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Posts Tagged ‘jay’

Today’s guest picture is another from our older son’s visit to Anstruther and shows that he took his friends with him.

Tony's dogs

Another of the regular Moorland bird feeders was away on holiday today so I had a second opportunity this week to act as a fill-in feeder filler so I went up after breakfast to do my duty.  If the weather is good, which it was today, the duty is also a pleasure as it gives me a chance to sit in the hide and watch the birds.  We are not feeding birds in the garden at present so it is an extra pleasure to do a little bird watching from the comfort of the hide.

I had a good variety of birds to watch today.  There was a host of siskins….

siskins

…but only one greenfinch and tree sparrow that I could  see.

tree sparrow and greenfinch

Either a jay paid several visits of several jays paid one visit each but one way or the other, there were plenty of opportunities for jay watching.  (I was hoping to get a shot of jay walking but alas, no.)

Jay

There were a very few blue and great tits about…

blue tit great tit

…but I didn’t see a coal tit today at all.

My chief entertainment came from some very obliging woodpeckers who came up close to the hide and stayed nice and still and sometimes even ‘watched the birdie’.

My Lumix was on its best behaviour after having refused to work at all and it came in handy.  (It knows that I have ordered a new camera. Too late now.)

greater spotted woodpecker

The one in the bottom left corner was the first arrival.  The other three pictures are all of another bird which arrived twenty minutes later.

After our recent warm weather, it was a lot cooler today and I began to feel a little chilly and left the woodpeckers to it and came home.

I had a cup of coffee, did the crossword and then went out into the garden to see what Mrs Tootlepedal was up to and to take a picture or two while I was out there.

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy planting out new flowers and I looked at some old friends.

Rosa Wren and Rosa Mundi

Rosa Wren and Rosa Mundi

A Rodgersia and a Spirea had a competition to see which could pack most flowers into the smallest space.

Rodgersia and Spirea

I think that the Rodgersia won

At lunchtime, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to help out at the Buccleuch Centre which was putting on a show for children and I had some potato soup and cheese to get my strength up and went out and mowed the greenhouse grass and the drying green and then sieved some compost.

There was a lot of buzzing so I paused from time to time to look at the cotoneaster and the astrantia which are still attracting a lot of interest.

bees

Mrs Tootlepedal came back and got straight down to some more planting and tidying and I lent a hand and did some dead heading and tidying of my own.   I even did some weeding on the middle lawn.   The large amount of grass and flower pollen floating about at the moment is not helping my breathing so any work I do is done at a very gentle pace with regular visits indoors for a little rest.  Mrs Tootlepedal on the other hand just carries on regardless.  She is a human dynamo in the garden.

She notices things too and called my attention to a red admiral butterfly sunning itself on a path.

red admiral butterfly

Like the woodpeckers earlier in the day, it sat very still for its portrait.

red admiral butterfly

I love the little torches it has sticking out of its head.

I took a last set of flower pictures….

melancholy thistle

Melancholy thistle, Martagon Lily and just about the last pale blue Iris Siberica

…and then we went off shopping to stock up on food and supplies.  By great fortune, our food shopping managed to include some scones and clotted cream.  We are not quite certain how this happened but we managed to get rid of them when we got home by eating them with the recently made strawberry jam.  We haven’t had a cream tea for ages so this was a real treat.

I was considering an evening cycle ride in the hope that the wind, which had been boisterous all day, would have died down by then but the fresh wind persisted so I went for a walk instead.

It was a lovely evening as long as you could keep out of the wind.  I chose a sheltered route and enjoyed my stroll a great deal.

I divided my attention between things that were close….

slow worms at Pool Corner

A heap of slow worms at Pool Corner

yellow wild flower

I would welcome a suggestion as to what this pretty flower might be called

….things that were a bit further away…

A sandpiper on the Esk

A sandpiper on the Esk

Stables on the Stubholm

Stables on the Stubholm (Arty shot)

….something that was quite far away…

The round house seen from Easton's Walk

The round house seen from Easton’s Walk

…and some views.

Wauchope graveyard and Warbla in the background

Wauchope graveyard and Warbla in the background

Castle Hill

Castle Hill

Stubholm and Whita Hill

Stubholm House and Whita Hill

It was a much better choice than battering into a strong wind on my bike and getting depressed.

Mrs Tootlepedal had had her tea and was back out in the garden trimming hedges when I got home.

In a vain effort to improve my brain power, I had fish cakes for tea.  It hasn’t helped my typing.  I could get the blog done in half the time of i didn’t have to correct eevry other wird.

