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Posts Tagged ‘coal tit’

Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s visit to Wirksworth.  As well as the train to the museum, there was another connection to Derby and Sheffield by the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway.

Wirksworth

We had been expecting a very rainy day today but it was surprisingly dry if rather chilly when we got up.

The day continued dry and got quite warm and although the sun was mostly absent and a few individual drops of rain fell from time to time, it ranks as one of the better days of the summer.  It would have been a great day for a good long pedal but I had been so adjusted to the possibility of rain and a day indoors that it took me ages to realise that I should be outside.

In the end, I had a look round the garden.

A lot of the dahlias are very spiky this year.

dahlias

The poppies are not.

poppies with no pollen

Many poppies had been visited by bees and abandoned.

poppies with bees

And bees were flying around looking for fresh pollen

Occasionally a poppy was to be found with pollen but no bees.  This was my favourite.

poppy

There were butterflies to be seen too.  We have two buddleias and both were in the butterfly business today.

peacock butterfly

Red Admiral butterfly

I did get my act together in the end and after coffee, I went off down to Canonbie on my customary 20 mile route.  There was only a light wind today and my legs felt quite cheerful so I applied myself to bicycling and only stopped for one cow…

horn cow

…which was too busy chewing to pose for a proper picture.

I got back at a good speed and had a quick look for butterflies on the Michaelmas daises….

bee on Michaelmas daisy

…but there was only a bee

I noticed that the Virginia creeper has some little flowers…

fox and cubs virginia creeper

…and the cubs have come to join the fox in the orange hawkweed.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hosting a committee meeting of her Embroiderers’ Guild group in the afternoon so after a quick lunch and a shower, I packed myself and my new lens into the car and went up to the Laverock Hide at the Moorland Project bird feeders to see what I could see, although the day had got a bit gloomy by this time.

The first thing that I saw was two other other enthusiasts already ensconced in the hide with big lenses at the ready.  I filled an empty feeder and sat down beside them as they clicked away furiously.

There were a lot of small birds to see…

chaffinch

Chaffinch

Great tit

Great tit

Siskin

Siskin

Coal tit

Coal tit

Blue tit

Blue tit

…and some bigger ones too.

Greenfinches

Greenfinches looking as fierce as ever

pheasant

A pheasant not in full feather yet

woodpecker

And a greater spotted woodpecker

The other two bird watchers had left before the woodpeckers came so I sat quietly and enjoyed three woodpeckers chasing each other about the trees.

I had thought of a walk while I was up there but a spell of very light rain for a while persuaded me that a cup of tea at home would be the best thing.

It had got quite warm enough by this time to make it feel quite like summer so Mrs Tootlepedal and I went out into the garden.  She did some heavy tidying up and mulching while I sieved some compost and trimmed one more of the box balls…and admired the combination of crocosmia, cornflower and poppies which the gardener had planned and which has finally arrived.  The camera can’t do it justice.

poppies, crocosmia and cornflower

I’ll try again if we get some sunshine.

I had a look for late butterflies or bees on the daisies again but there were none to be seen. The daisies were quite attractive in their own right though.

Michaelmas Daisies

I have pulled a muscle (even though I didn’t know that I had any) in my left arm and that combined with a nagging back is making me feel my age a bit at the moment so I went in and had a sit down before my flute pupil Luke came.

He tells me that he has passed his Higher music exam which involved  playing two instruments  and written work.  He didn’t get any help from me with his exam pieces so I can’t take any credit for this. He just worked very hard with his grandad and the teachers at the school.  I am very proud of him.

I tried very hard to get a flying bird this afternoon but the light wasn’t good enough so a head and shoulders of a woodpecker will have to do instead.

greater spotted woodpecker

 

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Today’s guest picture of helmet hair was sent to me by my Maine correspondent.  She had been for a 13 mile cycle ride and tells me that she, Laurie is in the picture  with her husband Clif . They live in Winthrop, Maine, and that picture was taken at Norcross Point, which is by Maranacook Lake in Winthrop.

Helmet heads

There was  no chance of me getting a helmet hair shot today as I woke up with a very bad back and struggled to walk let alone cycle.   I have had long standing back problems but today’s trouble was a nasty surprise as I have been quite pain free and flexible for some time.  It was probably caused by something as simple as sitting in an unaccustomed chair and will soon go away with careful use.  Still, it wasted a genuinely warm and sunny day which was a pity.

poppies

I staggered out into the garden after breakfast just to record the sunshine.

