Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony. In the course of his work, he passed a rugby ground in the middle of Edinburgh which had some unusual visitors. It is not often that you see curlews and oystercatchers on the playing field.
We had a cool and mostly sunny day here today. It was another day that felt colder than it should have done according to the thermometer. A brisk wind may have been the reason for that. Sandy walked down for a cup of coffee and commented on how cold it was in spite of the sunshine.
We were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal and Margaret and then Sandy walked home again.
After Sandy left, I took a moment to watch the birds before rejoining Margaret and Mrs Tootlepedal. After a quiet day yesterday, it was a busy time at the feeder today.
I had another look after Margaret had gone . . .
. . . and found a siskin dropping food on the ground as they often do.
Then, since the sun was shining, I had a tour round the garden.
After my garden tour, it started to rain so I waited for a while before going round to the corner shop on my bicycle. It was cold and windy enough to persuade me to take a sheltered walk after lunch rather than trying to battle the wind on a bike ride.
Mrs Tootlepedal had arranged to drive Margaret up to see the snowdrops, so I went off by myself after they had gone.
I had hardly got out of the back door before it started to rain again. I say rain, but it was more like light hail. Fortunately, it didn’t last for more than a few minutes, and by the time that I was walking along the park wall, it had stopped.
I stopped too to admire some pixie cup lichen.
I walked fairly briskly down to Skippers Bridge, and then took the road to Glentarras without stopping to take any bridge pictures. It was a beautiful day again by this time . . .
. . . and when I came to wall beside the road up to Broomholm . . .
. . . I paused to look at items of interest (to me at least).
Just past the old railway bridge, I found the first scarlet elfcups that I have seen this year.
I walked to the top of the hill and then down the other side into the Tarras Valley. Here, I crossed the river . . .
. . . and followed the track along the far bank.
I passed the great heap of stuff that the volunteers have been removing from the wood over the past three weeks . . .
. . . and headed along the flat . . .
. . . to the path through the woods that I had had such difficulty following when I came along it in the opposite direction a week or two ago. I took a lot of pictures looking both backwards and forwards as I went to help me remember what the route looks like next time that I do it the other way.
After an enjoyable wander up through the wood, I found myself back down beside the river, and the ‘swing bridge’.
Once again, I resisted any temptation to bungee jump. I walked soberly over the bridge, and headed across the flat and up the bank on the far side.
The climb up the banking is short but steep, and currently made more complicated than it should be by fallen trees. Crawling under one tree, I came up close and personal with some fine moss.
I had my walking poles with me, which were a great help, and arrived safely at the road to the bird hide. When I got to the hide, I sat inside for a few minutes to get my breath back, look at some chaffinches and the view, and have a snack.
Clouds were coming up from the west as I left the hide . . .
. . . and the sight of another little snow/hail shower looming up over the hill lent wings to my feet as I headed for the shelter of the oak woods and the track back to town.
I made the woods before the shower arrived. It was very light and didn’t last long.
I was sorry to see that one of the old oaks has been blown down at Jenny Noble’s Gill . . .
. . . but this seemed to be the only one, and the rest of the track was in very good condition.
I was on well trodden ground by now and kept my camera in my pocket for the rest of the walk, concentrating on getting home before it got too gloomy and cold.
My route app tells me that I did seven and a quarter miles on this walk, but it was so varied and interesting that it didn’t seem as far as that. The time passed very agreeably.
The rest of the day followed a well worn path too; tea and biscuits, a family zoom, the third (and final) appearance of the slow cooked lamb stew, and a little sofa surfing in front of the telly.
The flying bird of the day is a siskin.