20 November 2021

Kelsey

The photograph above has not been enhanced in any way. It is the thirteenth century tower of St Mary's Church in the Lincolnshire village of South Kelsey. I was lucky to catch it in sinking autumn sunshine after a four hour walk in the district before night time arrived far too early as it does at this time of year.

It was yesterday. Clint and I had set off from Sheffield before 9.30am. At 11am I parked him near the church in North Kelsey. After inspecting that lovely church,  which by the way was open to the public, I set off on my planned walk. The surrounding countryside is rich agricultural land. In the past, there would have been more trees, woods and hedgerows and farming would have been a mixed and labour intensive affair. Nowadays, it is more of an industry, eager for profits with machinery that is often computer assisted. Pesticides and herbicides mean that wildlife struggles to assert its presence - from moles and starlings to ducks and badgers. Even insect numbers are shrivelling.

The landscape is pretty flat so there are many land drains such as North Kelsey Beck - shown below:-
Cadney was a lovely little village with a Grade I listed church. It was also open to passers by. Inside, there were some homemade jars of autumn chutney for sale on trust  so I bought one, leaving the money in a locked collection box. Cadney is off the beaten track and sleeping there at night must be so peaceful - far from the hurly burly of city life.

From Cadney I walked west to The River Ancholme. That river looks more like a canal because its old route was superseded by waterway engineers as early as the 1630's. Cadney Bridge, shown below, was constructed in 1882:-
As I walked east along Carr Road, I stopped to take a picture of starlings flying off from telegraph wires. Then just up ahead I saw a bird lying on the grass verge beneath the wires. I assumed it would be a starling but it wasn't. It was a member of the hawk family and it was still very much alive. though my image wrongly suggests that it was dead. I hoped that it was just stunned. Perhaps it had flown into the wires while unsuccessfully trying to grab a starling. What could I do? I decided to leave it. It was, I think, a kestrel but I am no ornithologist. It can't be easy being a hawk in such a landscape. What would you have done?

Lincolnshire is well-known for its associations with The Royal Air Force. By The River Ancholme I spotted this lonely radar tower several miles from the nearest RAF base:-
And over the farmland near North Kelsey there was some sort of training exercise going on. The contrails left behind show that the pilot had just been looping the loop. I hope he or she didn't waste any aviation fuel  because that stuff is precious you know.
Almost exactly four hours after setting off, I was back at Clint. The day's light was fading away fast. I crept up behind him and caught him singing an old Neil Young number:-
My life is changin' in so many ways
I don't know who to trust anymore
There's a shadow runnin' through my days
Like a beggar goin' from door to door

Coincidentally, it was a song that had been playing in my own mind for a while. The great Canadian songsmith wrote it  some time in 1970 - fifty one years ago.

28 comments:

  1. I think that last photo shows that Santa has been out early blowing smoke rings.

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    1. Santa must be a massive fellow to leave such big smoke rings!

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  2. Mouth to beak resuscitation.

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    1. He or she might have had a last supper - my lips!

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  3. What a beautiful photo of the tower at St. Mary's in the golden light of the golden hour. Glad you got a good walk this week. I can only imagine that the weather is near perfect. At least it looks as if it were.
    I, too, would have left the little bird. I hope it was merely stunned.

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    1. You are right MM, it was perfect weather for walking and I felt at peace with the world as I plodded along.

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  4. In my opinion (for what it's worth), I think you did the right thing in leaving the bird. I have a friend who is trained in dealing with injured birds (raptors) and sometimes trying to help can do more harm than good. I'm marveling a bit at those looped contrails! As one who use to occasionally pilot a plane, it makes me giddy (and not with excitement).

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    1. Your opinion is worth a wad of dollars Kelly! How amazing that you piloted planes in the past!

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  5. It's a very nice photo of the tower and I love the bridge.
    The stress to the bird by being handled and transported would I think outweigh any treatment it could be given. Let nature take its course. A radar tower and a bird perhaps having collided with something fixed. Coincidence I suppose.

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    1. The radar tower was about three miles from where I found the bird.

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  6. I agree with your theory of the bird focusing in the prey and probably hit a wire. You did the right thing to leave the bird. Most recuperate from the knock in the head.

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    1. That's a relief - to hear that from the top birder in Red Deer!

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  7. I would have left the bird too but I would have stopped and wondered what should I do as well.

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    1. It's not every day that you get so close to a wild hawk. In fact, I don't think I have ever been so close to a wild one.

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  8. Beautiful photos and a lovely walk. I hope the bird is OK! It does look dead. :(

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    1. Thanks Margaret. Its eyes were beady and as black as coal. I just happened to snap it when those eyes were closed.

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  9. I've seen some strange skies in my time, but those contrails take the prize. I think you should sell the photo to 'UFO Monthly Magazine'.

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    1. But I don't believe in aliens - apart from those who come over The Channel in inflatable boats.

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  10. The low golden autumn light makes for great effects on buildings such as the church tower, or on woodland as long as there are still some leaves on the trees to be lit up by the rays.
    Poor bird, but these things happen and, like some others have said, I think you did well in leaving it alone.
    A great 4 hour walk; thank you for taking us along!

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    1. I felt invigorated. It was a good, long and uplifting experience.

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  11. Agree that it was sensible to leave the bird where it was. Unless you can provide knowledgeable assistance it's best to leave well alone.
    What a brilliant colour the tower is, quite dramatic.

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    1. That local stone - from the Lincolnshire Wolds - seems to glow surreally in such light.

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  12. I thought Kelsey Grammer was a school.

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    1. Ha! Ha! I also thought of him when I first spotted those villages on a map.

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  13. My childhood playground over the bridge to Hibaldstow

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    1. I have some sad news for you Kate. In 20i9, some robbers burnt out a Ford Transit van on Hibaldstow Bridge. The bridge's timbers were also badly burnt. Sufficient repairs have been made for pedestrians to cross.

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  14. It was the sensible thing to leave the bird as it was, but I would have been curious to know the outcome of the story.

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  15. I too would have left it lay. The farm house has a large picture window that birds are forever smacking into. They will lay like that in the grass underneath the window for awhile and eventually come to their senses and fly off again. Although back when we had farm cats, they sometimes took advantage of the situation. If my mom saw them coming, she would go shoo them off until the birds recovered.

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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