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Posts Tagged ‘robin’

Today’s guest picture comes from my brother Andrew.  He was tempted by this large pre-Halloween spider mallow shortcake but a quick look at the nutrition information revealed that he would have to take two or more days to eat it to stay within his health guidelines, so he gave it a miss.

halloween mallow

I had a rotten night’s sleep and while Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a business meeting, I was more than happy to idle the morning away with nothing more demanding than the crossword, sweeping the leaves off the middle lawn and washing the car,  Those who know me well will be amazed to hear that I washed our car, but when you carelessly buy a white car, even the most dirt blind person can’t avoid noticing when it turns brown.

I also spent a little time stalking the garden birds.

starling, chaffinch, robin and sparrow

Once again, a dunnock is my pick of the day, though the robin ran it close

dunock on lawn

We have had a small but tasty crop of autumn raspberries and the very late hosta is a continuing delight.

raspberry and hosta

There are some good survivors among the humble flowers and the Crown Princess has perked up again.

daisy, yarrow, sweet rocket and rose

After lunch, Mrs Tootlepedal looked at the fine weather and suggested a walk.  She likes to go somewhere away from my regular walks if possible, so we drove to the top of Callister and checked out a track there.

It was alright at the beginning as we passed this little bridge under the road which we had just driven along…

conduit

…but the track soon became very soggy so we retraced our steps and tried walking in the opposite direction.  It looked as though a weather front might be looming up…

view from callister

…but we kept walking until we got to the end of the track about half a mile on.  There was plenty to see on both little walks.

I think that the yellow flower is a prickly sow thistle, the painted lady looked a bit pale and battered but flew about quite cheerfully…

lichen, flower, painted lady and clover

…and the clover and lichen were both doing very well.

There was fungus and more lichen beside the track…

fungus and lichen

…and some larches turning to gold among the spruces.

larch callister

The track led us towards an artificial pond that was made when the area was first planted with trees.  It was said that it was to attract ducks but it looks neglected and overgrown now, more marsh than pond….and not a duck in sight.

 

pond callister

We strolled back to the car and drove a few hundred yards along the road back down the hill.  There we parked and took a forestry track along the other side of the road.

The track was rich in wild flowers, including this very impressive multi stemmed dandelion look alike.

big yellow flower

And although the clouds were still looming, the sun stayed out and made things look very colourful.

fungus and dandelion with insect

There were lichens of many kinds on our way….

four lichens

…and lots of colourful details too.

four items along westwater track

We went far enough along the gently climbing track to enjoy some splendid views over the neighbouring hills…

westwater track view 1

…with the sun shining on the monument six miles away…

westwater track view 2

…and the Solway plain lying below us with the northern English fells in the distance.

westwater track view 3

I liked the way that seemingly arbitrary larches had sneaked in among the regulation spruces.

westwater track view 4

When we had enjoyed the views for long enough, we turned to go back to the car, passing tiny forests of moss and a smooth clump of deer grass….

moss, mold and deer grass

…and two very interesting patches of something slimy or moldy (or both) on the track.

The track, which was was rather bare and severe when it was first put in a few years ago, has grown into the landscape now and it was a pleasure to walk along it in the late afternoon sunshine.

Westwater track 5

As we turned the corner into the sun, we had the choice of the yellow brick road…

westwater track view 6

…or the straight and narrow.westwater track view 7

We probably didn’t walk much more than three miles at the most but it was a very worthwhile excursion and we felt that we thoroughly deserved our cup of tea and a biscuit when we got home.

We would normally have been in Edinburgh on a Thursday afternoon visiting Matilda but both her parents are a bit poorly and her other grandparents were visiting already so we didn’t feel a visit would really be a good thing.

On our walk, we found ourselves under a fairly busy flight path for a while so the flying bird of the day is a bit bigger than the normal ones.

flying plane callister

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from my Somerset correspondent Venetia.  She went to see a 70 year old friend abseiling down Wells Cathedral to raise £700 for the charity Sosafrica.  I can only say that it takes all sorts and rather her than me..

North tower of Wells Cathedral, raining some £700 for SOSAfrica

We had a dry day today with occasional sunshine.  This was very welcome after some wet and gloomy days but it would have been even more welcome if there hadn’t been a stiff and chilly breeze blowing.

I have been feeling a bit tired lately so it took me some time to get organised and make use of the good weather but I finally got out on my bike and pedalled up the hill to the Moorland Feeders.

