Strictly for the birds

Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s sunny visit to Hestercombe Gardens near Taunton.

Our day here started with some sunshine, and even though a sharp shower intruded, it was only a brief interlude, and I was able to cycle up to the town to pay my account at the newsagent and collect some supplies from the corner shop on my way home.

Additional sunshine in my life was provided by Mrs Tootlepedal. She felt well enough to come downstairs and do some of the tasks that had been neglected by the assistant housekeeper during her indisposition.

I watched the goldfinches and siskins enjoying the sun.

Although there were mostly siskins and goldfinches again, a few chaffinches got a look in as the morning went on.

An hour later, after coffee, a greenfinch had appeared . . .

. . . and the sun had gone in.

The cloudy weather seemed to encourage bad temper among the birds.

. . . and strange things were going on behind the feeder.

A redpoll, unable to find a free perch, looked on from the safety of a branch on the plum tree.

I found a moment to visit the garden and sieve another barrowful of compost from Bin D, but that ended my excursions out of the back door for the rest of the day. The weather got steadily worse, and I spent time putting another week of the newspaper index into the Langholm Archive Group database. I have made a dent in the backlog piled up by my computer, but there is plenty still to do. I was interested to note among today’s entries that at a meeting, the District Committee of the County Council had discussed vaccinating half a parish. This was against smallpox. People who think that vaccines don’t work should consult their chances of catching smallpox these days.

After lunch, I had another look at the birds. I found that the rain had encouraged more regrettable behaviour, and birds were flying in all directions shouting at each other.

The traffic had increased too, so I filled my second feeder and hung it out to ease the queues. There was enough traffic to keep both feeders busy . . .

. . . and by the end of the day, there was not a lot of seed left.

Although the rain continued to pour down, I did contemplate putting on my waterproof coat and boots and going for a walk, but I didn’t get further than contemplation. No action actually ensued.

Instead, it seemed like a good time to make some biscuits. Our newspaper has a food supplement at the weekend, and this week’s offering contained an article on the ideal oatmeal biscuit. This was a challenge, so I made the biscuits which you can see in today’s header picture.

Readers who know that supermarket biscuits encourage you to eat too much, will not be surprised to find that the results were much less sweet than the biscuits that I had made following the recipe from the packet of supermarket oatmeal biscuits, and they had a lot more oatmeal and less ordinary flour. Whether they are ideal or not is an open question, but I don’t think that there will be much difficulty in emptying the biscuit tin.

As I also cooked a large pan of mince for our evening meal, the afternoon was pretty well taken up with cooking. By the time that the rain had stopped and a pigeon had ventured out for a strut on our lawn . .

. . . it was too late for me to go for a walk before the sibling Zoom and the evening meal.

As I have been for a walk or a cycle ride every day this month so far, it was probably quite a good idea to have a break. My knees certainly thought so.

We are hoping that Mrs Tootlepedal will be even better tomorrow than she was today. The weather should be better and that might help.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

29 thoughts on “Strictly for the birds

    1. The birds are certainly tucking in heartily at the moment. There are as many or more on the ground under the feeder picking up fallen seed as there are up above.

  1. Hooray for Mrs T! So pleased she has taken a step or two down Recovery Rd. Also a hearty A-men! to your smallpox comment. Mince and taties for tea? Cant beat it!

  2. I’m glad to hear the good news about Mrs. T. May she continue to improve.
    I thought you had a butterfly visit the bird feeder but a closer look showed it to be the tail of a bird. Since I don’t do colors well I can’t tell you what it is, but there is another bird flying upside down just below it. These birds are very acrobatic.
    The biscuits look great and because of that I’m happy that I don’t have any here.

    1. The camera does freeze a lot of very athletic flying which goes by in a f;ash when you are just looking at it. Photographing the birds has made me see them in a very different and much more individual way.

  3. Yes, when I made ‘Tom’s raisin and oat biscuits’ I did find them rather sweet and had decided to reduce the sugar next time. And I was also wondering about the balance of flour and oatmeal, so am glad to read your comment on the subject here.

  4. Glad Mrs. Tootlepedal is feeling better! I really enjoyed seeing all the fluttering birds at your feeder. As for biscuits… homemade over store bought any time.

  5. Those birds are a contentious lot. I can’t blame the redpoll for keeping a safe distance.

    Your homemade cookies, as we call them, look very good, and I am sure are much better for you than the commercial ones.

    Your weather is a lot like ours at the moment.

  6. The biscuits look delicious, the birds flying about in all directions are very well captured in your photographs. So glad Mrs T is on the mend at last.

  7. The redpoll looked very sweet, and the biscuits were a great success.
    Hope Mrs Tootlepedal continues to feel much better.

  8. Love the redpoll photo- he looks very aloof! Such a lot of seed being eaten in a day your seed supplier will be rubbing their hands together…ka-ching! Good news that Mrs T is feeling better.

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