I really liked this crumpled paper poppy with a bee flying in.

poppies

That completed my activity for the morning.

The other surprise of the day was a triumph of good service.

A few days ago I decided to take advantage of a part exchange offer from WEX, a photographic supplier.  I sent off the details of the the lens I wanted to exchange and got a very good offer which I accepted. The firm sent me prepaid labels and I posted off my lens on the understanding that they might well alter their offer when they had examined the lens closely.

I thought that the offer was a bit too good to be true and wondered whether my description of the lens as ‘lightly used’ might be a bit optimistic.  The firm rang me and told me that their examiner had indeed downgraded my view of the state of the lens by a grade and naturally, I feared the worst.  Would the offer be halved?  It had seemed too good to be true.  I held my breath.

The price will have to be reduced they said.  Then they told me by how much and I breathed out.  Since the reduction was only about 8% of the total this was but a trifle and I accepted the new valuation with alacrity.

When I rang up the sales team half an hour later, my trade in was safely credited to my account and I was able to purchase not only the new lens that I wanted but a new photo printer to go with it.

This was yesterday.  The printer and the lens arrived today! I don’t believe that I have ever received such prompt, fair and reliable service.

To add to my happiness, the printer was soon set up and worked well.

As far as the lens went, Mrs Tootlepedal drove me up to the Moorland Feeders and I pointed it at some birds.  It is early days but it looks quite promising to me.  Here is a selection of the results.

blue titcoal titcoal titgreat titblue tittree creeperwoodpeckerwoodpeckergreefinchchaffinch

For the technically minded, the new lens is a Sigma 150-600mm and it should let me improve the quality of my bird pictures when I have mastered it.

On our way home, Mrs Tootlepedal first stopped to buy a battery for a humane cat scarer which she recently purchased as she is fed up with cats making a mess of her flower and vegetable beds and then stopped again at the Kilngreen.

I was hoping for a flying gull to test the new lens but instead I found Mr Grumpy sitting down, a most unusual sight indeed.

Heron

Perhaps he had a bad back too.

When  we got home, my back was eased enough to let me mow the middle and front lawns although my mower pushing style was a bit inelegant.

Then I took a picture or two.

Cat scarer

The cat scarer in position. It works with ultrasonic noise.

The handbook says darkly that it doesn’t work at all on deaf cats….or white cats…or very old cats…or perhaps any cats.  They offer no guarantees.  We shall see.

Mrs Tootlepedal was hanging the onions up to dry in the greenhouse.

onions

The last of the rambler roses.

rambler rose

Then I went in and sat down for the rest of the day.

There have been quite enough birds already in the post so no flying bird of the day in any shape or form.

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Today’s guest picture comes from our older son Tony.  He thought he saw a Mad March Hare when he was out walking his dogs this morning.  When he looked again, he realised that he had been stumped.

Hare stump

We had another springlike day today and once again, I was rather regretful because my fairly speedy bike was still at the bike menders.

Still, I cheered myself up by making some dropped scones and then entertaining both Dropscone and Sandy to coffee and scones. The scones weren’t as professional as Dropscone’s scones would have been but they were voted, “No too bad,” so that was praise indeed.

Our neighbour Hector, is going to build a fence between our properties as the present hedge requires a lot of clipping.  He is a hard worker and set about removing the hedge first thing in the morning and he was finished in no time at all.

No hedge

Mrs Tootlepedal was not unhappy to see the hedge go as it had a lot of holly in it and was very hard to handle.  I was a bit sorry because it means less places for birds to lurk before visiting the feeder but Mrs Tootlepedal tells me that she will grow all sorts of good things against the new fence.

With all this activity, there weren’t many birds at all in the garden in the morning and this coal tit was the only one that I caught on camera.

Coal Tit

At midday, I got out the slow bike and set out on a 15 mile circular ride down to Canonbie and back with photographic stops in mind.

I had hardly left the town when I made my first stop for a shy tree peeping over a hill.

Harry's hounds field

I took a few more before I got to Canonbie but they didn’t come out well so the next one shows my route home up the Esk valley taken from the road down to The Hollows.

View of Esk valley from Hollows

I usually use the old A7 rather than the main road to get home and  my next picture literally shows the end of the road.

Old A7

Luckily, as you can see,  they have left a gap for a small cycle path to take us round the corner before we join the main road for the last mile down to Skippers Bridge.