I am told that the little wood where the hide and feeders are situated is going to be cut down as the larch trees are suffering from disease.  This will be a great pity as many people have come to the hide and enjoyed watching the birds.  Today, I saw a handsome work of art leaning against the hide but only about ten birds so it wasn’t the best day to be a bird watcher.

Lverock Hide october

There are many pylons passing along our valley and there is a great amount of maintenance work going on at the moment.  Just near the bird hide, a new road has been made across the fields so that workmen can get to the pylons there.

pylon and road

As there are hundreds of pylons, there is a lot of work going on all up and down the valley.  It is interesting to see that something which we largely take for granted is being looked after on our behalf.  Co-incidentally, I read an article today saying that there are going to be big precautionary power cuts in northern California because their pylon infrastructure has not been maintained well enough to withstand strong winds.

The ride up the hill to the bird hide had gone well enough to encourage me to pedal on to Canonbie before turning for home.

I passed a couple of glowing trees.

two colourful trees

The Cross Keys Hotel in Canonbie is an old coaching inn and looks very much the same today as it did a hundred years ago.  I didn’t stop for refreshment or a change of horses though…

cross keys hotel

…but headed down the old main road to the bottom of the Canonbie by-pass, battling into the breeze.

I decided that the wind might be helpful enough on the way back for me to take the road past Glenzierfoot and Fauldie farms.  In days gone by Dropscone and I used to cycle along this road on many a morning before having coffee at Wauchope Cottage.  I had forgotten how steadily uphill it was though, and even with a generally helpful breeze, I found it was a lot harder work now than it was then.

The sun went in too and it was a bit bleak pedalling over the hill, past leafless trees…

bare tree mossknowe

…until I got to a point, nearly at the top of the hill.  The little green structure houses some water board equipment and looking at the signpost, I realised that this literally was a half way house.  I love it when a figure of speech comes to life.

half way house

The final four miles, downhill and with the stiff breeze now straight behind me, soon made me forget the toil of the uphill section and I got home after 22 miles, tired but happy.

I had a late lunch and went out to look at the garden.

The holly tree perch was host to two starlings today, working in close harmony.

two starlings together

There were 15 more starlings sitting on the power line.

many starlings

When the sun came out, Rosy Cheeks and Princess Margareta looked wonderful…

roses, nerine, sunflower

…and when the sun went in, nerines and sunflowers provided quite of cheerful colour anyway.

This is the most colourful bed in the garden at the moment, with nerines, calendula, nicotiana and some crocosmia peeping over the hedge behind.

colourful flower ded october

Mrs Tootlepedal went off to get her hair cut and I had a final look round the garden….

anemone, poppy, calendula, cosmos

…while picking up walnuts which the breeze had dislodged from the tree.

I spotted a robin in the lilac tree…

robin in lilac

…and some slightly worn but still pretty flowers…

clematis, viola, anemone, black eyed susan

…before going in for a shave and a shower.

I needed the shave and shower as I had an appointment with the doctor to get the results of a recent blood test.  Rather to my surprise, it turned out that I was perfectly well in every way.  Even my cholesterol, which had been concerning the doctor a bit, had mysteriously fallen to very satisfactory levels.  The downside is that there is now no excuse for feeling tired and I will have to pull myself together.  Ah well, you can’t have everything.

When I got back, Mrs Tootlepedal was in the mood to collect some more bracken for the vegetable beds so we drove up to the bracken mine, and while she wielded her shears, I had another look at the fungus in the wood.

I wondered if it would still be there or if it would disappear as quickly as it had come.

It was still there.

wauchope fungus again

In great quantities and many different varieties.

wauchope fungs clumps

It is mostly in in one short section of the wood…

wauchope brown fungus

…though I did see this lone toadstool as I walked further along.

wauchope toadstool

When we got back, Mrs Tootlepedal laid the bracken on two beds and we had a walk round the garden, enjoying the bright phlox…

late phlox

…and picking up more walnuts…

walnuts in bowl

…before we went inside.

In a break with precedent, Scotland played really really well today in a rugby match in the world cup in Japan and we are now in a situation in which either a passing tropical storm or a gallant but not quite good enough win in the last match will return us to normality.

The flying bird of the day is a jackdaw heading for the power line and a rest.

flying jackdaw

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Today’s guest picture is the last from Dropscone’s Highland holiday.  He and his daughter Susan visited Loch Ness but resisted the charms of the cruise boat and drove round the loch by car instead.  They didn’t see a monster.

