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Posts Tagged ‘greater spotted woodpecker’

Today’s guest picture is another from Gavin’s visit to Yosemite and shows a quite well known waterfall there.

yosemite

We had another chilly but dry day today.   This was a bit of a surprise as we had been promised rain.

Dropscone is going on holiday on the Isle of Skye next week so he came round for a farewell cup of coffee.  He completely failed to bring traditional Friday treacle scones with him but made up for this with several hot cross buns which did very well instead.

After he left, I spent some fruitless time on my computer.  National Savings had sent me a letter politely suggesting that I might like to register on line as I am a premium bond holder and this would save them the trouble of constantly sending expensive letters to tell me when I have won a prize.

This seemed fair enough, though they don’t send me many prize letters I can assure you, but having gone through the online process unsuccessfully a couple of times, the website ended up by telling me to print a form out and send my application to go on-line to them in the post.  I was mildly amused.

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal and I went up to the Laverock Hide at the Moorland Project Feeding station, she to see if there were any raptors about and I to look at smaller birds.

She did get a brief view of a passing hen harrier and I saw a lot of small birds.

greenfinch

This was one of only two greenfinches that I saw today

great tit

But there were a lot of great tits about

chaffinch

And an unusually marked chaffinch

There were some slightly larger ones too.

woodpeckers

Woodpeckers chased each other round the trees,

woodpeckers

And then this one relaxed

I got a glimpse of a passing jay….

jay

…and couldn’t miss this pheasant which stood right in front of me and stared me out.

pheasant

Two visitors came into the hide hoping to see a goshawk but left fairly soon and then more bird watchers with big binoculars and a telescope arrived and they did see a goshawk…

bird watchers

….but it was far too far away for me to see at all.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I decided that goats on the moor might be a better bet so we went up onto the hill and saw three or four goats wandering around some distance away trying to look like boulders or clumps of heather.

goats

We had thought that we had seen a goat or two near the Tarras Bridge on our way out so we had hopes of seeing some nearer to hand on our way home.

We were not disappointed.

goat

A clue

We parked the car and I walked up the road with my camera at the ready.  I tried to be as inconspicuous as possible but this was a wasted effort as the goats didn’t care how close i got to them.

wild goats Langholm Moor

They just kept munching…

wild goats Langholm Moor

…though they did give me the occasional glance.

There was a small group among the bracken.

wild goats Langholm Moor

It was a very peaceful scene.

wild goats Langholm Moor

People say that kids don’t climb trees any more but some do.

wild goats Langholm Moor

And others joined in.

wild goats Langholm Moor

Weighing up the job

wild goats Langholm Moor

All hands on deck

And then back to mum for a cuddle.

wild goats Langholm Moor kid

We left them chomping away in peace….

wild goats Langholm Moor

…and drove home.

It started to rain as we got back so we went inside and had a cup of tea.  It soon stopped raining but in spite of a temperature of 10°, it felt so chilly and unwelcoming outside that we left the garden to itself and found things to do indoors.

I had a look at our own birds.  They were still arguing.

goldfinch

And even this rather placid looking pigeon…

pigeon

…had chased another three away from under the feeder.

In the evening, Mike and Alison came round and Alison and I tootled away merrily while Mike and Mrs Tootlepedal watched Gardeners’ World on the TV.

The orchestra and I found some agreeable tempos for the trickier pieces and we had moments when things sounded really good but there were also moments which indicated that a little more practice might not go amiss.  Such is life.

After TV and music, we joined together and put the world to rights.

The flying bird of the day is a garden goldfinch.

goldfinch

 

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Today’s guest picture was taken by Mike Tinker when he was visiting a zoo in New Zealand.  Neither Mrs Tinker nor Mrs Tootlepedal are flattered in any way.

Mrs T

The day started very grey and drizzly and I was more than happy to spend some of the morning sampling Dropscone’s scones with a bit of Cumbrian honey to add flavour while we drank a cup of coffee or two.

Before he arrived, I had started the day by going up to the Day Centre after breakfast to collect the key for the camera club meeting in the evening.  This required the use of an umbrella and I was surprised when I got back to find that there was enough light to see a bird or two approaching the feeder.

siskin

It was breezy enough to slow down even the siskins as they came in to land which made my job a little easier.