I stopped on the cycle path and walked down to the river bank.

Fisherman's Hut

I take it that this elegant hut is for the convenience of fishermen

Broomholm Island Bridge

This is the Broomholm Island bridge

I liked it so much that I took another picture.

Broomholm Island bridge

The island is on the left.

As I walked back up to the road, I noticed this little bridge…

Gaber Gill bridge

…which takes the Gaber Gill under the main road.  I have cycled over this bridge hundreds of times without ever noticing that I was doing so.  I was pleased to add it to my collection of bridge images.

When I got home, I found Mrs Tootlepedal hard at work in the garden.  After a light lunch, I came out to join her.  While I had been out cycling, she had made me a set of mandarin jellies….

compost and jelly

…so I was happy to be able to sieve some well rotted kitchen waste and fill up the compost bucket for her.

I am getting a bit addicted to crocuses…

crocus

…which are really enjoying our spell of good weather.

As are the bees which like the crocuses too.

crocus with bee

Crocuses are available in other colours.

cream and white crocus

The white crocuses are so white that they posed quite a problem for the camera.

As the afternoon went on, the birds began to return to the garden and as I was a bit tired after cycling and composting, I was happy to spend a while inside looking out.

To begin with, there were  a few siskins hanging about…

siskins

…but they and some greenfinches were soon heading for the seed…

greenfinches

…while a pair of goldfinches held a watching brief.

goldfinches

They were followed by chaffinches flying in all directions simultaneously.

chaffinches

I had planned to go for a walk with Sandy later in the afternoon but I was quite pleased when he rang up and called off and I took the opportunity to do some serious sitting down with the feet up.

In the evening my flute pupil Luke came and we did some work on breathing.  I have been doing a lot of singing lately and it has helped my flute playing  quite noticeably so I was trying to pass on some of the breathing tips that I have learned to Luke.  Whether I was successful, only time will tell.

Once again the garden was full of the sound of frogs all day so here is the frog of the day….

frog

…and here is the flying goldfinch of the day.

flying goldfinch

Mrs Tootlepedal is off to visit her mother for a week tomorrow so my posts make take on a slightly doleful air for a while.

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Today’s guest picture is the biggest fungus on the tree stump that my son Al saw in Leith recently.  I think it is impressive to say the least.  If I have the identification right, it rejoices in the name Auricularia auricula or jelly ear.

Auricularia auricula

It wasn’t frosty this morning but it was exceedingly misty so I was quite happy to have got up late as I hadn’t missed any good cycling weather.  There  was no sign of the snow from last night and once the mist cleared, it was quite a pleasant and calm day but with no glimpse of any sun.

When I went outside, it was obvious that the frogs were enjoying the slightly warmer weather as the garden was full of the sound of croaking.  The pond was full of frogs…

frogs

…some of whom were very close friends indeed.

frogs

There were quite a few visitors to the feeders and they were in feisty form today.

chaffinches

…with a good deal of pushing and shouting going on.

One goldfinch shouted so loudly that it nearly blew the feathers clean off a passing chaffinch.

goldfinch and chaffinch

I was just trying to catch a flying chaffinch of the day….

flying chaffinch

…when my eye was drawn to strange happenings on the lawn.  Mrs Tootlepedal had brought some sheep’s wool into the garden with some manure at some stage and a couple of jackdaws had discovered it and were making off with it…

jackdaws with wool

…in a rather guilty way.

I think we can definitely say that the nest building or repairing season has begun.

When I turned back to the feeder, I was happy to see a coal tit among our visitors.

coal tit

The chaffinch in the background shows just how tiny the coal tits are.

About midday,  I finally got organised and got my cycling gear on.  I had in mind a 35 mile ride which would give me a total of 100 miles in three days, very respectable for this early in the year.  I have been having a little trouble with my chain jumping off the cogs in the rear cassette lately so I cleaned and oiled it before setting out.

I might have saved myself the trouble as I hadn’t gone much more than two miles before a serious clunk told me that something had gone badly wrong.  When I looked, I found that my rear gear changing mechanism had broken fatally and pedalling any further was impossible.  Appropriately enough, this disaster happened just opposite a ruined cottage…

Blochburnfoot cottage

I had my phone with me so I called up the MTRS and she kindly agreed to come to the rescue immediately.  While I was waiting I had time to take a closer look at the ruin…

Blochburnfoot cottage

…before the MTRS came driving down the road towards me.

