Posts Tagged ‘wild goats’

Today’s picture comes from my daughter Annie’s friend Dan and was taken during a concert which they were at.  If  you are over 60 and British you should be able to identify at least two of this collection of great but cheerful musicians.

Williamson Renbourn & Jones 21.4

I was quite cheerful too as we had another sunny day today while the areas around us had heavy showers.  The birds are eating my seed as quickly as I can put it out.  I took these sparring goldfinches around 9 o’clock in the morning…


They were too quick for the camera today.

..and I took this threatening siskin at six o’clock in the evening…

siskin and chaffinch

It startled the chaffinch so much that it has jumped out of its shoes.

…and at all points in between (and before and afterwards) there was a steady stream of visitors to the feeders.

I had to take this on trust from Mrs Tootlepedal because I was out for most of the day.  Dr Barlow, from the Moorland Education Project, had organised a day’s course on recording wildlife and Sandy and I went along to this.   It was described as lasting from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and we both imagined that it would be unlikely that we would last for the whole thing but it turned out to be a very interesting talk with many, many examples to listen to.  It was pitched so that both the seasoned wildlife enthusiast and an absolute beginner like myself could enjoy it equally which is a difficult trick to pull off.

I have been thinking of getting a digital recorder for recording oral history for the Archive Group and the lecturer showed me that I could easily use the same recorder for recording wildlife with the addition of a suitable microphone.   This was very useful to know.  He recorded a bit of his talk and then played it back and it sounded very clear, even in a rather echoing room.

Sandy came home with me for a bowl of soup for lunch and was impressed by the ongoing bird activity while we ate.  I had asked Dr Barlow during the day where the best for viewing bird on the moor would be and armed with this information, I set off in the car as soon as the lecture had finished.  Sadly, although I had my new lens with me,  I had my usual success at bird watching on the moor though I did see a hill…

Tinnis Hill

Tinnis Hill taken with the new lens.

..and some wild goats.

wild goats

They were a bit too far away to get a good shot which was a pity as they are very impressively horned and shaggy coated.


The best that I could do with either lens.

To be fair, I did see one bird.  It is a red grouse.  It too was a long way away.


The whole point of the moorland project is to improve the habitat for grouse so it was good to see one.

The weather was rather curious with lovely sunshine on one side and alarming black clouds on the other.


The sky behind the monument was much more alarming than it looks in this picture.

In the end, I got bored after an hour of seeing no exciting birds and went home.  I stopped at the White Yett to admire the contrasting sunshine and shade.  It was obviously pouring with rain to the south and west of Langholm but sunny where I was.

Meiklehlom hill

Castle Hill

When I got  back down to the town, I saw that they were playing cricket on the Castleholm which surprised me as I would have thought that April was a bit too early to start the season.

cricket on the castleholm

The birds were still very active when I got back but I didn’t have time to get the perfect shot and the light was fading too.

goldfinch wheeling

chaffinch looming

The light was good enough for a couple of tulips which fortunately stay a bit stiller than the birds.


This one had closed up with the departure of the sun but still looked elegant.

pink tulip

I am not sure if this one has actually opened out yet.

In the evening, Mrs Tootlepedal went off to a concert given by her old choir in Gretna.  She enjoyed it a lot and it even finished in good time, which is exceedingly rare for any choir concert, so she came home very happy.  While she was out,  I was visited by Kevin who has volunteered to put some of his pictures into our photo exhibition.  We should have quite a good number of pictures in the show.

Today’s chaffinch is an early morning siskin.  I notice that it has been ringed.


Footnote: The singers in the picture of the day are (from left to right) Wizz Jones, Robin Williamson (of the Incredible String band) and John Renbourn (of Pentangle).  Annabel says that they are coming to Carlisle later this year.

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