The rain sometimes came with a bit more force but it didn’t discourage the birds today.

flying chaffinch

The day began to brighten up a little after coffee and I arranged with Sandy to go for an excursion in the afternoon.  In the meantime, I cycled round to the shop for some supplies and on my way back I saw this touching scene on our neighbour’s fence.

collared doves

It stayed dry so I was able to wander round the garden, where in spite of the morning rain, there were definite signs of longer days and warmer weather to be seen.

crocuses

_dsc2297

hellebore and rhubarb

I was just daydreaming on the subject of rhubarb crumble when my train of thought was disrupted by loud sounds from the pond.  It was alive with frogs….

frogs

…. literally heaving with them.

frogs

I counted fifteen frogs in our small pond.  It is an annual source of wonder to me that so many frogs return to our pond at the same time as each other.

Now we just have to hope that we don’t get a hard frost to undo all their hard work.

Sandy duly appeared after lunch and we decided to go up to the Laverock Hide at the Moorland Feeders to see what was going about there.

The sun came out while we there and although there was a strong enough wind blowing to make me very glad that I wasn’t out on my bike, the birds weren’t discouraged and we were treated to a constant stream of visitors to the feeders.  The hide itself was quite busy too and five other people came in and out while we were there.

Between the frogs in the morning and the birds in the afternoon, I managed to take far too many pictures and had a struggle to look through them all later on.  These are just a few from the hide.

I always enjoy watching the greater spotted woodpeckers tuck into the peanuts.  They show great concentration on the task in claw.

woodpecker

Siskins on the other hand, are often distracted by squabbling.

siskins

Some less frequent visitors were to be seen…a couple of greenfinches….

greenfinches

…and a lone brambling.

Brambling and blue tit

Sharing with a blue tit

The largest number of birds on the feeders was made up by coal, blue and great tits which swarmed over the feeders in waves.

great tits

Three great tits

One old friend gave me a sideways look.

pheasant

We left the hide and went down to the river at Hagg-on-Esk to see if there were any waterside birds to be seen but we were disappointed and came away with only a few river views for our trouble.

The sun had gone behind a cloud as we walked up stream…

River Esk

…but it came out again as we walked back down.

River Esk

When we got back to Langholm, Sandy went off to do some decorating and I settled down to practise a song or two for next Sunday’s competition.  Mrs Tootlepedal joined in and we made a merry noise.

In the evening, I met Sandy again at the Camera Club meeting.  Thanks to business commitments, illness and holidays, we had a reduced attendance but once again there were a lot of interesting images to admire.  Our two new members are keen on something a bit different and we have been challenged by them to produce a black and white image of a flower for next month’s meeting, preferably without using any of the automatic features on our cameras.

By chance I took this shot today while I was out in the garden.  It was nearly in black and white…

snowdrops

…but I will have to try to do a bit better to meet the challenge.

The flying bird of the day brings back back memories of a miserable morning after a very pleasant afternoon and evening as far as the weather went..

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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Today’s guest picture from my brother Andrew is an interesting addition to our bridge portfolio.  My brother tells me that it is Exeter’s old mediaeval bridge.  It had three times as many arches when in use, as the river was then quite wide, but when the first single span bridge was built in the eighteenth century, the river banks were raised to narrow the crossing, and this half of the old bridge was buried, to be rediscovered when the twin two lane bridges were commissioned in the last century!

Exeter bridge

Once again I started the day with a visit to the Moorland Feeders, this time as a stand-in feeder filler for Sandy who has gone to visit his son.  It was pretty gloomy again so taking pictures was unrewarding work but at least I saw slightly more variety in the bird life.

Among the usual flock of chaffinches…

chaffinches

…there were two or three woodpeckers about…

greater spotted woodepecker

…and even a sole brambling.  It didn’t stop long enough for me to do it justice…

brambling

…but I was pleased to see it anyway.

The tits kept away from the hide today and clustered on the far side of the clearing…

great tit blue tit coal tit

Great, blue and coal tits sharing

I wonder if this is the same ringed chaffinch that I saw yesterday.

chaffinch

I didn’t put out any seed on the stump in front of the hide today as I was fed up with the pheasant stealing it.  She was not happy.

pheasant

Not happy at all.

I didn’t stop long though, as Dropscone was due to come round for coffee.  He duly came and we enjoyed coffee and scones.  He has been troubled by a sore hip and hasn’t been able to play golf for a bit but he is improving and hopes to play again fairly soon.

When he left, I had a stroll round the garden but no new flowers had  appeared so I went back in.  It was pretty warm at 9°C but I was feeling too tired to go for a pedal, especially as there was a brisk wind blowing.   I don’t know why I am tired and I am putting it down to asthma in the gloomy damp weather.  I shall take my medicine more conscientiously and hope to improve.