The flying bird of the day is the jay seen from a distance……

flying jay

…and I normally would have been quite happy to finish a post with it it but it is outshone today, in my view, by a relaxed greater spotted woodpecker.

greater spotted woodpecker

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture shows a flowery scene from Kew Gardens which caught my sister Mary’s eye.

Coming up to the Orangerie

Coming up to the Orangerie

The forecast was full of dire warnings of heavy rain, possible thunderstorms and general mayhem.  In the event, midsummer’s day was a quiet day with some very light rain now and again, hardly a breath of wind and just a hint of menace thanks to a very clammy humidity.

Mrs Tootlepedal and I went off to the Moorland feeders after breakfast as I was acting as a fill in feeder filler for friends who had gone off to some mist covered mountains.  As usual, she sat in the car and kept an eye out for hen harriers while I filled the feeders and then sat under the grass roof of the hide….

Laverrock Hide

…in the hope of interesting visitors.

She got a glimpse of a harrier and I saw many more birds than on my last visit.  There were coal tits, great tits and siskins….

siskin, coal tit and great tit

…as well as blackbirds, chaffinches and a robin.

The inevitable pheasant pushed himself forward…..

pheasant

..and there were several visits from woodpeckers and a jay.

Jay and woodpecker

The jay kept too far down the glade for a good photo op but it was was entertaining watching it as it was clearly quite peckish…

jay

…and found food wherever it could.

That great Scottish pest, the midgie, was in evidence too so I didn’t hang about long as I was getting bitten a lot and we drove down to the banks of the Tarras Water to see if the wild irises were out.

There were some but it was not the great carpet that I had hoped for…

wild irises

…so I photographed a yellow rattle….

yellow rattle

I found another one with seed pods and they really do rattle if you shake them.

…and walked back to the road to see if I could find any of the horsetails which I seen growing on my last visit with Sandy a few weeks ago.

They were not hiding.

horsetails

I was impressed.

The midgies were on the go here too so we didn’t dally and went home for coffee.

It makes life difficult to plan when the forecast is not reliable.  At ten in the morning, the BBC weather map showed heavy rain covering Langholm and the surrounding area for some hours and although there was no sign of any such rain, the thought of it kept me off my bike and wasted what could have been a good cycling day.

I tested the strawberry jam  and found that it hadn’t turned out too badly at all so I tested it again.  It was still all right.

I wasted time doing the crossword and then, wondering if it was going to rain soon, I went for a wander round the garden.

The roses are gorgeous…

roses

…with new blooms coning out every day.  The first of the moss roses has joined in.

moss rose

Mrs Tootlepedal was busy planting out poppies and protecting her vegetables from the depredations of the voracious sparrows so I had time for a look at a colourful corner….

colourful corner

…and my favourite colour combination of the day.

campanula and foxglove

Mrs Tootlepedal liked this subtle gradations on a peony.

campanula and foxglove

A few other things made the camera click.

campanula

lambs ear

wiegela

…but in spite of it being the longest day of the year, the light was very dull and I soon gave up and went in for lunch.

After lunch, the day brightened up a bit and even the weather forecast admitted that it wasn’t raining so I got my fairly speedy bike out and set off to see where my legs would take me.

It was lucky that we had gone to see the roadside orchid yesterday because Genghis the grass cutter was out with his machine today and the verge where the orchid had been was totally flattened.

Luckily I found some more on an uncropped verge near Gair….

orchids

…but unluckily my Lumix chose this moment to stop working and I had to fall back on my phone camera for the rest of the trip.

It was a really good day for a leisurely cycle ride with a mixture of very occasional raindrops and some cheerful sunshine and I saw many interesting things which I failed to record as I find using the phone with my cycling glasses on quite tricky.   (If I take them off, I find it even trickier.)

I did see a lot of fields where the silage was being cut….

silage

…and I even noticed a fungus, the first that I have seen in a verge this year.

fungus

I pedalled here and there, keeping an eye on the weather and thinking of going a bit further while the going was good but some more persistent raindrops and a burst of slightly windier weather made me think that the promised storm might be finally on its way so I headed for home and managed  37 miles.

As you can see from the map below, it was quite warm so perhaps it was wise to stop before I got too cooked.

garmin route 21 June 2017

Those interested can click on the map for more details.

Mrs Tootlepedal had rescued a blackbird from the strawberry netting while I was out but there were still plenty of strawberries left to pick so I picked them.