MTRS

We packed the bike in the back and went home.  The MTRS is an excellent service.  Not only is it prompt and courteous but it is very reasonably priced too.

I had some thoughts of taking the slow bike for a short ride or even going for a walk when I got home but I felt a bit depressed by the gear failure and didn’t do either.

Instead, I looked out of the window and took some close ups with my Lumix.

coal tit

The coal tit again

siskin

A rather worried looking siskin

greeenfinch

A typically grumpy looking greenfinch

And then Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to Gretna Gateway retail village for some shopping therapy. On our way we dropped the (no longer) fairly speedy bike off at the bike shop in Longtown and the mechanic there confirmed the demise of the gear mechanism and sucked his teeth.  New parts will be required.

There were a number of things in stock in Gretna, including a nice fleecy jacket, that exactly matched our needs so we came away well therapised if a little poorer.

It was very gloomy by the time that we got home so all thoughts of a walk were put aside and we found things to do until the Tinkers arrived in the evening, as is customary on a Friday.

Alison and I played some old favourites, one entirely new sonata and one pair of Couperin miniatures which we hadn’t played for many years.  These were quite testing and will need another go before we will be able to  claim to be doing them anything like justice.

I hope that my bike doesn’t need to spend too long in the bike shop as I am already quite a bit behind my mileage schedule for the year but we can only wait and see.

The flying bird of the day is a chaffinch.

flying chaffinch

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There is no guest picture today because I do not have one and so a gallery from the Moorland Feeders will take top billing instead.

coal, blue and great tit

We were threatened with wind, rain and snow as storm Doris came to visit us today but after a night of rain, we were largely untroubled by her  during the day.  Since there was heavy snow to our north and gales and flooding to our west and south, once again we seem to have got off lightly.

It was quite wet when I went up with Sandy to help him fill the Moorland Feeders but in spite of the rain, we spent a little time on the hide.  We weren’t rewarded with anything special in the way of interesting birds but there was constant activity so we weren’t bored.

Among the throngs of great, blue and coal tits, siskins and chaffinches, we noticed a greenfinch and a woodpecker or two…

woodpecker and greenfinch

…but this bedraggled pheasant really summed up our visit.

soggy pheasant

Sandy stayed for a cup of coffee when we got back and when he went off, I spent a moment or two looking at our own birds….

blue tit

…and was pleased to see that some pink pellets had tempted a blue tit to come to the feeders.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I spent quite a lot of time considering whether it was a good idea for Mrs Tootlepedal to brave the floods and snow and travel to Edinburgh to see Matilda but as the Edinburgh train service was disrupted by floods between Carlisle and Lockerbie, we thought that it would be wise not to risk it and she went off to Carlisle in the car to do some useful shopping instead.

While she was out, I went for a short walk to check whether the repair at Skippers Bridge had survived its first angry river test.

It had.

Skippers Bridge repair

I am sorry about the branches in front of the bridge but it wasn’t a day to get too close to the water’s edge!

Skippers Bridge

Seen from the downriver side, you realise how much of the force of the river hits the central pillar when the water is high.

On my way down to the bridge, I kept my eyes open.  I usually look at walls and rocks for my lichen shots but today I was looking at trees and saw both script lichen, probably on a beech…

script lichen

…and this fine colourful selection on a silver birch tree trunk.

lichen on birch

There was plenty of water that was not going down the rover.

flooded gate

On my way back from the bridge, I walked up through the oak and birch wood…

oak tree

…and this gave me the chance to look back down on the bridge from above….

skippers bridge

…and it also took me past a wall where I could be sure of seeing some blue green algae (which is often yellow).

The New Hampshire Gardener had a wonderful picture on his most recent post showing how unexpectedly fluffy this algae is and I wanted to check this out.  Although it was very damp, our algae looked quite fluffy too….

blue green algae

…though my pictures weren’t very good.   I will come back on a better day and have another look.   It is very educational reading other people’s blogs and I learn something on most days.

After playing about with the buttons on my camera on my last walk, I met another wall further on today on which gave me the same colour effect but without any pressing of buttons on my part.  The wall really does look like this.

red brick

My walk had been remarkably pleasant in spite of a light drizzle and I took a last look at the river before I crossed the suspension bridge…

River esk in flood

…and went home for a nice cup of tea and a slice of toast and marmite….and a final look out of the kitchen window.

goldfinch and chaffinch

Mrs Tootlepedal got back safely from Carlisle which was encouraging as later in the day, Susan arrived to take me down to the city  to play with our recorder group.  The day had calmed down completely by this time and there was even the odd star to be seen.