Loch ness cruiser

It was another gloomy, damp day here with the clouds hanging low over the  town and frequent spells of miserable drizzle to make things damper and gloomier.

Mrs Tootlepedal found a nearly dry moment to take our visitor Riley for a walk after breakfast, and Riley enjoyed a well earned rest when he got back.

riley

I had a pretty good rest all morning myself and it was only interrupted by the arrival of Sandy for a cup of coffee and a biscuit.  He had had a very good ride on his new electric bike yesterday and was full of praise for the way it had carried him up steep roads and over the hill and far away.  He has written about his trip here.   This might interest anyone thinking about getting an e-bike.

When he left, I went out into the garden to see if it was raining.

It was.

sparrow in rain on fence

Looking around, I could see that our power lines were busy.  I don’t usually expect to see a robin perching on one.

robin on wire

I do expect to see starlings at present.  They were adopting varying formations today,

three starlings on wirefour starlings on wire

A blackbird preferred to remain at a lower level and took the chair.

blackbird on chair staring

Sandy went off to the Archive Centre and brought back some sheets of the newspaper index for me to put onto the database.  Spurred by this, I caught up on my backlog, and it looks as though there will be plenty more gloomy weather to come which will encourage me to put in these new sheets soon.

As the afternoon wore on, the drizzle stopped and I found myself with just enough time for a quick three bridges walk before my flute pupil Luke arrived.

I nodded at some flowers as I left the garden…

roses and dahlia panel

…and walked down to the suspension bridge from which I looked up river towards the first bridge that I would cross…

 

Town Bridge October

…and down river to where the poplars are just beginning to change colour.

poplars beside Esk

The best leaf colour of the day was lying in a gutter beside the bridge..

fallen leaves

…and there is a bit of worry that the leaves may fall off the trees this year without giving us a good show of autumn tints.

I walked along the river bank and crossed the town bridge.  I was hoping to see some riverside birds, but the only one that I came across was Mr Grumpy, standing on one leg.

heron one leg

I then walked up to the Sawmill Bridge and crossed it.

sawmill brig

Looking up the Lodge Walks from under the canopy, the trees look pretty green still…

lodge walks inside

…but looking at the same trees from outside in the field, they look rather brown.

lodge walks outside

Across the Castleholm, there was a mild show of colour but the birch trees have lost all their leaves already and give the scene a rather blurred look.

trees across castleholm

A little burst of sunshine appeared but it lit up Whita Hill and the monument while I remained under a cloud.

sunshine on whita

When I got to the Jubilee Bridge, the third of my three bridges, something had changed since my last walk.

jubilee bridge october

I realised that I could see more of the bridge than usual and this turned out to be because someone had cut down one of the two big trees that stood beside the bridge.

felled tree jubilee bridge

Why they should have done this is a mystery at present.

I stood on the bridge and looked upstream.

 

upriver from jubilee bridge october

And then I walked home and saluted a beautiful astrantia which welcomed me into the garden.

astrantia october

My flute pupil Luke came and we practised some new pieces which was exciting.

Mrs Tootlepedal has been looking at recipes and made a delicious red lentil dal to go with a second helping of the venison stew.  The day ended well.

There are two flying birds of the day today just because I didn’t have much else to do in the morning except look up at distant birds.

First, a rook flying high over the garden…

flying rook

…and then a starling, trying to find a better power line to perch on.

flying starling

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Today’s guest picture is another from our son Tony.  He met this ‘wee, sleekit, cow’rin, tim’rous beastie‘ in a field while he was out on a walk.  Whether it had a ‘panic in its breastie’ is not recorded.

wemyss mouse

We had any amount of rain overnight, and when I looked at Mary Jo’s scientific rain gauge, it had five inches of rain in it. I think that that was the product of the last two weeks and judging by the forecast, it may not be too long before It fills up again.  September was an unusually wet month and October is no improvement so far.

Still, the other side of the coin has been the generally warm weather which has let Crown Princess Margareta enjoy a late burst of life.  She seems to be pretty waterproof and unfazed by the overnight rain.

princess margareta after rain

Other flowers, like this clematis, are also holding on well and have more buds ready to come out.

purple clematis october

Even Lilian Austin has been tempted into producing a final fling.

lilian austin trying

Mrs Tootlepedal started the day off by taking our guest, Riley, for a walk, and then we went to church to sing in the choir.  We had a visiting minister who radiated a serious cheerfulness (he was serious and cheerful at the same time), a reasonable number of singers in the choir and a selection of good hymns.  I enjoyed the service.