Meanwhile, I stared out of the window.  A chaffinch was showing off.

chaffinch

I had a bit of variety here too as a greenfinch showed up for a quick nibble.

greenfinch, goldfinch and siskin

Instead of pedalling, I gave my fairly speedy bike a good wash and brush up after lunch.  It needed it.  I pumped the tyres up too so all I need now is a nice sunny day, no wind and a little energy and I will be good to go.

The main event of the day was the return of Mrs Tootlepedal from her visit to her mother so some time had to be spent on a little hoovering and dusting before I went off to Carlisle to collect her from the train.  I was able to track the progress of her train in real time on my phone and finding myself a little ahead of time, I stopped in Longtown to put in some petrol and took the opportunity to go down to the river and admire the fine five arch bridge there.

Longtown Bridge

I was expecting to see a little more water flowing under the bridge after the recent rain.

I noticed a fine tree on the river bank.

Tree at Longtown

Over to the west, two holes had been punched in the cloud cover…

sunbeams

…but they soon closed up again.

I drove on to Carlisle and arrived at the station with a few minutes in hand.  I took a look at the extensive scaffolding under the roof repairs….

Carlisle Station

…and wondered if they had actually started work on the new roof yet.  I walked along to the end of the platform and found that work has begun.  I watched a very skilled driver hoisting a big load of steel beams high into the sky to the waiting workers above.

Carlisle Station

A man on the lorry delivering the beams thought that I ought to be taking his picture but I told him the machine was more interesting and he promptly offered me a job as a labourer.  I said I would think about it and went off to meet the train which was pulling into the platform dead on time.

(Just to clear up the job offer for those who might raise an eyebrow, we were both being mildly humorous.)

As well as her mother, Mrs Tootlepedal had met her French domiciled sister Nicki in Marlow and my stepmother Patricia and our daughter Annie in London before catching the train so she had had a good family visit.  All the same, she was pleased to be home and we sat down to a celebratory meal of cauliflower cheese for our tea.

I am pleased that she is home too.

The flying bird of the day is an angry chaffinch.

chaffinch

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Mike Tinker’s NZ trip and shows Nelson Cathedral.  He tells me that as it is in NZ,  it has an earthquake policy, the final line of which says: ‘if the earthquake is a gentle event (i.e. no creaks in the building) services will continue’.  I hadn’t thought that there might be a gentle earthquake.

Nelson Cathedral

Our good weather continued today, although it was a bit windier than it has been lately.   Under the circumstances, I was quite pleased to have an excuse not to go cycling as we were expecting a visit from our friend Sue for lunch.

There was a complete lack of birds in the morning and it was a bit annoying that they appeared in the garden just as Sue arrived.  I was listening with my full attention to every word that was spoken over coffee and at the lunch table, even when I might have been distracted by movement outside.

If I had been rude enough to get up with camera in hand in mid conversation, I might have seen this….

robin, chaffinch and goldfinch

Three poseurs

…or this….

goldfinches

Two more poseurs

…or even this…

goldfinches

Impending violence

Sue noticed the arrival of a greenfinch so I make no excuses for having seen this finch festival.

greenfinch, goldfinch and chaffinch

After lunch, we piled into the car and headed up to the hide at the Moorland Project bird feeders, where we sat for a while watching a terrific amount of activity.  Unfortunately, apart from a brief and unrecorded visit from a brambling, there were no unusually exciting birds to be seen.

It is always fun to see a greater spotted woodpecker though and there were a lot about today, pecking away at various feeders and chasing each other up and down trees.

greater spotted woodpecker

The great, coal and blue tits were in sharing mode.

great tit, coal tit and blue tit

And there were dozens of chaffinches around.

chaffinch

Those pink pellets are always popular

chaffinch

The brisk wind was ruffling a feather or two

There were several raptors flying over the hill when we came out of the hide but they were too far away to identify with confidence.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been suffering from a sore foot so she drove the car back while Sue and I walked the two and a half miles home from Broomholmshiels.

The weather stayed dry and there was even a hint of sunshine as we strolled along looking for things of interest on the way.

I always like  a gate and this brand new belt and braces job caught my eye soon after we left the farm fields.

 

Broomholmshiels gate

And bare trees are favourites.

oak

Sue has been going to classes on plant recognition and had a keen eye for the ferns, mosses, lichens and fungi that we passed on our way once we had got into the oak and birch woods…

sue T

Oak wood

There were a lot of things to see just on the trees.

moss and lichens

turkey tail fungus

We saw fine displays of mosses beside the track in the wood and many spleenwort and ferns on walls when we got nearer to the town.

We finished out walk with a stroll along the river bank and since I had told Sue that we might well see a dipper as some point, I was very pleased when we found one singing its heart out near the suspension bridge.

dipper

The light had faded quite a bit by the time that we saw it.

