Today’s guest picture is a very fine portrait of a hawk. It came from Simon, my camera club friend from Canonbie. He tells me that the hawk stayed in his garden for an hour.
We have been threatened with bad weather from Storm Christoph over the next couple of days but we are right on the northern edge of the affected area, so we are hoping to get away with a glancing blow rather than getting the full blast. We certainly had rain all day today, but it never rained really heavily and it was extremely calm as far as the wind went.
After doing quite a lot of walking and indoor and outdoor cycling lately, my legs asked for a day off today, which I graciously granted. I left the bike to nowhere alone and frittered the morning away. The birds were taking a day off too, and it was so gloomy that it was hard to capture the few that came.
Even when they stood still.
We had a few siskins today and I saw three on the feeder at the same time.
The bird watching was so intermittent that I amused myself by taking pictures of the climbing hydrangea beside the window, offering signs of the past year and hopes for the future.
After lunch, we got itchy feet and put on extensive rainwear and wellies, picked up umbrellas, and went for a walk.
We started out along the riverside in the hope of seeing a dipper. We did see one at the Kirk Brig but it saw us too, and flew off before I could focus.
To tell the truth, I don’t think that it would have been a good picture even if I had got focussed. It was a very gloomy afternoon with the clouds well down.
We walked up the road past the Estate Offices and were impressed by the amount of water running off the hill.
I had emptied five inches of rain and melted snow out of Mary Jo’s rain gauge before we left for the outing, and the was plenty of evidence of water running off the fields as we went along the Baggra track….
…and plenty on the track itself as Mrs Tootlepedal picked her way along it.
Although it was a soggy day…
…the track was not as bad to walk along as it looks. It was wet but it wasn’t deep and our wellies were well up to the task. The track is always attractive in any weather in our view…
…and the clouds did begin to lift as we went along.
There is no doubt though that the theme for this part of our stroll was ‘chattering water’.
We went down to the High Mill Brig…
…and looked forward with trepidation to crossing it and walking along the short stretch of main road to the Rugby Club. It has no pavement and many large puddles. Luckily, we found a moment when there was a lull in the traffic, and the few motorists that did pass us showed extreme good manners, both slowing politely down and giving us a wide berth.
We gave them a cheery wave and I hope that they went on their way feeling that they had done a good deed in a naughty world.
When we got to the Kilngreen, the ducks made it plain to us that whatever anyone said, they did not think that it was good weather for ducks…
…seeing as it was as wet on land as it was in the water.
We went back along the river in the hope of seeing a dipper again and the sharp eyed Mrs Tootlepedal saw one in the middle of the river. I saw another one at the Kirk Brig. The one in the river was too busy dipping to let me take a good picture, and the other one flew off as soon as it saw my big red umbrella.
It was not a top day for dipper shots…
…to say the least.
Still, our umbrellas had kept us dry and a cup of tea and a slice of toast and strawberry jam was an excellent reward for a three mile walk in the rain so we were quite content.
I found some time in the day to complete putting a week of the newspaper index into the Archive Group database, so between that and the walk, I got more value out of the dreary day than I thought that I would.
We have got more rain forecast for tomorrow but the wind is not supposed to get up much so it looks as though we will be lucky with the weather.
Flying birds were a challenge! Here is a siskin, my best effort of the day.
Footnote: I think that Simon’s hawk might be a goshawk rather than a sparrowhawk but I am not an expert and would welcome guidance.