I had forgotten to make a stew for the slow cooker after breakfast so I had to defrost some of the venison that I bought yesterday and make the stew when we got back from church.  It is very good to get back from our Carlisle choir in the evening and find a hot meal waiting for us, so it was worth the effort.

Although it was a very grey day, Mrs Tootlepedal took Riley off for another walk while I was cooking, and I when I had finished, I had time to go out into the garden to do some bird watching.

The lilac tree was very busy with visits from a robin…

robin in lilac

…a blue tit…

blue tit on lilac

…and a dunnock.

`dunnock in lilac

A sparrow, anxious to appear in the post, tried out various poses on the fence for me…

sparrow posing on fence 1

…before we settled…

sparrow posing on fence 2

…on this one as the final product.

sparrow posing on fence 3

There is often a starling to be seen perched on the top of our neighbour Irving’s holly tree and I have sometimes wondered if it is always the same one.  This scruffy bird seemed quite familiar…

rough starling on holly

…but as I watched, it was replaced by this smoother version.  It waved its friend good bye.

smooth starling on holly

There may be those who can’t imagine what a gardener might do with bracken so I have put this picture in to show what happened to yesterday’s crop.  It has already done a good job in keeping last night’s heavy rain from battering the exposed soil where the courgettes were growing.

bracken on veg bed

Another alternative is to plant a covering crop.  Mrs Tootlepedal has used a sowing of grass on this year’s potato bed.

grass sown on potato bed

After lunch, we went off to Carlisle for some shopping and singing.  The shopping was successful but the singing was not as useful as it might have been as once again, our regular conductor had other business.  She had sent down a very competent young man to take her place, but it is not the same as being taken by someone who knows us well.

And the heating was off when we came in so it was a bit chilly too.

Notwithstanding this, we did a lot of singing and that is always a good thing.

We had been threatened with rain but there was only the faintest drizzle on the drive home.  We arrived safely and enjoyed the slow cooked venison stew, followed by tarte tatin for our evening meal.

All in all, a good day in spite of some very gloomy weather.

The flying bird of the day is a starling leaving the holly tree at speed.

flying starling

 

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Dropscone’s Highland holiday.  He went to Fraserburgh and saw not one but two lighthouses.

Fraserburgh Lighthouse

It was another tedious morning with lots of rain showers and just enough gaps between them to make you think that they might be stopping….but they didn’t.

After killing time to a background of Beatles music on the pop up radio channel, I went out in one of the gaps to get my new insoles which had been delivered to the Thomas Hope Hospital up in the town.

The rain stopped for long enough to get me up to the town, but having got me there, it rained on me all the way home.  How I laughed.

The birds didn’t think that it was funny either.

wet sparrow on fence

A starling just couldn’t get settled at all.

scrubby starling

I fried some sardines and had them on toast for my lunch and then wasted some more time.

I looked out of the back window and saw that the dam had risen a bit, so I thought that I ought to go and check on how the new sluice gate at Pool Corner was holding up.  It was raining, but it wasn’t windy and it was fairly warm so I took my brolly and set off

There was plenty of water going over the caul but the wall and sluice looked solid enough so I was reassured.

Pool Corner spate

Since I was out and about with a brolly and I had my new insoles in my shoes, I kept walking.  There was plenty of water coming down the Becks Burn…

Becks Burn spate

…but I thought that I would be safe enough to cross the little wooden bridge across the burn  higher up and took the road up the hill.

Looking back down at the Auld Stane Brig, the scene looked autumnal.

auld stane brig early autumn

I had hoped to see some fungus on my way, but some animal had got to this one before me.

eaten toadstool

By the time that I got to the bridge across the burn, the rain had stopped…

becks burn bridge

…but not long after I had crossed it, the rain started again, first with a little pitter patter and then with some serious intent and by the time that I got home, it was hammering down.

I settled down indoors to watch some cycling but after a while, I looked up and saw that the day had brightened a bit and the rain had stopped again.  I felt that I ought to give my new insoles a good work out, so I put them in different pair of  shoes and set off to see how far I could go before it started to rain again.

I had a quick tour round the  garden before I left just to show that the rain hadn’t flattened everything.

four soggy flowers

It was good to see that there are still buds ready to open.

