Saturday, 8 January 2011

First Week of the Year

'a bout of flu' 
The first week of the year for us has been quiet and uneventful, which is just as well as I've spent most of it in bed with a bout of flu. "Man flu" I can hear some of you saying. Whatever it is it is making me feel pretty miserable. From what I can gather I share this affliction with many others and my sympathies goes out to you all. 

New Years Day
New Years day was quiet. We had no first footers which was just as well as I was feeling a little out of sorts and Anne was still nursing the chest infection she had. To avoid a severe bout of cabin fever I felt coming on I decided to go out for a quick walk. I have always maintained that if you are feeling low, or something is troubling you a walk is a great antidote or at the least you won't come back feeling any worse.

 Standing Sentinel
An audience of ducks
Standing Sentinel
There seemed to be a few people taking advantage of the weather and were out presumably walking their dinner off. The resident heron was standing sentinel over the ducks at the Kilngreen when I passed by. He kindly stopped whatever he was discussing with the audience he had before him, and posed for me on the picnic table as you can see. Perhaps they were plotting a raid on the Townhead Bakers. I plodded on towards Langholm Lodge and back by the river on the Castleholm. The going was treacherous in parts, especially by the river but managed home without any mishaps and spirits uplifted.

An Exciting Visitor
On returning from an appointment at the Health Centre on Wednesday I quietly looked round the the side off the house to see what was on the bird feeders and was rewarded by the sight of a male woodpecker (great or lesser spotted I'm not sure) greedily pecking away at the nuts. This was really exciting as the wood behind the house was largely cut down the previous Summer and we thought that was the last we would see of these regular visitors to the feeders. The bird feeders are continually busy and we had a visit from a solitary siskin on Thursday. Hopefully it was testing the feeders and more will come eventually as did the goldfinches.

The pleasure outweighs the cost
On reading Mr Tootlepedals  comments on how much it costs to keep the feeders filled.(posted on 6th January tootlepedal's Blog) I gave some thought to this myself. Recently I made a purchase at Whitesikes Garden Centre near Longtown and got a 25kg sack of peanuts for £29.99 this was a saving of £15 from where I was buying them at Carlisle market. I also bought a box of 75 fat balls at £9.99 this was a saving of 1p each compared to a tub of 50 in Wilkinsons. I know this all may sound a bit penny pinching but in the present financial climate we have to look for the best bargain we can get, also I have a fair idea what I want to spend per winter. So the more I can get for the money the more pleasure I'm getting in keeping the feeders filled. So it is a case of keeping the costs low and the pleasure high but as Gavin says, the pleasure far outweighs the cost.


  1. Sandy
    I am about to buy Feeder Mix Extra Seed from the RSPB Website but would only need another 12.75kg to last to the end of the winter. It would be much cheaper to buy 2 x 12.75kg at a total cost of £47.49. Would you be interested in going halfers with me. The cost of 1 12.75kg bag is £25.

  2. I looked at the RSPB site and I think Whitesyke is as cheap or cheaper for some stuff.