Tuesday, October 3, 2023

Food For Thought

One of these days I will get around to a blog post about Sue & I and our 14 days in sunny Skiathos, our second home.  How we survived the aftermath of horrific storm Daniel and the accompanying floods that almost destroyed yet another Skiathos season. How the stoical, independent-minded, enterprising and hard working Skiathans returned their island to almost normal in less than a week while welcoming travellers to their magical island as if nothing had happened.  How we felt humbled and amazed that in the face of more disasters, their spirit, generosity and welcoming nature never faded a jot.  

Skiathos. Not My Picture.
For now it’s another ringing morning, this time on Monday at 0700 with Will, Andy and Bryan (not forgetting Barney) at our Oakenclough site on the edge of the Pennines above the market town of Garstang.  

The rather gloomy start did not faze us because over to the north just 12 miles away over Morecambe Bay the sky promised a bright, even slightly sunny morning that would part any clouds and propel birds through to our waiting nets. We were not disappointed when very quickly began an almost constant flow of migrant birds from the north; above and at eye level, heading south and west, hirundines, finches, wagtails, pipits, larks and even geese.  

Periods of processing and ringing birds by all four led inevitably to an incomplete and somewhat scratchy estimate of the species moving through and passing overhead – 220 Pink-footed Geese, 200+ Meadow Pipits, 60 + Swallows, 35 Siskins, 50 Chaffinches, 10 Lesser Redpolls, 60 Goldfinches, 15 Skylark, 20 wagtails, 35 Long-tailed Tits, 1 Reed Bunting, 1 Sparrowhawk. And goodness only knows how many there really were!  

Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail

Reed Bunting

Meanwhile a single Blackbird and no other thrushes felt rather strange amongst the rush and totals of species and numbers on the move - food for thought. In the meantime Redwings, Fieldfares and Northern Blackbirds will be with us very soon on their trajectory to warmer climes.  

Birds ringed 0730 to 1130 – 53 of 12 species – 14 Goldfinch, 9 Chaffinch, 6 Meadow Pipit, 6 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Coal Tit, 3 Long-tailed Tit, 3 Great Tit, 2 Blue Tit, 2 Robin, 2 Bullfinch, 1 Treecreeper, 1 Goldcrest.  


Lesser Redpoll - indeterminate sex first autumn

Treecreeper - first autumn

Meadow Pipit - first autumn

Siskin - first autumn male

Meadow Pipit- adult autumn

Meadow Pipit - adult autumn

Food for thought. In between the worry and expense of clearing up after Storm Daniel, and while caring for quests, our hosts Makis and Litsa of Hotel Ostria came to us in the garden one day with a freshly made Cheese Pie. Filo pastry with goat’s cheese filling, the pastry then glazed over with Greek Honey. Home made, simple yet divine.  

Skiathos Cheese Pie

"Philoxenia" - φῐλοξενῐ́ᾱ meaning "friend to a stranger” is about much more than a warm welcome; it is a complex moral code with deep roots in Greek culture and Greek daily life. 

Meanwhile in Western Europe and seemingly also in the US, led by media, big business and government there is an epidemic of cultural dementia coupled with a desire to obliterate our history and values. The Greek people don’t fall for such nonsense. and remain true to their beliefs.

Back soon folks with more tales, news, views and photos on Another Bird Blog. Stay safe, stay sane, stay strong.

Linking today to Eileen's Saturday.


Wally Jones said...

I have no experience at all in ringing, but 12 species and 53 individual birds ringed sounds like a respectable total. Even without the blackbirds participating.

Gini and I hope Sue is recovering from her cold. Feeling bad is no fun. We know she appreciates the care you provide.

Your food for thought made me hungry for that cheese pie. It also made me think, something to which I am not accustomed.

The response of the residents of Skiathos to storm recovery is quite similar to what we have observed during our journey through life. Tornado destruction in Texas, a building collapse in New York from an ice/snow storm, a train derailment in Germany and our closer to home annual hurricane disasters. Time and again, people come together to help one another. We are a resilient species.

If we can work together to help a neighbor mop up after a flood or take food to an area hit by a storm or pick up trash scattered by a tornado - there just may be hope for the planet yet. Can we survive the attempts at control by those who will never have enough power and money? Time will tell.

Food for thought, indeed.

All good here. We send our best wishes to you both.

Lowcarb team member said...

There has been so many storms, bad floods in so many countries ... weather patterns (are there any?) seem to be all over the place.

I do like the look of the Skiathos Cheese Pie.
A good selection of birds.

My good wishes to you and Sue.

All the best Jan

Rain said...

Hi Phil! Oh that cheese pie looks yummy. I love the colours on the Lesser Redpole!

eileeninmd said...

People seem to come together after these awful disasters. I am glad you were still able to enjoy your trip to Skiathos. It is also nice to come home and have a great ringing session. Your bird photos are beautiful, I loved them all. The Skiathos Cheese pie looks delicious, I would like to try making that recipe YUM. Thank you for linking up and sharing your post. Take care, have a great weekend.

Breathtaking said...

Hello Phil :=)

I am back after breaking my wrist in June, and it feels good to participate in blogging again.
What a good catch you had, and I enjoyed seeing the bird photos. They are all lovely.

People do seem to rally round helping out after a disaster of some kind. whether it be in Greece or elsewhere.

Enjoy your weekend.
Best wishes

Shiju Sugunan said...

Lovely photos! Your birdwatching adventure and Skiathos experience both sound incredible! The Cheese Pie looks delicious!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a beautifully written post...friend to a stranger. I love that phrase and think of the friendships we've made on our blogs. Love seeing the birds you've seen and can't wait to hear more about your trip. Enjoy your weekend. I plan to take the jeep out tomorrow for an adventure...be ready!

magiceye said...

Beautiful captures and the cheese pie looks delicious!

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