We had a good play, followed by an excellent biscuit with our tea and drove home thoroughly relieved to have avoided any of the scenes of storm related accidents and disasters being shown on the news programmes.

The flying bird of the day is a goldfinch in the drizzle.

flying goldfinch

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I have raided my brother’s visit to Exeter for another guest picture today.  He had rather gloomy weather for the trip but managed to get out for long enough to photograph a new bike and pedestrian bridge over the river.

The river and a handy new foot/bike bridge

Today was the last of my visits, for a while  at least, to the Moorland Feeders to act as a fill in feeder filler as the regular workers are returning from their long  weekend in New Zealand shortly.

I went up with Mrs Tootlepedal.  She kindly acted as assistant filler but it was a rather chilly and wet morning so we didn’t stay long.

I sat in the hide for a moment or two and very much surprised a woodpecker when my camera flash went off unexpectedly….

woodpecker

…which was a pity as it was right in front of me at the time.  It left in short order.

I watched a succession of tits visiting the nuts…

coal, blue and great tits

…and admired the delicate gradations of colour on the backs of  the blue and great tits.

tit colours

On our way home, we stopped to look at the work on the damaged cutwater of Skippers Bridge and were very surprised to see that it had been finished…

skippers Bridge repair

…and very neatly too.

skippers Bridge repair

It may get tested as we have heavy rain forecast for tonight.

After a cup of coffee, I went out into the garden and picked a couple of leeks and then made some leek and potato soup for lunch.

By this time, the rain had stopped and there was even a little sunshine so while I was cooking, I was entertained by the birds.

siskin and chaffinches

Very entertained.

chaffinches flying

I did think of cycling after lunch as the better weather continued but it was quite windy and as I haven’t done much walking lately, I decided that a walk might be better value.

Before I left, I was drawn to the pond by the mellifluous croaking of the frogs.  They were in affectionate mood…

frogs

…and one in particular tried to catch my eye with some elegant throat puffing.

frog

I tore myself away and walked down to the river to see if I could spot an oyster catcher or a dipper.  An oyster catcher on a rock in the Esk was most co-operative….

oyster catcher

…but although I saw two dippers as I walked up the road beside the Ewes Water, they were both obscured by branches and I couldn’t get a good shot.

I walked up the track from Whitshiels,  hoping to find a British Soldier lichen or two on a gatepost where they usually live and was pleased to see that they were still there.

British Soldier lichen

The red spots are tiny so I was even more pleased to find some helpful light when I got close.

British Soldier lichen

I walked on up the hill in a very cheerful mood and thanks to the sun lasting well, I took far more pictures than I should have with the result that this post has gone a bit over budget as far as images go.   Still, it was a good day for taking pictures so it would have been a pity not to take a lot.

The views were good….

Ewes Valley

…and I played around with the camera settings to give a bare tree a slightly mysterious feel….

tree at Whitshiels

…and thinking of my black and white flower challenge tried the same settings on a gorse flower.

gorse

I am getting a few ideas.

On my way back to the town, I watched buzzards and hunted in vain for frogs in the quarry puddles as well as checking out the moss on a stone wall….

moss on wall

As I came down past the golf course, I saw a very colourful shed which I have never noticed before.  I don’t know whether it is new or whether I have just been unobservant hitherto.

shed beside Kirk Wynd

No camera tricks there.  It really is that colour.

The colours on the shed made me think of the camera colour picker though and I took this shot of the ninth green on the golf course….

ninth green

…before dropping down into the Market Place.  For once, there were no cars parked in front of the  new tourist information centre where I often volunteer in the summer so I took a picture to show it in all its glory.

Welcome to Langholm

It’s quite hard to miss.

By the time that I got home, the sun had gone and after taking a picture of a hellebore in the back bed…

hellebore

I cheated by holding its head up.

…I set about the first compost sieving of the new season with Mrs Tootlepedal.  We were dealing with a bin of substantially aged kitchen compost and it was so well rotted and friable already that it hardly needed sieving. It was a gentle start to the composting year.

