Though I love birds, I am not very good at identifying them.However, when I got home yesterday I swiftly confirmed that the bird pictured above was indeed a meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis). Though the species is in decline, they remain common enough to feature prominently in the natural soundtrack of my moorland walks.
I wasn't far from home. Just a couple of miles away near Brown Hills Farm at Ringinglow. It is a sheep farm with two or three hundred sheep. And yesterday afternoon there were plenty of lambs about, enjoying both the sunshine and their mothers' vigilant protectionThe lamb shown below has already realised that it cannot rely on mother's milk forever.
I wandered up Rud Hill with its views of Redmires Reservoirs. On the hillside amid the rocks and the heather there are occasional trees bent by south westerly winds. I took a couple of photographs of one of them then dropped down to it. There in the crook of two bent limbs I spotted this:-
It is an old tobacco tin with hand sanitiser attached. Inside there was a small notebook and a little silver-coloured pen. I flicked through it. Not especially interesting. Perhaps it was all part of a geo-location game but I had stumbled across it by pure accident. It was at least thirty metres from the official path over the moors. Naturally, I wrote something in the notebook - scribbling down the meaning of life for anybody who might be interested.
Finally, here's another picture of the meadow pipit:-
For all we know you may have been an involuntary participant in a social anthropology experiment and study; your behaviour watched and recorded through binoculars (spare a thought for birds - happens to them all the time).ReplyDelete
What I'd like to know: Did you use the hand sanitizer before you touched the notebook and pencil? And what words of wisdom on the meaning of life did you leave?
I did not use the sanitiser Ursula and I am afraid that the meaning of life is top secret. If you wish to know it, you will have to find the tobacco tin yourself.Delete
I think the cutting of silage in early summer instead of traditional hayfields is a big cause of the decline of ground nesting birds YP. Stunning photos.ReplyDelete
That is surely one of the reasons. Thanks for calling by again Northsider - in spite of your elbow!Delete
To say it with northsider, stunning photos! I am not sure whether this particular species of bird also lives over here, but if it is a ground-nesting/breeding one, it will have a hard time.ReplyDelete
I have read that one of the problems such birds face is that fields such as rapeseed (which would otherwise be a good habitat for them) are sown in such close rows (to increase efficiency of course) that when a nest is made at the bottom, once the plants grow higher, the does not reach the ground anymore. And when it rains and the baby birds get wet, they won't dry fast enough and will die.
As for the notebook, I would have expected you to write down the formula for world peace. