Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan. She came across this very elegant bench on a visit to Kenwood House in London.
After what is supposed to be the last of a long series of cold nights, we got another cold morning with added rain. However, as I write this in the evening, the temperature is as high as it has been all day (50°F, 10°C) and the era of frosty nights is finally over for a while at least. As the garden needed the rain, we are hoping that the next few slightly warmer, wetter days will see plants that have been waiting in the wings, burst on to the stage.
We got a shock when we looked out of the window after breakfast. An army of intruders was vandalising both lawns.
It was a gang of jackdaws…
…digging up the lawn to get at leather jacket grubs (we think). Whatever it was that they were eating, there were a lot of them about and the jackdaws kept busy for most of the morning.
Mrs Tootlepedal kept busy too, painting a bedroom window. I installed a new router for our internet. This was a nervous business, but everything went smoothly and we managed to connect our various appliances to the new gadget without difficulty. The new router has even made writing this blog a slightly quicker process. This is very welcome .
It rained fairly gently all morning and most of the afternoon too, so there was no cycle ride or walk and my camera only got used for looking out of the window. There were many, many birds for it to look at, and the seed in the feeder went down at an alarming rate.
Chaffinches battled over a perch as the seed reached the bottom…
…and a siskin ignored an incoming chaffinch when the feeder had been refilled.
The traffic was so heavy that two birds found themselves gripping the same perch at one point.
Goldfinches clung on to whippy willow withies in the brisk wind as they waited for their turn..
I made some potato and onion soup for lunch and while it was cooking, I went back to watching the birds again.
A male redpoll appeared on the feeder pole…
…and it looked so handsome that I took another picture of it…
..before it dropped down to join a greenfinch on the feeder.
Our smallest and largest regular visitors to the feeder made a good contrast.
By the time that I looked at the birds again after lunch, the seed had gone down again and the rain was beginning to take its toll…
…though a sparrow looked a bit more waterproof than the greenfinch.
I did some singing practice after that as we have another virtual performance with the Carlisle Choir coming up, and my voice is rusty from lack of use. I have another few days to get it in order.
The rain faded to a drizzle as the day went on, and finally gave up altogether just in time to let me get out for a three bridges walk before our evening meal.
It was still very gloomy but the cherry blossom beside the river brightened the day up…
…and the blossom itself was very fine.
Although the light was poor, bridges turned out to be good spots for seeing birds today. I saw a goosander from the Town Bridge and an oystercatcher from the Sawmill Brig…
…and in between, I passed a pair of chatty mallards on the Kilngreen.
Views were not available as the hills were covered in low cloud…
…so I concentrated on some very welcome greenery among the trees. Spring continues to arrive.
The strong winds of the morning had dropped away, and it was a treat to be out in the calm, damp, early evening, surrounded on all sides by new growth and the calls and songs of birds.
When I got to the Scholar’s Field, I was greeted by the amazing corydalis which grows out of a crack in the wall there.
The jackdaws have left our lawns in quite a state…
…especially when you consider that I scarified that lawn myself a couple of days ago. I will have to go and collect up the moss as soon as there is a dry moment tomorrow. If there is a dry moment tomorrow that is, because the forecast is a bit gloomy as far as more rain goes.
Fortunately, Mrs Tootlepedal has taken out a month’s subscription to Eurosport, so we will be able to spend any rainy afternoons watching the Giro d’Italia bike race for the next three weeks. It is inspiring to watch really good cyclists at their peak. The winner of today’s short 5 and a bit mile individual time trial completed the course in under 9 minutes! I make that well over 30 mph.
The flying bird of the day is one of the peckish jackdaws.