For the guest picture on a very dull day, I have turned once again to our son Tony and a sunny day in East Wemyss to cheer us up. This was taken a day or two ago.
Sadly, Tony himself is not so cheerful. He and Marianne were due to come here tomorrow to see Annie and Evie and stay the night with us, but he has contracted a bad throat infection and they have had to stay at home.
It was not the sort of day here today that you want when you have visitors in the house. It only produced about a quarter of an inch of rain according to our local weather station, but it spread it out across most of the day. All the same, we managed to make an expedition to the Buccleuch Centre for morning coffee for us and an early lunch for Evie. I took a circuitous route, doing some shopping in the town on the way.
It was raining when we walked home, but Evie was well dressed for the conditions and did not require to tucked up in her pushchair.
While I was in the centre, I had some conversation with a local choir friend about the lack of garden birds. He has taken down his feeder because there have been so few birds about that the bird food was being wasted. I told him that we were seeing very few birds in our garden too, so it was perhaps inevitable that when I got home, the traffic at the feeder was so heavy that I had to refill the feeder in the afternoon, having filled it after breakfast.
While not quite up to winters past, there were often twenty to thirty birds about.
I had told Eric that we weren’t seeing any greenfinches, so naturally a couple of them turned up today as well.
They are never the most cheery looking birds.
There was enough traffic to keep me looking out of the window for a while, and to create a bit of competition at the feeder.
A siskin tried to see off a chaffinch . . .
. . . but on this occasion, the chaffinch had the stronger shout and blew the siskin away.
There was a call to go to the corner shop for supplies in the afternoon, so once again I combined the shopping trip with a short, wet walk to stretch my legs.
It was gloomy when I set off through the park . . .
. . . and it was gloomy on my way down to Skippers Bridge along the Murtholm . . .
. . . and gloomy as I crossed the bridge itself. . .
. . . and even gloomier on the way back to town by the riverside path.
My walk was brightened by spotting a dipper on the opposite bank of the river, too far away for a good shot on a grey day . . .
. . . but close enough to see its underwater eyelids . . .
. . . and it still had white eyes when it looked across at me and I saw its light brown breast.
I crossed the suspension bridge and found a black backed gull and an oystercatcher much closer to hand as I walked along to the shop.
A cup of tea and a fig roll were very welcome when I got home and out of the rain.
The weather might be a bit better tomorrow, so I hope that we can go put for a walk with Evie and Annie. Evie has been very good at being entertained in the house, but a little excursion would be better.
The flying birds of the day are several chaffinches to celebrate the improved number of avian visitors today.