I had time for a shower and a tea of baked eggs with spinach and a cheese sauce before I went out to our Common Riding choir practice.  I was pleased to see my cello playing friend Mike there as it would mean that I wasn’t going to be the only bass.  We had a good session in spite of very sultry conditions which were not very sympathetic to singing and it was still a fine day when I walked home.

I apologise for putting too many indifferent pictures into today’s post but it was the longest day so perhaps it needed a long post.

And I did get a rather indifferent flying bird of the day to round things off suitably.

flying jay

 

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is from the files and shows the Rotunda Geological Museum in Scarborough.  It was taken by my sister Mary during my siblings visit to the town back in December.The Rotunda Geological Museum

The new year continued in excellent form today with another bright and sunny day, cold but not freezing, and with a light breeze.

This made the job of acting as substitute feeder filler at the Moorland Feeders a great pleasure.  Mrs Tootlepedal came up with me and sat in the car looking over the moorland in the vain hope of seeing interesting raptors while I filled the feeders and then sat in the hide.

Mrs Tootlepedal’s raptor viewing chances may have been severely handicapped by the loud banging of guns nearby as shooters popped away at the poor pheasants.  Inside the feeder area, the pheasants were more secure…

Pheasant

…with a different sort of shooting being the order of the day.

I saw a jay and one or two woodpeckers….

jay and woodepeckers

…at a good distance from the hide and several smaller birds rather closer.

great tit, siskin and coal tit

Unlike my garden feeders, the moorland site was very busy and I had a lot of fun watching hordes of chaffinches.

chaffinch

It was time for coffee when we got back and then, since it was still a really fine day, I popped down to the river in search of a dipper in some good light.  When I got to the suspension bridge, I was nearly deafened by two robins in neighbouring trees belting out their songs at full volume.

riverside robins

I didn’t see a dipper though so I walked along to Mary Street and had a look at the river there.  Mr Grumpy and gulls were both in evidence….

heron and balck headed gull

…but I was reconciled to the lack of dippers by the presence of a goosander, standing on a rock giving itself a good wash and brush up.  After a while it was satisfied…

Goosander

A good hair day

…and left its rock and swam off upstream.

Goosander

I got home in time for a look at the garden feeder….

goldfinch and greenfinch

Goldfinch and greenfinch. It was the first time that I had seen a goldfinch venture into the fat ball cage

…and a light lunch.

After lunch, I set out again to make good use of the fine day, this time with Sandy for a walk to the top of Warbla to take in some more rays.

We passed horses well wrapped up against the chilly wind….

Stubholm horses

…interesting fungus and lichen…

fungus and lichen

…and made it out onto the open hillside and enjoyed the views.

We looked across the Wauchope….

Craig windmills

…up towards the mast, our destination…

Warbla summit

…and back down on the town below when we got there.

Langholm from Warbla

Looking around from the summit, Sandy remarked that we live in undulating country.  I don’t think anyone could argue with that.

Castle Hill and Ewes valley

We took a direct route down from the summit passing some mountaineering sheep on our way…

Sheep on warbla

…as well as a decorative bare tree…

Warbla tree

…and some unintentionally arty catkins.

catkins

We got home after our two and a half miles quite ready for a cup of tea and a biscuit and we were joined by Mrs Tootlepedal who had been busy stripping wallpaper while we were out.

I had taken a tremendous number of photographs on all these outings so I had to spend quite a lot of time after our tea making testing decisions, trying to decide for example which of thirteen goosander shots was the least worst.  This sort of thing makes your head hurt so I broke up the task by taking a moment or two to practise some songs for our Carlisle choir which starts again this Sunday.

This is always a bit of a gamble because you can never tell whether the conductor is going to settle on the song that you are practising or not.  Just because it is in our music poke, it doesn’t mean that it is  going to make the cut.  However, it must be a good thing to practise any song so it is probably not time wasted whatever happens.

The flying bird of the day is a garden chaffinch.

Flying chaffinch

I can recommend a visit to Sandy’s blog.  He got some much better hair ice pictures yesterday than me and there are some very good pictures from his recent trip to Mexico there too.

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Today’s guest picture comes from my friend Bruce.  He noticed this fine work-in-progress  by a local artist on the banks of the Esk.

carved owl

I had birds, but not owls, on my mind when I woke up as I had volunteered to fill the moorland feeders in place of the regular fillers for Wednesdays who have gone on holiday.  I was going to bicycle up but as I felt rather creaky after yesterday’s hilly ride, I cheated and took the car instead.

