Thin singing

Today’s guest picture comes from my Welsh correspondent, Keiron. He parked his bike on a smart new bridge over the River Neath at Cwmgwrach.

We had a dry but grey morning, and as Mrs Tootlepedal is not throwing her persistent cold off, we had a very quiet morning in. Outside though, the birds were going mad for a minute. I do mean a minute. I took the twelve pictures in the gallery below between 9.48 and 9.49 It was a remarkable sight. The customers are almost all siskins and goldfinches but the sharp eyed reader may spot a couple of greenfinches too. (Click on the gallery for the bigger picture if you wish.)

Considering the recent increase in sunflower heart prices, it was lucky that this invasion didn’t continue for too long.

I found a moment to sieve a little more compost, and checked on the frogs in the pond. Things were quiet there, with only one frog showing above water. Once again, the two pictures show what a difference moving the camera makes, as they are both of the same frog at the same time.

Leaving Mrs Tootlepedal to rest after a cup of coffee and a Garibaldi biscuit, I went out for a quick walk round Potholm.

The oystercatchers were in their usual position, but I gave them the go by today and took pictures of the early blossom beside the river instead.

It wasn’t a day for seeing waterside birds at the Kilngreen, as there were people feeding the ducks and dogs playing in the river. I looked at the crocuses instead. I am not a crocus expert, but it seems to me that over the years, the many varied flowers are gradually reverting to white as time goes by. This may be just my imagination though.

I headed up the Lodge Walks without stopping, and only paused to take in the view when I got to the North Lodge. The light was curious . . .

. . . probably because the sun was trying to come out. It had a go, but it didn’t last and soon it was shining on a distant hill and I was back under a cloud.

The Langfauld track used to be wooded on both sides, but a combination of timber harvesting and Storm Arwen have left it looking very different now.

There are enough trees left for me to have a continuous accompaniment of bird song on my walk today.

I could hear a bird singing as I crossed the Potholm Bridge, and when I peered over the bridge, I could just make out a yellow blob beside the river. It was a grey wagtail. Unfortunately, my little Lumix couldn’t really tell the difference between it and the rocks it was standing on, so I couldn’t get a good picture.

It was a battle into a brisk wind as I walked along the Milnholm road, and I kept my head down and pressed on for the most part. I did look up to take in the river . . .

. . . and the little door in the wall at the end of the road.

Because I wasn’t concerned about taking pictures of lichen, I kept up a good speed and got home in plenty of time to appreciate our neighbour’s flowering currants and our pulmonaria . . .

. . . before I went in for a late lunch.

I had time to take a cup of tea up to Mrs Tootlepedal before I set off to Carlisle to sing with the Carlisle Community Choir. We had a different conductor again today, and while it is good to get a new view of how we should be singing, it is a bit frustrating that she naturally didn’t know exactly what we had already done and what was needed. As it happened, there was a poor turnout anyway, probably because two members of the choir who were at last week’s rehearsal contracted Covid shortly afterwards, so people might have been understandably nervous. I took a lateral flow test before going. The tenor section was very thin.

I enjoyed the singing in spite of the thinness, and I made some cauliflower cheese for our evening meal when I got back.

The flying birds of the day are two of the morning whirlwind of siskins, a male and a female.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

28 thoughts on “Thin singing

    1. The timber harvesters have their hands full of fallen trees. I don’t know how many they will be able to harvest and how many will just be left to rot. The door lost its purpose many years ago.

  1. The wee door in the wall is quite wonderful! Although New Hampshire is right about its apparent disuse, it’s a door that makes me want to pass through and explore the other side of the wall.

  2. I enjoyed the selection of photos, especially the views again. As for the blown down trees, a tree farmer friend one told me that to take a particular species of tree, the mill must be set up for that kind of wood. It somewhat restricts what the tree farmer can grow. I do hope someone can make use of the wood, though.

    Wishing Mrs. T. a speedy recovery.

    1. There is just so much fallen timber that it will take a long time to clear what can be cleared. The softwood trees need to be cleared first if they are to have any commercial value. The hardwoods have a longer fallen life.

  3. My goodness what a gallery of birds you posted, quite a sight it must have been. Loved the blossom too. Lots of sympathy for Mrs T, her cold sounds more tiresome than mild Covid..

  4. We have to thank Mr P. in Moscow for the shortage of sunflower seeds, as they are mostly grown in Ukrain. That door in the wall is intriguing: where does it lead to?

    1. If was all up to Mr P I would complain that the prices have gone up well before any shortage. I think transport costs and Brexit may have something to do with it. I am sure Ukraine’s tragedy will have a big effect though.

  5. Lovely blackthorn blossom…hope I’m right…one of the earliest and prettiest blossoms. No wonder you had to buy more seed- that’s an amazing amount of hungry birds. The frog looks happy!

  6. Your local bird customers must be building up their reserves in readiness for the busy nest making/breeding season ahead of them. Quite a sight.
    That shot of the crocuses is superb,lovely colours.
    Hope Mrs T recovers soon, and you can get out on the bike again.

  7. The new feeder is a great success. You have captured a great selection of pictures there in such a brief time. I am also finding that the finches are paying very short visits, they seem to spook very easily.

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