on my total wet weather gear and going for a walk, but the rain seemed to get harder the more I thought about it, so I settled for entering some of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database instead.

I followed that by attending the final virtual Carlisle Community Choir practice of the year. This proved once again how much better my voice sounds when there are another eighty singers drowning it out. All the same, these Zoom meetings have kept the choir going, so they have been worthwhile.

The choir was followed by a more satisfactory Zoom meeting with our son Alistair, his wife Clare and their daughter Matilda. They were all remarkably cheerful under the present very trying covid and political circumstances. Matilda has been able to restart her swimming lessons again after a long gap and has taken to them like a duck to water.

Mrs Tootlepedal conjured up some tasty ham rissoles for our tea, so at least we ate well on a very dull day.

There was one chance to get a flying bird of the day after the hawk came and I took it.

I hope for a more photographically productive day tomorrow.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

21 thoughts on “Not out

  1. Sparrow hawks have to eat but it’s a shame they have to do it in backyards.
    We’ve had a weekend of thick ground fog. There’s nothing like being out in a steady drizzle.
    I had to look up ham rissoles. They sound tasty and a good way to use up leftovers.

  2. I have the same problems with Cooper’s Hawks and cats. That’s Nature at work. 🙂

  3. The sparrow hawk must eat, though I agree it is hard to see one of your feeder crew lost. I think it was Annie Dillard who said Nature is red in both tooth and claw.

  4. Good news that the swimming lessons have restarted. The virus has blighted everyone’s year but the harm to the children has yet to be established. Let’s hope that even though these are harsh days everyone makes their festive season a special one…even if it is raining and the sparrow hawk has its Christmas lunch before everyone else!

  5. In was just appreciating the lovely goldfinches when I got to the sparrowhawk bit. Still we have to accept nature’s ways and we can’t expect the hawks just to eat the vermin. Great photos

  6. Oh, I was going to mention on a later post, could your coffee hour neighbor have coffee with Mrs T and you over zoom when it is so rainy? I admire you getting enough photos for a blog even during such rainy weather.

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