Once there, I filled the feeders and sat in the hide for a happy hour of bird watching.

There were no unusual visitors but the usual suspects were entertainment enough.

Greater spotted woodpeckers came to feed all through the time that I was there.

woodpecker

woodpecker

They were joined by a lot of small birds.

blue tit

A young blue tit

great tit

A young great tit

There were a great many blackbirds about.

blackbird

Some of them were feeding young but although I could hear them I couldn’t see them as they were up in the trees to the side.

I spotted a robin which perched for a moment before disappearing.

robin

And a jay arrived and proceeded to scattered my carefully put out seed in all directions.

jay

I had a look around when I left and was pleased to see a fine crop of orchids near the hide.

orchids

On my way down, I stopped to look at the chicken-in-the-forest fungus on the oak tree which Sandy and I had noticed before.  My interest was to see if the oak tree looked poorly as the fungus should be an indicator of illness in the host.  The leaves did look a bit spotty.

chicken in the forest fungus

It was one of those days when it was always threatening to rain so when I got home, I mowed  the front lawn while the going was good.

We watched a programme about the Hampton Court Flower Show on the telly last night and one of the presenters visited the Rose Garden tent.  She picked out a couple of good roses to have in your garden and I am happy to say that Mrs Tootlepedal is well ahead of the game and has them here already.

Bobbie James and Crown Princess Margareta

Bobbie James and Crown Princess Margareta

We had a lot of blackbirds in our garden too today.

young blackbirds

They were old enough to feed themselves.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been busy in the garden and that always means a lot of stuff to dispose of so we were intending to get the petrol shredder out and get rid of the pile in one go after lunch.  Before we could start though, it started to rain and so we retired indoors and enjoyed a stage of the Tour de France.  When it finished, the rain obligingly stopped too so we got the shredder out and set to work.

The plant material had got so soggy in the rain that after we were half way through it, the shredder clogged up and we stopped to clear it out.    We took the hint and postponed the other half until a drier day.

Mrs Tootlepedal took the opportunity to point out a new dahlia to me.  It is one of her secret plants, blooming in seclusion behind several others.

dahlia

The shredding pause left us handily placed to watch the struggles (eventually successful) of Andy Murray at Wimbledon.   They lasted so long that we had no time to do anything else.  I was not unhappy with this.

The flower of the day is my favourite among the Sweet Williams….

Sweet William

…and the flying bird of the day is one of our resident siskins.

siskins

 

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is another from Venetia’s adventures in the Highlands.  She went out on a boat and saw these bottle nosed dolphins disporting themselves.

bottle nosed dolphins

I had another quiet morning with high quality idling only interrupted by the need to mow the middle lawn and the desire to capture the continuing beauty of the peonies as they develop.

peonies

More roses are arriving too.

Lilian Austin and Rosa Complicata

Lilian Austin and Rosa Complicata

Mrs Tootlepedal has some Alchemilla growing under the espalier apples and it is another of those fairly dull looking flowers until you peer more closely.

Alchemilla

The garden is full of sparrows and there were always a handful round the feeder when I looked out of the kitchen window.

sparrows

They got a bit impatient from time to time and didn’t necessarily wait for the a perch to become clear before getting a seed.

sparrows

It was a grey but dry and reasonably warm day and after lunch Sandy came round by arrangement, as we were planning a walk.  He had realised though that he had forgotten that it was his day to refill the Moorland Feeders and so instead of walking, we drove up to the feeding station and did the job.

We decided that a short sit in the hide might be a good way to spend some time and settled down to see what arrived on the feeders.

The short sit stretched out to an hour and we had plenty to entertain us.

It started with a pheasant.

pheasant

…and continued with a steady stream of siskins.

siskins

There are a good number of woodpeckers in the surrounding woods and there were never less than three to be seen today, often chasing each other around the tree trunks.

The clouds were fairly thick so it wasn’t the best day for taking pictures of birds at a distance but the woodpeckers are irresistible.

woodpecker

A woodpecker pecking wood

I spotted a jay but the arrival of a minibus with a group of nature loving children in it caused the bird to fly off.  Luckily the children went away on a bug hunt and the sharp eyed Sandy noticed that the jay had retuned.

jay

The children came back to the hide so Sandy and I drove off homewards.  We were brought to a sudden halt a few hundred yards down the road by the sight of a very large fungus on an oak tree.

oak fungus

My fungus book says that this might be an example of Laetioporus sulphureous and says it is edible.  Indeed if it is Laetioporus sulphureous, it is also known as the ‘chicken of the woods’.  It was certainly big enough to provide a meal for a large family but I would have to have a lot more knowledge before I would risk eating it.

