Return of the pesky peckers

Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Susan. She may live in a big city but she can still find lovely flowers to enjoy like this Choisya close to her home.

We had another warm night and another warm day here, and another set of rain showers to go with it. The garden and the gardener are not complaining about the rain, the cyclist is more ambivalent.

Choosing the best time to go cycling between the showers was tricky but I had arranged to have coffee with Sandy and I didn’t get up early enough to out before coffee, so the morning was ruled out and I did useful shopping tasks instead.

And looked at the birds, where goldfinches and redpolls could be found on the feeder.

The redpolls were females without the showy red breasts of the males.

A siskin had to wait on a willow withy for its turn.

A shower of rain just before coffee time was unsettling, but it cleared away and I had time for a walk round the garden before Sandy came. Mrs Tootlepedal has recently laid out some money on pansies to go round the chimney pot outside the kitchen window. I think that it was money well spent.

She had also spotted the first azalea buds of the year…

…and we are keeping our fingers crossed that they don’t get destroyed by a late frost as happened last year.

I checked on the tulips and was surprised to find a hoverfly on one when I looked at the picture on my computer in the evening. I hadn’t noticed it when I took the picture.

The later tulips are lovely.

It was a busy social morning, as I not only had coffee with Sandy, but then went on to have coffee with our neighbour Margaret. It was her ninetieth birthday today and we enjoyed cake with our coffee to celebrate this auspicious occasion.

I intended to go cycling after this, but by the time that I had had another look at the birds where the siskin’s time had come…

…and the redpolls had to take their place in the queue…

…it had started to rain quite heavily. I decided to have an early lunch and take my chances afterwards.

This worked out quite well, and I got almost all the way round my usual Canonbie 20 mile circuit before another shower came along. Because of the fear of impending rain, I didn’t stop a lot for photos but I noticed the first crosswort of the year…

…and thought it worthwhile to record the fact that we are getting greener every day by taking a picture of the old main road at the Hollows…

…and a view of the River Esk from the Hollows Bridge.

Although it was raining when I arrived home, it soon stopped and Mrs Tootlepedal was able to show me exciting developments in the garden. She is intending to create a mini wild flower meadow on the drying green and to that end, she sowed yellow rattle before winter. Yellow rattle is a parasite on grass and makes ground more hospitable for wild flower seeds. She was very pleased therefore to find quite a lot of the yellow rattle sprouting.

Wild flower seeds will now be sown.

I looked around and saw more euphorbia madness…

…and other slightly damp pleasures too.

I am going to have to put my lawn tidying skills to use again as the pesky and persistent peckers returned to the task of digging up the lawns.

After a shower and a cup of tea, it looked as though it might stay dry for a bit, so I went for a short walk to see how the bluebells were enjoying the warmer, wetter weather.

Bluebells don’t like a lot of shade so it is not great news for them when the leaves are fully out on the trees. They are coming out…

…but there is obviously still enough light about to keep the bluebells happy under the trees….

…and as a bonus, I got a brief glimpse of sunshine as I walked up the bluebell path.

I passed the first flowers on the wild garlic on my way to the bluebells…

…and wood sorrel and wild strawberries on my way back.

I checked on the Noble Fir in the park and it was laden with both male and female flowers.

Many people pass this tree without looking up and never see these delights.

I got back in time for the regular Zoom with my siblings and Mrs Tootlepedal, and then a meal of fishcakes and Brussels sprouts rounded off a very enjoyable day.

The flying bird of the day is one of the jackdaws who was busy chasing off a competitor.

Footnote: very sadly we found that the baby blackbird, which I photographed on the nest yesterday, had fallen to the ground overnight and was lying dead on the concrete outside the garage this morning. Blackbirds usually bring up more than one brood each year, so we may still see new baby birds in the garden this year.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

35 thoughts on “Return of the pesky peckers

  1. What sad news about your baby blackbird. Our greylag geese had six goslings but sadly five of them didn’t survive the storm last Monday night. The Hollows road looks wonderful in its new greenery and thank you for the bluebell pictures.

  2. Your bird photographs are wonderful to see. It is always sad to see a fledgling that has not survived, especially when one has actually made eye contact with it. You and Mrs T have a lovely garden with all sorts of interesting flowers at this time of the year.

  3. So sad to read about the blackbird youngsters…. I loved the trail through the bluebells.
    Lots of succes with the wild flowers in your garden šŸ™‚

  4. Wish Margaret a Happy Birthday for her 90th, from us here in South Wales, Though we have many large patches of bluebells visible from the roads we have to go off road to see such carpets of them as seen in your shots. Physio for me today, while the builders are yet again on stop waiting for timber supplies. It’s sunny now but rain is forecast for the rest of the day.

  5. The bluebells were beautiful to see, and so was all the greenery.
    I’m sure there must be lots of baby birds falling from nests but we don’t see usually see it in our yards.
    90 years is a good long life. Happy birthday to Margaret!

    1. She is looking pretty well in spite of her great age!
      The blackbirds were visiting the nest again today so maybe there is another young bird in there.

  6. Beautiful photos today. Sorry about the baby blackbird. As for the Jackdaws, I’m sure they think they are providing a service by harvesting all the grubs out of your lawn.

  7. I am sad to hear the baby blackbird died. I hope the parents will raise another brood. On a lighter note, the spring photos are lovely. It does seem that your area is still a bit cooler than here. I enjoyed seeing all the birds, too, and especially like the siskin portrait with the soft background.

    1. The siskins go well with the colour of the willows. It has not got hot at all even though it has stopped freezing. We are not complaining though as it is about right for the time of year now.

  8. Bluebells and sunshine in a pretty glade- lovely spring photos. Pansies always make me smile- gardens need pansies to cheer everyone up- not that you needed cheering up when there was cake to enjoy at the Birthday Garden Party. Happy Birthday Margaret!

  9. Your yellow rattle sounds really intriguing. I shall have to look it up perhaps to help along the wildflowers we try planting. I’ve learned that I need to be cautious about introducing non-natives though. Many have a tendency to take over given the right (or actually wrong) circumstances,

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