Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Salvage Hunters

Was that the phone ringing in the dining room two walls and two closed doors away? Sue and I were in the bedroom watching Salvage Hunters with Drew just about to pay a crazy sum for a piece of old tat. I reached the phone before it cut off but because of the ensuing conversation I never found out how much Drew wasted. 

It was Peter on the line, he of Peter and Dot fame, lovers of the great outdoors, birdwatchers, travellers in the best sense of the word, and residents of Garstang Town. Peter had seen that Another Bird Blog lay dormant, near to death condition, and wondered if “everything was ok?” 

I reassured him of our as-good-as-can-be situation and asked about their own. We shared our thoughts about the last seven months of lashing rain, wind and unprecedented weather via the Atlantic Jet Stream, plus our frustrations in being unable to find birdwatching spots not besieged by microlites, bicycles, dogs and normies out to make birders’ lives a misery. 

A mile or so from Garstang the ringing site of Barnacre has been unworkable, deep in water & slime, now a no-go for weeks if not for smonths ahead. 

On the way back from Garstang and one of our trips to Booth’s for their bargain £10 for two bacon butties and cappuccino (with loyalty card) Sue and I called at our ringing site out Pilling way to drop seed. There are meanies who refer to Booth’s Café as God’s Waiting Room because it’s popular with oldies, more so on pension day.  A rather unfair naming don’t you think? 

God's Waiting Room aka Booth's Café, Garstang

A mile or two away along a farm track I managed to get the car stuck in a nasty, sticky, and uncompromising muddy spot. It was lucky that Sue was able to push the car while I completed the manly manoeuvres of combining clutch & steering wheel to free the car.  Sorry about your trainers Sue. 

In between times, hunting for and grabbing sunny intervals that came along, I managed to salvage a few new pictures. 

Meadow Pipits have these incredibly long hind claws as seen below. When you live in long grass like a Meadow Pipit, you need long hind claws to help you stand tall and keep a watch out for predators. 

Meadow Pipit

Our wintering Whooper Swans have no problem with flooded fields as it makes hunting for goodies a little easier and encourages spring grass to grow tall.  I counted more than 220 Whoopers on one day alone and where another more distant party with Canada Geese remained uncounted. 

Whooper Swans

It’s noticeable how Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Reed Buntings have begun to make their way back north with increased numbers at the feeding station where Blackbirds abound and even a rare Song Thrush put in a brief appearance. 

Song Thrush



I had about 10 seconds to picture a hunting Sparrowhawk, a large female that took a momentary rest on a wire fence. And then it was gone, off to cause bedlam amongst a flock of birds or to pick out a likely looking victim followed by rapid death from those huge talons. 

On Wednesday came a message from The Florida Lovebirds, Wally and Gini, concerned about the lack of activity from Another Bird Blog. They had read about “a bit of extra dampness in far away lands but details were lost in the alarm over melting glaciers – or was it unusually high snow fall amounts – I forget. I just know it was something catastrophic so we’re still hiding under the bed until it passes.”. 

Luckily Wally and Gini “have it on good authority from a little orphan girl that The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow.” Thanks folks, I will look forward to that. 

But I think they must mean in Sunny Florida because there's little sign of the yellow orb in our Wild West skies. 

Come back soon everyone. I will try not to leave the blog in sleep mode again. 



eileeninmd said...

I am glad to see an update from you, it is nice to know everything is good.
Well, except for the weather. I am sure getting stuck in the mud was no fun.
You were able to capture some great bird photos. I hope the sun is out and drying up the fields. Take care, have a great day!

Wally Jones said...

It sounds as if Spring migration is attempting to take place, despite continuing adverse weather conditions. At least you were able to get out and about for a bit to survey the vast waste land of meteorlogical devastation.

You even managed to make me extremely jealous with that fabulous photo of Ms. Sparrowhawk.

Regarding the meanies who refer to the cafe in a negative manner, I suspect they would avoid the place and therefore make available more bacon butties for me. Cappuccino cup half-full way of thinking.

Thank goodness Sue came to the rescue and saved your bacon butty without having to call a tow truck which would have been expensive as well as embarassing. I asked Gini if she would perform the same feat if required. The look I received would have made a Penguin feel right at home.

You may have been right about that little girl as today the sun is incredibly bright with no clouds to be seen. Just to be safe, however, we shall now return to our safe place underneath the bed until such time as the television announces an "all clear".

Gini sends her love. I want a bacon butty.

Mike Attwood said...

Hello Phil, not a very exciting blog but beautifully written. We are getting the same miserable weather here in the south. Roll on spring.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely to see this post, I enjoyed seeing the birds :)

The weather has been so grey and wet hasn't it, everything is waterlogged!
Roll-on Spring.

All the best Jan

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