One thing that the rain had done was to knock a few walnuts off our walnut tree.

dish of walnuts

I took the walnuts inside and while I was there, I spotted an old acquaintance through the window.

robin on drive

Leaving the robin to entertain itself, I walked down to the river.  It was fairly full but far from being in flood.

esk with water

I walked across the suspension bridge and up the road where I met another old friend on the Kilngreen.  He was surrounded by ducks.

kilngreen residents

I walked round the new path on the Castleholm.  An oak tree had a good collection of interesting things to show.

oak tree details

…and even after all the rain, an umbellifer was providing food for a hoverfly.

hoverfly on umbel

And then, out of the blue, the sun came out.

early autumn colour

It did point up how much some trees are changing already…

early autumn castleholm

…but it cheered up my walk a lot.

new path castleholm

The Langholm Agricultural Show is on tomorrow on the Castleholm and they must have been very worried by how much rain that there has been this week.  The news is that the show will go ahead regardless of the weather tomorrow and the stylish tents were positively sparkling in the welcome sunshine this evening.

Cattle show tent

Once again, the sun picked out the turning leaves in the trees behind the tents.

cattle show tent and trees

I didn’t want to overdo the new insole trial so I stuck to the short route home and got back without being rained on this time.

I was welcomed in by that spider.

spider

Looking at the very latest forecast, it seems that the Agricultural show could have a mostly sunny day tomorrow.  If that turns out to be true, I might put my new insoles into my wellies and pay a visit.  It will probably be quite muddy.

A starling is the flying bird of the day again.  They have very elegant wings I think.

flying starling

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Today’s guest picture is another from my brother’s Spanish jaunt and shows the very impressive public library in Gijon.  They obviously take libraries seriously there.

Spanish library

We had another rainy day today but by way of a change after yesterday’s drizzle, today we had several sharp showers with breaks in between, and even an occasional ray of sunshine.

I had to go to the health centre for a blood test before breakfast and unfortunately this outing coincided with probably the sharpest shower of the day.  Luckily I am well supplied with large brollies from my golfing days so I managed to get there and back without getting too wet and enjoyed a late breakfast when I got home.

When the rain stopped I went out to see the flowers.  Crown Princess Margareta looked a bit depressed by the rain and who can blame her.

Margareta rose

A passer by yesterday gave it as his opinion that the time for garden tidying was upon us, but there are still a lot of flowers on the go.  After coffee, I went out for another look and they lit up the gloom this morning.

three red things

Both in colour and in white.

three white things

But all the same, I spent quite a lot of time indoors looking out to see whether it was still raining.  There was a lot to see through the kitchen window.

There was a rare visit from a chaffinch to the plum trip.

chaffinch in plum tree

I thought that we might have a one legged robin in the garden…

robin on kerb

…but when it hopped off the kerb onto the the drive, it showed it was bipedal…

robin on ground

…and took a bow beside one of our many puddles…

robin near puddle

…before hopping up onto a chair, posing prettily and…

robin on chair

…then flying off…

…leaving me to watch a little drama playing out on the window itself.

spider in action

Fortunately, as time was hanging a little heavily on my hands, the kind people at the BBC have organised a pop up digital radio station for four days, devoted to celebrating the life and works of the Beatles.  To those readers either too old, too young or too deaf to appreciate what a treat this is, I can only say that your life has a hole in it.  The station is going to be on air until Sunday but I am listening to BBC Sounds on my computer while I am writing the blog and Dave Grohl is playing a well chosen selection of Beatles songs to distract me.

I manged to turn the radio off after lunch and take advantage of a break in the rain to go for a pedal.  It was warm but breezy and I had to keep my nose to the wheel as I went up the road but the sound of geese honking made me look up, and I not only got a glimpse of some blue sky but the skein of geese as well.  The sharp eyed may be able to see them against the cloud.

cloudscape

Bringing my eyes back to earth, the way ahead looked a bit more problematic as far as the weather went.

Wauchope road gloom

But I pressed on and was serenaded by crows as I went up to Cleuchfoot.

crows

The sun came out for a moment as I crossed the Glencorf Burn…

burst

…but it started to rain again a few minutes later.  I turned at Cleuchfoot and headed home, wondering if I was going to get a soaking again.

Luck was with me today though and it had stopped raining by the time that I got back to Langholm so I turned and did another tour to Cleuchfoot.

There was plenty of water running off the hill…

roadside waterfall

…and in places the road was really wet so I took things cautiously again.

I added a little diversion on at the end of my second lap and this brought the distance up to almost 20 miles.  That little diversion also brought my monthly total up to 400 miles so I was pleased to have gone the extra mile.

