Today’s guest picture comes from my sister Caroline who was impressed by the power of the waves pounding the Southsea shore today.
We had a windy morning here too, and I was glad that I didn’t have to cycle any further than the butcher’s in the High Street and the corner shop on my way home.
I don’t quite know how it happened, but the morning seemed to slip out of my grasp and finish before I had done anything else of note, other than to look out of the window at a busy bird feeder. Chaffinches, siskins and goldfinches were joined by a pair of greenfinches who saw off any competition for the top two perches.
They left for a moment, and a grateful siskin and chaffinch leapt in, but they soon returned . . .
. . . and took up their favourite occupation of eating seed while looking disagreeable to discourage others.
Up above, a jackdaw cast a jaundiced eye on the proceedings.
After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal thought that it would do her good to go for a modest outing, and we settled on a trip to the garden centre at Longtown. We reckoned that a little fresh air wouldn’t do any harm, so before we went shopping, we parked in the town and went for walk along the river and then round the old gravel ponds.
There is a good path round the ponds, and although the wind was boisterous, we enjoyed our stroll.
We could see a pair of Canada geese swimming on the first pond that we came to, but while I was trying to get a good picture of them, my attention was drawn to a large flock of smaller birds grazing on the grass beside the pond.
The morning sun had gone and the light was rather poor, so I tried to sneak a little closer for a better picture, but they saw me coming and took to the air . . .
. . . flying over our heads to another of the ponds.
We continued to walk round the ponds, and stopped to look up when we heard the sound of geese. The sky was full of them.
They were getting organised for their departure to their roosting grounds, and flew around in circles until all the birds were present.
It took a bit of time . . .
. . . but gradually echelons formed and the geese began to sail away. Latecomers hurried to join them.
I think that they are probably pink footed geese, but I would be happy to be corrected.
After the geese had faded away into the distance, we resumed our walk round the ponds.
There were other things to look at beside the ducks and geese. Over the fields to our right, we could see the tower of Arthuret Church . . .
. . . and there was no shortage of lichen on the bushes beside the track . . .
We were pleased to find that the ducks that had flown away from us before, were now paddling peacefully in another of the ponds.
A look on the internet later, told me that they are widgeon, male and female. It was a pity that it had got so gloomy by this time that I couldn’t get a better picture of them.
Leaving the ponds behind us, we walked back to the car along a sandy track beside the river . . .
. . . where we able to add a goosander to the Canada geese and swans that we had seen before.
The path was lined with lichen clad trees, and we saw early shoots of wild garlic and pussy willows.
It was a pity that we had to leave the path . . .
. . . to get back to the car, but the garden centre called, and there was soil improver to be purchased as well as a new bird feeder.
There were a few drops of rain on the windscreen when we drove home, so we were pleased to have got our walk in while it was still dry.
Mrs Tootlepedal felt spiritually better for the outing, but her cold is taking its time to disappear.
Rather like the morning, the evening slipped though my fingers too, so it can counted as a very quiet day apart from the noisy geese.
The flying bird of the day is a Longtown gull, hovering over our car at the end of our walk.
Footnote: The primroses in today’s header picture were the only flowers that we saw on our walk, and I think they they were probably a garden escape.