It was very striking, especially growing on the trunk of an oak tree in full leaf.

fungus on oak tree

The leaves of the tree were covered with a sticky substance so I don’t know whether the appearance of the fungus is a sign of illness in the tree.

We drove on and decided to have a shorter version of our original planned walk.  This took us up through a beautiful oak wood and then back down Jenny Noble’s Gill.  It is a favourite walk for both Sandy and me…

Oak wood

…and it is not hard to see why.

The bracken is just coming out and the tips of the plants were very decorative.

bracken

bracken

We kept our eyes open for interesting things and I noticed another sort of fungus while Sandy spotted a beetle on a leaf…

fungus and beetle

…but it was hard to take your eyes of the oak trees themselves.

oaks

Our route took us across an old railway line and I used the black and white capability of the Lumix to take this picture of one of the old stiles which walkers had to use in days gone by.

stile

We walked through the open gate today.  Between the birds at the feeder and the bracken among the oaks, we reckoned that we had spent the afternoon very well.

In the evening, Susan kindly drove me down to Carlisle for a meeting of our recorder group and we puffed away merrily when we got there.

The flying bird of the day is the jay.

flying jay

 

 

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Today’s guest picture is another from my sister Mary’s Lake District trip and shows the path to Easedale Tarn.

Looking back down path to Easedale TarnIf only I could have persuaded myself to get up at 6 o’clock when I opened my eyes to see strong sunshine outside, I would have been able to make the best of the day.  As it was, my eyes snapped shut again and by the time that I got up, the weather was trying to break all records for the number of sharp showers in a single day.

The short spells of brilliant sunshine between the showers made this all the more annoying.  Every time the rain stopped, it looked as though summer had come but fifteen minutes later, the clouds were back, the wind gusted,  the temperature dropped and the next shower was on its way.

I started the day with a visit to fill up the Moorland feeders and while I was lurking in the hide for half an hour, two showers passed over.  All the same, I had a very entertaining time as the glade was the arena for six woodpeckers to chase each other up and down the trees and on and off the feeders.

Mostly they were half hidden by branches or too quick for me but from time to time, I was able to catch them at work.

woodpeckerswoodpeckerswoodpeckerswoodpeckersAt one stage, one of them was joined by a jay.

jay and woodpeckerBut the jay soon left.

There were a few other birds about.

chaffinch

A chaffinch posed for lovers of peaceful bird shots.  This was in one of the rain showers.

greenfinch

There seem to be quite a few greenfinches about this year in spite of the disease that struck them last season.

When I got home, Mrs Tootlepedal was trying to get some useful gardening done in between the showers and was pleased to have managed to uproot a considerable amount of creeping buttercup, one of the banes of her gardening life.

I found a couple, of breaks in the rain to finish shifting the last of the compost from Bin C to Bin D.

compost binsIt was rather soggy work today.  The next task is transferring Bin A to Bin C.  This will take time as it requires the use of a wheelbarrow.

In the sunny spells, there was quite a bit of colour in the garden.  The rhododendrons are working hard.

rhododendrons

An azalea sneaked into the montage.

Less showy flowers are to be seen too.

allium and japanese azalea

An allium and a Japanese azalea

euphorbia and chive

Can anyone tell me what  botanical purpose the crab like claws on the euphorbia serve?

In the garden, I saw a great tit….

great tit…and there were still a lot of starlings about.

starlingFinally, later in the afternoon, there seemed to be enough stability in the weather to let me out for a short stroll and I ventured round Gaskell’s Walk with one eye on the wild flowers and the other on some looming clouds.  I wisely didn’t spend too much time looking for photo opportunities and got back home before the rain started again but I did see a few things along the way.

lichen

A thriving lichen on a wall beside the road.

geum and blue flower

I know that the plant on the left is a geum but I don’t know the blue flower

red flower and butterfly

The may be red campion on the left and it is definitely a butterfly enjoying a bluebell on the right.

red flower and hawthorn

An unknown (to me) red flower and some potential hawthorn blossom

rhododendron in the park

A rhododendron in the park

It was time for a cup of tea with Mike Tinker who was visiting Granny when I got home and not long afterwards, Mike and Frankie, Mrs Tootlepedal’s brother and sister-in-law,  returned from their short holiday in Troon and Mull.  They hadn’t enjoyed the best of weather but a reunion with old friends and  the scenery had made the trip worthwhile.