I had a last walk round the garden when I got back and noticed one of the transplanted fuchsias hiding behind these dahlias.  It is trying to come out but it is so late that I doubt that it is going to make it before winter comes.

three dahlias

In spite of the weather, there are still bees doing their thing.

dahlia and bee

Then it seemed a good idea to go back inside and enjoy more of the Beatles feast on the radio.

It looks as though it is going to rain a lot tomorrow so I may well listen to more Beatles.

There is more than one flying bird of the day today.

skein of geese

 

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Today’s guest picture comes from Bruce’s recent trip to the central belt of Scotland.  He found a bit of a wall there that wasn’t built by Hadrian.

Antonine wall

There was torrential rain to the south of us today, leading to serious flooding in England but it was warm and dry here when I got up.  There was no sign of any sun though as I walked down the riverside path towards the bottom of the town.

eskside path

Sue, a very thoughtful blog reader, had realised that I was likely to be starved of both scones and coffee-time conversation in the absence of Mrs Tootlepedal, Dropscone and Sandy, so she had invited me to visit for coffee with the added inducement of a probable nuthatch sighting at her bird feeder.

My route took me past the tall hedge that has been grown to disguise the fact that the sewage works for the town lurks behind it.  It is a hedge chock full of interest.

sewage works flowers

And the river bank itself was quite colourful too.

riverside flowers

When I got to Sue’s, I was enthusiastically welcomed by her three dogs and after they had calmed down, she took me for a tour of her garden.

She keeps hens and ducks as well as dogs (and cats).

Sue's hens

Her garden is mostly built on a broad shelf in the hillside which used to carry the railway line to Langholm.  Now it is a woodland glade with a waterfall….

Sue's waterfall

…views through the trees of more trees across the river…

Sue's view

…with fruits and fungi on every side…

Sue's sloe and fungus

…and more hens…

Sue's chicken

…and a very peaceful air about it.

Sue's garden

It is a garden that will have interest in all four seasons.

After the garden tour, we went in to a busy house where joiners and a plasterer were hard at work on improvements.

Sue provided us all with coffee and instead of scones, I was offered two very tasty Bakewell slices.  These were a very acceptable accompaniment to a good cup of coffee.

Sue has a very well stocked bird table outside her window, with ordinary bird seeds, nyger seed, fat balls and peanuts.  In spite of a good deal of bustle from the work force, the birds were not slow to come to the feeder.

Sparrows were the most frequent visitors…

Sue's sparrow

…and a lone jackdaw dropped in…

Sue's jackdaw

…but it wasn’t long before the promised nuthatch appeared and adopted a characteristic nuthatch pose…

Sue's nuthatch 1

…before getting down to the serious business of eating peanuts.

Sue's nuthatch 2

A blue tit looked on from a neighbouring tree.

Sue's bluetit

As we chatted, another nuthatch, or perhaps the same one again, appeared and tried a different set of nuts.

Sue's nuthatch 3

I was thoroughly entertained by both Sue and the birds but in the end, I left to get home before the rain reached Langholm.

On my way back along the river bank, I came upon these two men with a drilling rig.

drilling for oil Landsend

They are not drilling for oil.  They told me that they were going 10 metres down into the rock as part of the background work for a new flood prevention scheme for the town.

As I walked further along the river, I came across two goosanders.  They sometimes looked one way and sometimes, the other…

two goosanders

…but mostly they looked under the surface of the water.  There must have been good feeding down there because they were both very busy and quite often all I saw of them was a splash as they disappeared.

diving goosander

When I got back home, I had time for a quick look round the garden…

foxglove and creeper

…where I was surprised to find quite a few butterflies and other insects about, in spite of the increasingly grey weather.

four insects

I had my lunch and then the promised rains arrived.  It is still raining as I write this some hours later.  I decided to ignore the outside world for the afternoon and put in time entering the newspaper data into the Archive group database, and practising some flute pieces and singing.

When I did look out of the window, the outside world ignored me.

robin turning back

In the evening, I had another go at making a tarte tatin.  This was not so successful as the last effort with Mrs Tootlepedal’s help but it turned out to be still quite eatable so I ate some of it.

One forecast says that it might stop raining overnight, but that it will start raining again tomorrow.  Another says that it will stop raining overnight and won’t start again tomorrow.  We shall see.  I know which forecast I prefer.

The flying bird of the day is one of the goosanders.  It got fed up with swimming and took to the air.

flying goosander

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