Thursday, August 5, 2021

This And That

A BMW approached on the other side of the road but soon became a passer-by as it hurtled off in the direction of the Stalmine 30mph zone. Ten and more years later and forever counting, our village still lacks a pedestrian crossing where folk can safely visit the Seven Stars. Or more importantly, cross safely back to the other side after a few pints. 

Soon, another car appeared in the rear view mirror, niggling at my rear end, even at 6am. The young lady 4X4 lost no time to roar past my untrendy and inexpensive Fiat as it leaned like a drunken sailor over the double white lines of Burned House Lane. Those two opposing vehicles were the only ones I saw on my 0600 journey toward Cockerham. 

I guess those people had somewhere important to go in a hurry, probably not, but I’m absolutely sure that at those speeds, neither of them were birders. 

There was no urgency as I reached Murder Mile of the A588, the scene of many a high speed, often fatal accident. Wiki - “The A588 is a road in England which runs from Poulton-le-Fylde to Lancaster. It is the main route serving the Over Wyre areas of the Fylde.” 

Me -“At 6am of a silent, slightly misty, sun-burnished autumn morning, the A588 can be quite breathtakingly beautiful”.  

Cockerham - Over-Wyre, Lancashire

Appropriately enough the 20 mile A588 that winds through the Over-Wyre villages of Hambleton, Stalmine and Pilling and across the marshy land that abuts Cockerham Sands, terminates at Lancaster Hospital. 

I stopped at the speed camera layby (weekends only) to grab a picture of the rising sun while reminding myself of the luck in leaving the DWP Rat Race some 15 years ago. Instead I get to spend a few hours in the glorious sunshine of an August morning with birds all around while not watching daytime TV. 

“Quality not Quantity” is the perennial defence and get out clause of bird ringers who don’t catch too many birds. I am no exception. Hence while 4 Linnet and 4 Reed Warbler will not make the BTO database blow a fuse, the feeling and fun was intense, and to borrow another ringer’s phrase, “there’s always another day”. 

One of the Reed Warblers, an adult female, had been ringed here in 2020, almost to the day. Thankfully for my ageing and sexing abilities, she was still an adult female with a now wrinkled brood patch. 

The picture is a juvenile Reed Warbler, protesting, as they do. 

Reed Warbler


The adult male Linnet was part way through its post-breeding moult. 

Birding was quiet too with a dawn Buzzard pursued by a handful of crows, and then later 150 or more of the blackened villains. Otherwise - 3 Grey Heron, 3 Little Egret,1 Great-spotted Woodpecker, 40 Woodpigeon, 2 Stock Dove, 4 Goldfinch and 6 or more Brown Hares.  

Great -spotted Woodpecker

Brown Hare

As I type there’s rain closing from the west with more forecast for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

We'll see.  The forecasters have been known to get it wrong, despite the many £millions spent on new computer modelling systems, the same systems that can predict the weather 30 or more years ahead!

Linking this weekend to Eileen's Saturday Blogspot and Texas Anni.


Angie said...

Phil - your gently barbed prose elicited more than one sarcastic smirk from me. Ah, British humour! The Spotted Woodpecker is an amazing specimen, and I am tickled that you caught the hare in the midst of a grooming session! Enjoy your weekend, dry or not!

Bob Bushell said...

Beautiful images of the Brown Hare, Reed Warbler and the Great Spotted Woodpecker, and all, thanks Phil.

Rain said...

That sunrise photo is beautiful Phil! And the Brown Hare too! :) One thing I absolutely love about moving to a rural area (at least here in NB), speeders are not here at all. People are laid back. There is no hurry to arrive at anyone's destination 3 minutes earlier just to be able to put the "pedal to the metal"!!

Irma said...

Beautiful pictures of the Reed Warbler and the Great Spotted Woodpecker.
The brown hare is also very beautiful.
Greetings Irma

eileeninmd said...

It seems the drivers here are in a hurry too, maybe they are always late leaving. The first scenic view is gorgeous. Love the sweet Reed Warbler and the beautiful Woodpecker! Cool capture of the Hare! Thank you for linking up and sharing your post! Take care, enjoy your weekend!

Shiju Sugunan said...

Early morning super-bike riders are most annoying in this part. The loud bikes are definitely not bird or birdwatcher friendly. I liked the sunrise shot, the birds and the thumb sucking hare. Great-spotted Woodpecker is a piece of art!

Rhodesia said...

There are no signs up for a speed limit through our hamlet, but it is understood that small towns and hamlets are 60 kph. There is a one-way crossroad in the middle of the 10 houses, but it is often that nobody bothers. I am amazed there has never been a huge pile-up!!

Lovely set of photos. Sorry I have not been visiting, I just seem to be extra busy. I am taking photos but not much time to go through them!
Keep safe Diane

Anni said...

This read like a novella today!! So descriptive of the drivers, you pulling off to enjoy & capture the sunrise. And of course your banding & great photos.
I wish you a joyous week ahead, and thanks for linking in at I'd Rather B Birdin'! Meet you back at the pub

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

The woodpecker is such a beautiful bird and you took a great photo. Love the rabbit too. I have to look for the turns to the hiking trails we take and sometimes they are hard to see. Cars are so impatient and I always hope they don't run into me from behind! EEEEE! Enjoy your Sunday!

Betty J. Crow said...

I do enjoy your narrative. I always learn something new. You sure got a good shot of the morning sun. And that hare! Perfect pose. However, the woodpecker is a favorite. Have a great day!

Wally Jones said...

We are, unfortunately, all to familiar with those folks who seem to have an urgent appointment and apparently take pride in the fact their vehicle is capable of passing us as if we are parked - which we often are. Our silent hope is that we won't find them in the ditch around the next bend.

Your photograph of the sunrise is spectacular. The morning scene is "comfortable".

The dearth of birds hardly seems an adequate excuse for ringing a hare, but I suppose one must practice to remain perfect.

A birding blog may be one of the few places you can brag about your sexing abilities and not raise too many eyebrows.

Gini and I came across a largish group (two dozen) of Blue-gray Gnatcatchers yesterday and were encouraged by the pre-migration flock. Autumn may be lurking beyond those dark thunderheads forming again to our west.

Be careful out there, what with speedsters and vicious bunny rabbits running amok!

Jean said...

What a gorgeous sunrise photo! The juvenile Reed Warbler does look like it is ready to give you a piece of its mind, wonderful image. Hopefully you won't get too much rain (unless it's needed, I'm for once, hoping for a bit around here so I don't have to water the garden today). Hope you have a great week!

Lowcarb team member said...

Oh my! That sunrise photograph is beautiful.
Love the one of the Brown Hare too, a great capture.

All the best Jan

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