Getting my goat

Today’s guest picture comes from our son Tony in East Wemyss, the sunshine capital of Scotland, He was up at half past six this morning to catch this glorious sunrise.

We had another fine and generally sunny day here, and we are enjoying the good weather while it lasts. I started the day by shifting some piles of stuff in the garage into other piles of stuff in a hopeful sort of way. As our dustbin is only emptied once a fortnight, I can’t throw away junk with quite the free hand that I would like.

My clearing up enthusiasm didn’t last long, and I was happy to be entertained by Dropscone and our neighbour Margaret who both came round to join us for coffee. We chatted for so long that it was nearly midday when I cycled to the corner shop and then took a walk round the garden.

After lunch, we went to the Co-op for more supplies, and then Mrs Tootlepedal did a little gardening while I tried to summon up enough energy to do something constructive.

To kill time, I watched the birds at a very busy feeder . . .

. . . and admired the forsythia, and spotted a lone frog in the pond.

In the end, I suggested a drive up to the moor to see if we could spot a hen harrier. Mrs Tootlepedal thought that that sounded like a good idea.

It was lovely day on the moor . . .

. . . and we did get a glimpse of a distant harrier coming over the horizon and settling invisibly on the ground.

I thought that as it was such a fine day, I should walk home, so Mrs Tootlepedal dropped me off at the end of the Middlemoss track. I made my way round the back of the hill, via Cronksbank, the bird hide and Longwood while she drove home. Before she drove off, she remarked that she thought that she could see people walking up the track towards me. She was nearly right, but it wasn’t people, it was goats.

The two goats were very surprised to meet me and left the track for the long grass, perhaps on their way to join a family grazing down beside the river.

I walked down to the ford at Perterburn, wondering if the water would be low enough for me to walk across, but after seeing it, I went through the field and crossed by the bridge.

On my way down to the ford, I was inspected by a horse, and admired a pine. On my way to the bridge, I admired another pine and spotted a loud bird in a tree.

At Cronksbank, I looked back up to the Little Tarras valley where we had seen the harrier.

I followed the road down to the Tarras Water, and then up to the bird hide, grateful to take a breather half way up the steep hill to look across to where we will be volunteering tomorrow with the TVNR removing more of the old pheasant pen, and even more grateful to have a sit in the bird hide for five minutes when I got to it.

I was surprised to spot a dunnock among the chaffinches at the hide.

. . . and a sheep was surprised to spot me as I left.

On leaving the hide, I looked back, and my phone camera agreed that it was a lovely day for a walk.

The last leg of my stroll took me through Longwood in the tracks of a forestry machine which has been helping to clear a storm damaged wood at the far end of the path. It had done much less damage than I had expected, and in the dry weather, the path was perfectly walkable.

I hadn’t really intended to do anything as strenuous as walk six miles today, but I didn’t regret it as it had been much clearer than the last few days, and it would have been a pity to have been lurking about at home.

Mrs Tootlepedal had got some useful gardening done, so we were both quite content if a little tired in the evening.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch being watched carefully by a chaffinch.

Footnote: I passed the bed of daffodils in the header picture twice today, once in the car on the way to the Co-op and once on foot near the end of my walk.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

27 thoughts on “Getting my goat

  1. Nice to see all the flowers, including the untouched by frost magnolia.
    That’s a fine looking oak tree.
    That’s quite a load of logs from the blowdowns. It’s good to see them being used rather than just left lying on the ground.

  2. It certainly looks like a beautiful day for a walk – a much better option than shifting piles from one side of the garage to the other!

  3. Once again a beautiful hike and same as here in Belgium, the weather was brilliant. Cleaning the garage can wait untill it rains πŸ˜‰ Enjoy the weekend !

  4. Tony takes some beautiful photos of the East Wemyss area.

    You had a beautiful day for a walk, and I do love the views of hills and moor. The moor looks quite expansive. The goat people were probably as surprised as you to see them. I don’t remember whether the goats you see from time to time are feral animals or a native species.

  5. Those daffodils deserved a second look- a proper host! Another lovely walk with interesting animals and views to see en route. Love the pine trees photos and also the sunrise photo from the sunshine photographer!

  6. What a beautiful day for a walk. From sheep to goats, and how nice to think about seeing a Harrier and finding one. The Dunnock is beautiful. I had to check my records to see if I have ever seen a Reed Bunting. Apparently I did once but it was so long ago I don’t remember it.

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