Today’s guest post comes from our son Tony. He wants to point out that regardless of any passing storms, the sun was still shining in East Wemyss yesterday.
We didn’t have any sign of sunshine here today, but it was a little bit warmer than it has been, and although it was very grey, it wasn’t actually raining.
I didn’t have a very active start to the day to say the least, and it was nearly time for coffee when I took my first look out of the window. A disgruntled goldfinch was wondering why I hadn’t filled the feeder.
A chaffinch landed with a merry cry to join a couple of siskins.
After coffee with Margaret and Mrs Tootlepedal, I did fill the feeder and this brought in quite a lot of goldfinches and siskins.
I was so busy photographing them that I completely failed to notice an unusual visitor on the bottom perch. It was only when I looked at the pictures in the evening on the computer that I saw that it was a brambling, the second one we’ve seen this year.
It soon disappeared and was replaced by a busy mob of chaffinches, siskins and goldfinches.
They were joined at one stage by another unusual visitor, which again I only registered when I looked at the photographs on the computer.
It’s rather blurred, but the little bird in the bottom right corner is definitely a redpoll, the first of the year. I was just complaining a day or two ago to a correspondent that I was still waiting to see bramblings and redpolls, and they arrived together today.
I went out into the garden to dig up a couple of small leeks, and made some leek and potato soup for lunch. Soup always tastes better when you are eating your own home grown vegetables.
It was still very grey after lunch, and the forecast was talking of 25 mph gusts of wind, and possible light rain. On the other hand, it didn’t look too bad in real life, so I went out for a cycle ride round the Solwaybank windfarm.
I was an object of interest to cows as I went past them. They stood in pairs . . .
. . . though not always the same distance apart.
There was not much evidence of the windfarm when I first saw it, as it had its head in the clouds.
The day was still gloomy when I stopped for a breather after ten miles . . .
. . . but there was a welcome patch of colour beside the road.
A mile further on, I came across colour of a different sort.
Once I had turned for home, I got a generous helping hand from a strong wind. I had to apply the brakes when I came across a farmer clearing up fallen trees. I walked carefully past his tractor and looked back when I had done so.
I soon got going again, and enjoyed an uninterrupted pedal for the rest of my way home.
A composite tree caught my eye at Barnglieshead . . .
. . . and some very bright lights at the Kerr wood made me stop for a look. They were on a machine cutting up timber. I couldn’t decide whether there has been more felling, or whether it was just cleaning up the timber felled by the storms.
I didn’t take me long to do the last four miles home, as they were downhill and downwind, and I got home in nice time to join Mrs Tootlepedal and our friend Mike Tinker who had dropped in for a cup of tea.
I found a moment to squeeze a few entries from the newspaper index into the Archive Group database but I still have a big pile to do.
After zooming down the road on my bike, I spent a lot of the evening ‘Zooming’ on my computer. First we had our regular zoom with my sisters (my brother was at the pictures), and then after a quick evening meal, we had another Zoom with Abi, a student from Edinburgh University whom I had met on a very wet walk on the moor last year. Abi is doing research on the community buy out as part of her degree. She had a host of interesting questions to ask us both about the past and the future. We hope to see her at one of our volunteering sessions before too long.
I have a lot of sympathy for people who have to do Zooming as part of their job. It is hard work.
In spite of the excitement at seeing a brambling and a redpoll, the flying bird of the day is yet another chaffinch.
Footnote: The title of the post refers to the Year of the Tiger which started yesterday. I was expecting to be bitten by bad weather, but it was a friendly day after all.