Some drizzle tried to discourage us as we worked but we looked it sternly in the eye and it went away.  As it went, Mike Tinker arrived.  He came just as we were stopping for a cup of tea and so he joined us and we enjoyed some good conversation with our biscuits.

After he left, I went through the pictures while simultaneously practising the choir songs for Sunday.  It worked surprisingly well and I think that I might well have got them off before the big day.

In the evening, I went out to sing with our Langholm choir and had an enjoyable warble but I took care not  to sing too loudly.  My voice is feeling the strain of the constant practice a bit and it would be very annoying to arrive in Manchester with the songs learned but with no voice to sing them.

The two flowers of the day speak of spring; the daffodil is from the garden and the crocus from the bank of the Ewes at the Kilngreen.

crocus and daffodil

The sunshine today was really lovely and it looks as though we might escape the worst of the winds during Doris Day tomorrow, although it is due to rain a lot.  We are keeping fingers firmly crossed.

Meanwhile, the flying bird of the day is a gloriously sunny, fully streamlined goldfinch.

flying goldfinch

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Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent, Venetia, who went to watch a murmuration of starlings recently.  You can see more pictures  of her visit on her blog.

starlings

I too went to look at some birds today with Mrs Tootlepedal.  It was a glorious morning and it was no hardship at all to take my turn as a fill-in feeder filler at the Moorland Feeders.  While I sat in the bird hide, camera at the ready, Mrs Tootlepedal sat in the car outside, binoculars in hand, scanning the sky for raptors.  Her view…

View of Whita

…was better than mine but I had more birds to watch.  She saw a single buzzard while I watched siskins….

siskins

…and tits, great….

great tit

…and small…

coal tit, great tit and blue tit

Coal tit, great tit and blue tit

…and a greater spotted woodpecker flitting from tree to feeder.

woodpecker

I stopped the car on the way home to take a picture of the  road beside the river just because it felt so cheerful.

riverside road

It was a good day for cycling as the wind had moved round a bit so it was warmer and it was also a lot lest gusty than it has been lately.  I should have got out straight away when we got home because the forecast suggested that the sun might fade as the day went on but with characteristic feebleness, I footered around for the best part of an hour before finally getting going.

I took some pictures out of the kitchen window while I wasted time.

female chaffinch

Just too late to catch a flying female again

flying chaffinch

No problem with a male of course

It was still sunny when I set out but the sun disappeared on cue about half way round and I even had to put up with some light rain as I got near home but I only had myself to blame for this.

Because of the lighter winds, I took to the open country and went over Callister and then followed the route of the Kirtle Water from Falford down to the coast for fifteen miles.

I crossed the stream four times on my journey but didn’t stop to take pictures of all the bridges.  I followed a little road which I don’t usually take at one point and after plunging under the main railway line via a  surprisingly modest bridge…

Railway bridge

…I did stop to take the much more impressive bridge over the water at the bottom of the hill.

Kirtle water bridge

Riverside landowners should be compelled by law to cut down stuff that blocks a photographer’s view.

The view from the bridge showed a fine tower looking down over the little valley.

Robgill

The Kirtle Water is not short of bridges and near Rigg there are four within a hundred metres.

I stood on this very functional one…

Kirtle water bridge

…to get a shot of the next two downstream, the Dumfries railway line bridge and the new road bridge just beyond it.

Kirtle water bridge

I only had to go a few metres further to find the bridge over the old road.

Kirtle water bridge

Not long afterwards, I crossed the water for the last time.  The final bridge before the Kirtle Water meets the wine dark sea (sadly it actually joins the estuary of the river Esk rather than the sea) is a bit of a disappointment stylistically…

Kirtle water bridge

…but at least it meant that I was now on my way home with the wind behind me at last.  In spite of the rain over the last few miles, I enjoyed my 41 mile ride, though I would have been happier if I could have gone a little faster.

Those interested can click on the map below for more details of the ride.

garmin-route-15-feb-2017

That, as they say, concluded the business for the day, though I did have enough energy to co-cook a cauliflower curry for tea with Mrs Tootlepedal.  Mostly though, I relaxed in a genteel sort of way with hardly any moaning.

The flying bird of the day was a female chaffinch which I just got into a frame and no more.  A male was so surprised that he dropped his seed.

flying chaffinch

The flowers of the day are the luxuriant snowdrops along the back path.

snowdrops

While I was cycling this afternoon, Mrs Tootlepedal was splitting up some of the bigger clumps and spreading snowdrops round the garden.

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