We also met Sandy, who rather annoyingly told us that he had seen a tree creeper at the Moorland site when he was filling the feeders this morning.  Where was it when we needed it?

We had a cup of tea and some of Sue’s delicious home made biscuits when we got home and then, after we had put the world to rights, it was time for Sue to head off back home.  It had been a delight to have her company.

I rounded off a very good day by making curried cauliflower for our tea.

No plant of the day today but I did manage to catch a flying chaffinch out of the corner of my eye while we were having lunch.

flying chaffinch

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew who took a walk in the Peak District last week and climbed high enough to get this excellent view of the River Dove and its valley  far below him.

Dove Valley

I was battling with the cold again today and although there were moments when I was quite cheery, there were more moments when I was completely wabbit and had to sit down.  In the great game of life the score was Cold 3 – 2 Tootlepedal.

Sandy was off living the high life in Carlisle and so it fell to me to drive up to the Moorland bird hide and fill the feeders after breakfast.  Luckily this was in one of my better moments and after I had topped up the seeds, I had a little sit down in the hide.  There was plenty of action.

I always put a handful of seed on a short tree stump just outside the hide so that I can photograph small birds when they come to have a nibble.  Today proved that pheasants are quite able to adapt to new experiences….

pheasant on stump

Strong toes and good balance

The rotten thing ate all my seed in a few seconds and jumped down with a merry laugh at my expense.  He obviously expected me to replenish the stock promptly because I got a very hard stare when he returned and found no food.

pheasant

I had to look elsewhere for small birds.  They were not in short supply.

chaffinches

A whirlwind of chaffinches round the tall house

coal tit and blue tit

A coal tit and blue tit sample the seeds and nuts

great tit

A great tit waits for an available slot

woodpecker

Two woodpeckers obligingly provided me with a symmetrical triptych

I didn’t stay long.  It was quite warm by December standards but I didn’t want to push my luck and get chilled.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy with Christmas cards and getting organised to go to Edinburgh to visit Matilda when I got back so I perfected my skills at not getting under anyone’s feet for a while and only took an occasional peek out of the kitchen window.

The robin was back on sentry duty.

robin

Once again bird traffic was light and while some birds posed, others turned their backs on me.

goldfinch and greenfinch

The light was not good and flying birds were a bit of a blur.

chaffinch

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to Lockerbie and I made some batter and left it to rest in a bowl while I went for a short walk.

My first target was a dipper (or two) and I found one in the middle of the river Esk, just above the suspension bridge.  The light was not great and it was a little too far away for the camera but it put on a good perching and dipping show while I watched.

dipper in Esk

My next target was black headed gulls on the Kilngreen and here I was very lucky, as there was a good number of them on fence posts beside the river and for some reason, they all took off and flew around as I passed. (I didn’t shout “boo” honest.  That would be unethical.)

black headed gulls

It is hard to imagine from the different colours in the background that these were all taken from the same spot and within a few minutes.

There was another dipper here in the middle of the Ewes Water.

dipper

I walked on round the Lodge, over the Duchess Bridge and back past the school.  Then I took the path through the Galaside wood instead of going along the road.   I saw a few things on my way.

typhula, catkins and algae

Possibly typhula fungus, certainly catkins and probably algae and lichen                                                                                         

There were bare trees to admire as well.

Castleholm tree

And yet another dipper in the Esk, this time much too far away to be any good but singing really loudly in a failed effort to get me to put it in the post.

I got home, having walked about one mile in an hour, in perfect time to turn the batter into crumpets.  After my last effort had resulted in reasonably tasty but very unsightly crumpets, I had consulted Mrs Tootlepedal and she had suggested lining the crumpet rings with non stick baking paper and heating the pan much more slowly.  This was sound advice….which I took….with quite good results.

crumpets

Not perfect yet but a lot more pleasing to look at.

The taste test will come when we toast them tomorrow and eat them with melted butter.

After the excitement of very slow walking and cooking, the cold took over and the rest of the day was spent in gentle coughing and theatrical sighing. I enjoyed myself.

The leaf of the day is a modest tropaeolum poking through the yew beside the middle lawn….

tropaeolum

…and the flying bird is the best of the black headed gulls.

black headed gull flying

Details:  f/5 – 1/1000th sec – ISO 4000 – zoom 165mm – taken in ‘aperture’ mode – cropped

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Today’s guest picture shows three hardy chaps, unafraid to scale a tall building.  Mike Tinker spotted them from his hotel in Singapore on his way home from NZ.

singapore

We had a curious day as far as the weather went.  It was unseasonably warm again (10 degrees C) but very misty when I got up.  In fact, it was hard to distinguish mist from low cloud by the time that I arrived at the Moorland feeders….

