A climb and a tootle

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew. He saw some very beautiful water lilies today.

Owing to one thing and another, I have started writing this post rather late in the evening, so it will be a rushed job, with writing kept to the minimum.

Rather to our surprise, we had good weather all day today. As a result, I picked a lot of the blackcurrants on our bush, cooked them up, and strained them with a view to making some blackcurrant jelly tomorrow.

I also found time for a quick walk round the garden where a verbascum has come out to join the party.

The pigeons sent a stern union representative to talk to me about better pay rates for cleaners.

Various blackbirds appeared.

Roses continue to delight me.

Flowers are enjoying the combination of warmer weather and a bit of rain.

And the feeder is keeping busy.

After lunch, I went for a walk up Whita Hill. I chose a diagonal route rather than go directly up the face of the hill, and stopped to look at wild flowers . . .

. . . peered very closely at tiny butterflies and well disguised insects . . .

. . . enjoyed the view up the Ewes Valley . . .

. . . boldly faced down some fierce sheep who were blocking my way . . .

. . . got to the monument . . .

. . . and looked around.

I walked along to the end of the ridge and found the helpful mountain bike path to give me a route down the hill.

It took me through a little dip which was filled with bell heather (erica cinerea) . . .

. . . and on to the new timber extraction track.

I didn’t go down the hill towards the town, but went the other way.

I could hear birds singing all the time, but it took me ages to pin one down. It sat still so nicely that I took two pictures of it.

I think that this is a whinchat, though it might be a stonechat.

I followed the timber extraction track down to where it joined the track to Longwood, and then I went through the woods to Jenny Noble’s Gill, and thence down to the road and home by the Murtholm.

I popped down to the waterside at Skippers on the north side of the bridge . . .

. . . and a pair of oystercatchers flew past me. One posed on a rock below the bridge.

As I walked home, my eye was caught be some unusually red seed wings, and several healthy looking developing hazel nuts.

My walk was just under 6 miles and involved 1000 feet of climbing. As it was quite a warm day, it all took me some time, and I was ready for a cup of tea and a slice of toast when I got home.

We had a potatoes and turnips from the garden with some fish for our tea, and before long, the other three members of the recorder group turned up to play.

We had an enjoyable time working through one of the many boxes of music which we have inherited from our former leader and librarian, Roy.

As a bonus, Mrs Tootlepedal had made dropped scones, and we ate these with bramble jelly as we drank our post playing cup of tea and caught up with each other’s news.

There was a fine sunset as the players left and I have combined that with some passing birds to create an unusual flying bird of the day composition.

Published by tootlepedal

Cyclist, retired teacher, curmudgeon, keen amateur photographer.

33 thoughts on “A climb and a tootle

  1. It’s nice to see the delphiniums. I haven’t seen any here yet.
    The views were beautiful with all the cloud shadows on the hills.
    That last shot is amazing. I’ve never learned how to combine two photos into one but it certainly worked well in that shot.

    1. I like a day with sunshine and shadows. It makes the landscapes more interesting. There was no photo editing skills required for that last shot. The birds came out from their roost at exactly the right moment when I was in the garden looking at the sunset.

  2. The lighting was very cooperative today and those views are stunning, as is the stonechat portrait. Flowers and birds are always a treat. The blue in those delphiniums is intense.

    The sheep look very fierce. 🙂

    I think your hazelnuts are ahead of ours, and I will have to have a closer look at them now.

      1. Hazelnuts grow well here in Oregon and are a major tree nut crop in this part of the Pacific Northwest, along with walnuts. We like them too.

  3. I think you’re right about the Whinchat. good catch.
    Have a look at the “Surrey Birding” group on facebook, a picture of a fledgling Stonechat was posted this morning.
    Yours has the definite beginnings of a white stripe over the eye.

  4. We also have to put up with a pair of doves – messy as they mark their presence with their digestion products. and they scare off the smaller birds from the feeder. Due to the lack of rain the walnut and the red oak trees are shedding a lot of half fertile nuts and acorns.

    1. I haven’t seen any potential walnuts this year. There may be some but they are well hidden if they are there. We have had our rain just in time.

  5. Whinchat or stonechat wonderful photos and worth the time spent finding who the songster was! Post is full of really lovely photos especially the view over Ewes Valley. The flying bird composition is a perfect end to a happy post.

  6. What a great picture to capture with all the bird silhouettes and that beautifully tinted sky for background. Good eye, Mr T!

  7. Obviously, those singing bird is a juvenile by its plumage, and very difficult to decide whether it is a whinchat or stonechat. The second shot seems to show a white spot of plumage on the wings, so I am going to suggest it is a young stonechat. Great spot. Cheers.

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