I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Friday, 20 June 2014

Close To Nature


Earlier in June I walked to Langford Lowfields, my local RSPB reserve. I'm so lucky to have this on my doorstep. Part of it is still a working quarry, but recently some new trails were opened in the northern part of the reserve. 

I made a tally of the birds I saw, 31 species in all:
wood pigeon, swift, swallow, sand martin, jackdaw, blackbird, crow, great spotted woodpecker, mute swan, coot, moorhen, pochard, mallard, shelduck, tufted duck, great crested grebe, pied wagtail, little egret, green plover, common tern, black-headed gull, reed bunting, sedge warbler, grey heron, cormorant, oystercatcher, blue tit, house sparrow, yellowhammer, chaffinch, goldfinch. 
Nothing very unusual, though I did hope to see a bird of prey, perhaps a peregrine falcon or a hobby. Amazingly, a couple of days later I saw a peregrine — spiralling over our garden!
  

The Beach Hut at Langford Lowfields. Volunteers often man this hut to meet and greet.

9 comments:

Susan Scheid said...

Lovely! And while the birds you list may not be at all uncommon in your parts, your sightings remain an impressive haul!

George said...

Based upon your photos, this clearly appears to be one of those lovely refuges to which one could return almost daily without fear of getting bored. That's an amazing bird count for just one day!

Some years ago, I was a fairly serious birder, and I recently decided to spend more time with this pursuit. Just armed myself with a new pair of binoculars and a couple of excellent books on the birds of this region.

Whether it's walking, photography, birding, or some combination of these pursuits, the ultimate goal, I think — at least subconsciously — is spend more time aligned with nature, the place that is best suited to discovering our deeper selves.

Loren said...

Wetlands have become my favorite places to walk in the last few years, primarily because of the birds that frequent them.

Hopefully we'll be seeing shots of these birds shortly so I can figure out if they are similar to any species we have here on the other side of the earth.

am said...

What a lovely place to walk. The air is so clear and the sky so blue and the greens so green.

Have been meaning to let you know that I was visiting a friend at our local hospital and was reading the information on the wall about the history of the hospital. It was founded by members of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, an order of nuns founded in 1884 in Nottingham by Mother Francis Clare (Margaret Anna Cusack). The hospital opened in 1891 here in Bellingham, Washington.

Interesting to learn the story of this order of nuns whose order began in Nottingham:

http://vimeo.com/22622477

Ruth Mowry said...

Very beautiful. Wow, 31. I think we have only spotted that many at the farm our 10 years here.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Great to live so near this Robert. I know that living in the country we are surrounded by wildlife anyway, but somehow it does seem to concentrate ifself on these reserves.

sackerson said...

Looks a pleasant place to wander around.

Last time I went to somewhere like it I was entranced by a cuckoo calling somewhere in the distance. When I got to the visitor centre they told me it was a recording set up to attract cuckoos. So much for that.

Coots and moorhens (and telling them apart) always remind me of Arthur Ransome.

catharus said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful...
Interesting to read your list of birds as compared to my side of the pond... Cheerio

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks everyone for your comments.

Yes, I agree with you, George — it's being in nature that's the thing.

Loren — I'm afraid I need a more sophisticated camera/lens before I could venture into bird photography!

Actually, 31 species isn't that many for this Trent Valley area — a mix of river, wetland, gravel pit, woodland and farmland. With a little more dedication I probably should have seen 40-50.