In the evening, Granny took us all out for an excellent farewell meal at the Douglas Hotel as she is going to go home with Mike and Frankie tomorrow.  We will be sorry to see her go and hope to see her again next year.

More wind and rain is forecast for the next few days.  I was hoping for a few more bike miles before the end of May but it will take a mighty big (and improbable) effort to get me out in these conditions.

The flying bird of the day is that jay from the Moorland Feeders.

flying jay

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Today’s guest picture shows the Mermaid in Rye.  The picture was taken by my sister on a recent visit to this ancient town on the south coast of England.  It must be one of the prettiest inns in the country.

The Mermaid, RyeWe had another chilly and windy day with alternating sunshine and showers.  I found a sunny spell after breakfast and went out for  a dull  three lap, 20 mile ride up and down the Wauchope road, with the intention of running for home if the rain started and avoiding the worst of the wind at the same time.

I was partially successful and only got rained on for a short time on the third leg of the trip.  As I could see blue sky following on behind the rain, I persevered and was soon through the shower.  It was lucky that it was a short shower as the temperature dropped and the wind gusted heavily as it passed over. As it was, the wind was strong enough to add five minutes to my time over the same course yesterday.

I had enough energy when I got back to drink the cup of coffee that Mrs Tootlepedal had made with expert timing against my return and then take a walk round the garden in the sunshine.

In spite of the rain, hail, snow and wind, there is still quite a bit of colour to be seen.

primula and euphorbia

An obstinate primula growing in the middle of a path and a very decorative euphorbia

tulips

Two topping tulips

daffodil and spirea

A durable daffodil and a spectacular spirea.

On the down side, the grass on the lawns is going to pot and I doubt that my back would stand up to the work necessary to get them back in order.  I shall have to give up the dream of a perfect sward.  Perhaps a wild flower meadow is beckoning?

The rest of the morning was spent having a relaxing bath in an effort to get some of the stiffness out of my legs and shoulders.  It didn’t have much effect but I enjoyed the soak.

I noticed an infrequent visitor on the feeder when I came down.

starlings

A starling, probably nesting nearby.

I tried and failed to get a flying pigeon picture.

flying pigeon I was intending to make some carrot soup for lunch but I had spent so long lounging in the tub that we went off to a garden centre to try their home made soup instead.  Mrs Tootlepedal bought some herbs and some beetroot seedlings while we were there and we investigated their logs for our new stove.

It was raining heavily when we got home so we spent useful time getting some of the things that were moved out of the two rooms for the building works back in to them again.  Some things are being placed elsewhere in the house and quite a lot is going into the bin in the effort to have a tidy as well as a dry room downstairs.

When the rain stopped, I nipped up to the Moorland bird feeders to see what I could see.

Moorland feedersThere was just a hint of sunshine on the tree tops to set off the heavy black cloud of the departing shower.

Action was slow to get going but I am more patient than I used to be and the hide is very snug on a cold and windy day so I waited and was rewarded by a visit from a greater spotted woodpecker which came very close to the hide.

woodpecker

It had a good look round…

woodpecker

…before heading for the peanuts.

I thought that it deserved a head and shoulders portrait.

woodpeckerIt was followed by some great tits…

great tits

This one is a local, judging by the ring.

…and several chaffinches.   They arrived with another rain shower.

chaffinchI had put a little seed on a tree stump and the chaffinches were happy to pose in return for a seed or two.

_DSC9382-1Unlike the woodpecker, which had come close and stayed there, I had a fleeting visit from a jay.  It swooped up to the hide and then wheeled round and headed for a distant feeder.

jayThe jay left and the sun came out which let me leave the hide in comfort, pausing for one last glance at another chaffinch.

chaffinchIt had been a most enjoyable hour.

When I got back, I helped Mrs Tootlepedal put lampshades on the wall lights in the front room and looked through the thirty woodpecker pictures that I had taken (and the thirty chaffinch pictures).

In the evening, we both went off to sing with our local choir, Langholm Sings.  We have two ladies who are sharing the job of musical direction for the choir and they are settling into to the job very well so we had a good two hours with plenty of work and some useful progress.   I have the good fortune to sit beside a young music student with a fine voice.  He keeps me right and as a bonus,  covers up any little mistakes of mine very well.

The flying bird of the day is a garden chaffinch taken in one of the gloomy moments of the day.

flying chaffinch

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