Broomholmshiels

…where I was filling in for Sandy who was off visiting his son.

I spent a moment or two in the hide after I had filled the feeders and the glade was full  of birds in the instant that I had finished putting the feeders back up. Considering the very gloomy state of things…

Moorland feeders

…I was pleased to get any pictures.  The birds had to get very close to me.

blue tits and great tit

I was spoiled for woodpeckers today.

woodpeckers

The misty conditions perhaps made them less aware of me lurking in the hide.  The woodpecker on the left in the panel below had just got settled when the woodpecker on the right appeared and chased it off.  The woodpeckers do seem to chase each other about a lot.

woodpeckers

Through the gloom to my left, I could see a large number of birds on the niger seed feeder.  Were they siskins?

siskins

The camera could see better than I could!

Yes they were.  The first that I have seen recently.

I didn’t stay long as I had made an arrangement with my cello playing friend Mike to take a picture of the organ in the parish church for him.

It was even more gloomy in the church than outside but I had my tripod with me and a six second exposure did the trick.

I went home and printed out a couple of efforts and than walked over the suspension bridge to show them to Mike.  The weather was looking a little better….

Whita in mist

…though downstream it was still a very grey picture.

Stubholm Bank in mist

Mike’s wife, Anne very kindly offered me a cup of coffee and some chocolate biscuits and by the time that these had been disposed of, the weather was looking a great deal better.

The sun was out, the sky was blue and I could see the top of Meikleholm Hill as I walked back home.

Meikleholm Hill

At this stage, I should have jumped in the car, shot up a hill and taken several wonderful misty pictures as there was still some mist in the valleys or at least gone for a walk or a cycle ride but I foolishly sat down when I got home.  And then I was ambushed by crumpets.

I was going to throw away the rather burnt, ugly looking, leathery feeling objects that I had cooked yesterday evening but curiosity drove me to slice one open.

crumpet

Under the unpromising surface was an almost perfect crumpet.  Into the toaster it went and then, smothered in melted butter, it disappeared into my stomach accompanied by sighs of pleasure….as did several more.

The mixture turned out to be just right so I obviously need to find a better pan for cooking them in as I am still trying to clean the burnt surface off the pan that I used yesterday. Then I need to improve my ring greasing skills so that the half cooked crumpets drop out easily and don’t need to be brutally shoved out with a wooden spoon.  Still, it is all a learning experience and I hope to dazzle Mrs Tootlepedal with a delicious tasting and good looking crumpet when she returns.

When I had disposed a several crumpets, I spent a minute or two watching chaffinches approaching the garden feeder in the sun…

flying chaffinches

…and only then did I get my act together and get out for a ride on my bicycle.

Things were looking promising after two miles….

lichen in sun

The sun was picking out the lichen on the walls of the fields

Wauchope road in December

And in the fields sheep were safely grazing

…but you can just see a low cloud sneaking over the hill  into the picture from the right and by the time that I had done five miles….

Callister

…I was getting back into low cloud again.

I went on for a mile or so and then decided to turn back to see if it was still sunny in Langholm

It wasn’t but there was still a bit of life left in the day so I changed bikes and pedalled along to the Kilngreen to see if I could add to the day’s collection of woodland and garden birds with some from the riverside.

Mr Grumpy was about, first very upright but then in a very grumpy looking crouch.

heron

He is looking a bit dishevelled.

Ducks arrived to join the party…

duck landing

…and enjoyed a good round of applause for their splashy work from the spectators.

mallards

While our residents ducks are mostly mallards, there is quite a variety of plumage indicating some cross breeding.

mallards

The light was beginning to fade as I pedalled home and I was soon joined by Mike Tinker for a cup of tea (and a crumpet).   After that, I had time for a shower, a little bit of light hoovering and a song practice or two before members of the Archive Group came round for our annual general meeting.

This is always quite an informal affair and this year it was more informal than usual as for one reason or another, our attendance was rather thin.  Still, the business was done and the Group will enter on another year of hard work.

I made baked eggs in spinach with a cheese sauce for my tea and this rounded off a day that was much more satisfactory than it had promised to be when I stared out at the ten tenths cloud in the morning.

The leaves of the day are one of Mrs Tootlepedal’s clumps of grass.  She has got rid of several of these but there are one or two left.

grass

The flying bird of the day is a garden goldfinch.

goldfinch flying

For those interested in these things, here is one of the pictures of the church organ which I took for Mike.

Church organ

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