Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Pilling Way

Another cool, cloudy start saw me at Fluke Hall earlier than most, with just one car in the doggy walkers starting grid. The brambly hedgerow there just behind the sea wall is the best place to find the first Whitethroat, this morning’s bird obliging with a blast of scratchy song the moment the car door opened. 


I set off towards Ridge Farm, and then negotiated the Pilling Puzzle, hoping for other bits and bobs along the way which heads back to the sea wall. I kept a wary eye on the menacing sky which threatened an April shower or two as I logged 4 singing Skylark, 5 Swallows dashing east, a couple of Linnets and a field with 40+ Woodpigeon and 2 Stock Dove. A Collared Dove obliged by staying on the gate post, but this was to be my best photo opportunity of the morning, hence the filler landscapes and peas on a drum later in the post. 

Collared Dove

Pilling Puzzle

Pilling Sky

Back in Fluke Hall wood I logged my first Blackcap of the year, singing as tiny Blackcaps do at a volume sufficient to be heard many, many metres away. Also here in the shelter of the woodland, 2 Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff. 

Along Backsands Lane a roadside Kestrel carrying prey appeared to be hurrying towards Damside where a pair nest most years, and as I stopped to watch the Kestrel I noted a pair of Redshanks together in the wet field. 

At the car park I broke off birding to admire an old motor vehicle. In some ways out-in-the-sticks Pilling is a tad out of date, stuck in its ways even, but not when it comes to money. The owner of this Austin Seven pick-up offered to sell me the vehicle for £10,000. I told him I could buy a good Canon lens with ten grand, but he just gave me an old fashioned look. 

Pilling Transport

 It was a great morning to be out, even if I wasn’t seeing many birds along the way to Pilling Water: 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Egret, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Meadow Pipit and 8 Skylark. At Pilling Water I stopped to count the geese as there looked more than of late and came up with 600+ Pink-footed Goose and 1 Brent Goose. Looks like there’s been an influx of geese from Norfolk where the majority of the wintering Brent Geese belong to the Dark-bellied form bernicla. The geese were distant, more so when a jogger came along the sea wall behind me to spook them further away. 

 Brent Goose with Pink-footed Goose

Not much else along here, 2 Teal and a Shoveler on the wildfowler’s pools, more Skylarks and a flock of 45 Golden Plover, attacked at one point by a Peregrine which flew off when at first it didn’t succeed. 

 Golden Plover and Lapwing

Back at the car park I took the picture below. I am a dog lover, grew up with dogs and have the scars to prove it. Nowadays some dog owners are extremely selfish and inconsiderate to the extent that the latest fashion is to discard bags of dog shit in public places where they expect volunteers or poorly paid public servants to pick it up instead of the owners taking it back home where it belongs. I’ll bet they were visitors to a local caravan park or incomers – Pilling People simply don’t do that. 

Litter Louts


grammie g said...

Hey Phil...Well congrats on your year first ...the piling way sounds like a great place when it isn't being used by runners, dog walkers , and people who live in the past lol!!
I always am baffled by the sophisticated lady who is walking her doggie with a bag of dog shit in her hand, when other wise is to good for such a think to touch oooeee yuck lol!!
I suppose her dog doesn't stink!! ; }
Great puzzle Phil, but I have a puzzling life without any others.. it's been's been nice..but it hasn't been real nice ; ]
Have a great week after Wednesday I'm off the blog for a bit..other eye surgery!!

Andrew said...

You have shared some wonderful birds.
I enjoy unusual stiles all over the UK. I had some real favourites in Cheshire but most have been replaced by metal kissing gates.

I have never got my head round people bagging dog poo then dumping it.
In a plastic bag it's going nowhere so somebody else has to bin it.

I have ranted about this before.

kirstallcreatures said...

Nice to see the Whitethroat, looking forward to myfirst sighting of the year. There's no absolutely no excuse for the growing trend of doggy bags, I don't understand it.

Dave said...

I'd buy the Canon lens over the old truck as well!

eileeninmd said...

Great day, Phil! Looks like another great site to see the birds. My favorite this time are the lapwing and plover. Great birds and photos. Happy Birding!

Chris said...

Love the pilling transport. Well done on the dark bellied brant!

Anonymous said...

really like the b/w shot of the Pilling puzzle

Carole M. said...

Sweet little Whitethroat (new to me). I had to smile at your equasion with the Austin Seven and a Canon lens, and I'm smiling more pondering of the "old fashioned look". Got the drift on the jogger, they're doing their thing and we're doing ours, but the two close together never quite work. Yes I'm with you on the litter louts.

Stuart Price said...

Always used to love watching/listening to Whitethroats........

If you want to see really bad litter......just come to Hakodate. Much worse than the UK. Haven't seen bags of dogs**t lying around though, hope I never do.........

Hey at least they put it in a bag. You can tread on a bag and emerge unscathed.

Michelle Palmer said...

Your blog, posts & photographs are wonderful~

Ayuwat Jearwattanakanok said...

Some nice b&w shots here, Phil. The golden plovers look even more stunning in breeding plumage when they're together in flock.

EG CameraGirl said...

Love the piling transport! Many of your birds here look a lot like ones I see here in Canada. I guess their DNA must be slightly different, though. I'm not sure as I am a novice birder.

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Love the Plovers, Lapwings, Geese, love the scenes that you have shared and yes, I think if I had my druthers, I would go for a new camera lens, rather than an old vehicle, pretty cool though. The last image, minus the trash...very beautiful feel to it~

Gary said...

Beautiful captures, except of the litter. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Hanne Bente said...

Beautiful picture series you run.
Wishing you a good evening.
Hanne Bente /

Christian said...

The poo bags are a joke Phil. These dog walkers would be better off kicking it into a hedge, if they can't bothered to discard it. Pathetic individuals.

Nice puzzle.

Larry said...

I just love reading your posts Phil. The way you use your language to covey your experiences brings me along on your outings every time. When you say "Not much else along here, 2 Teal and a Shoveler on the wildfowler’s pools, more Skylarks and a flock of 45 Golden Plover, attacked at one point by a Peregrine which flew off when at first it didn’t succeed," not only does it give me a clear picture of what is going on there, it lets me know that you must see Peregrine Falcons quite often to casually mention them in this fashion.

I love the "Pilling Puzzle" but don't understnd it. Is it an egress for walkers to get across a fence where cattle cannot go?

I'm with you on the louts and their lazy disregard but why put dog shit in bags anyway? Out in the countryside why not have your dog go somewhere people won't tread and leave it for nature to take care of?

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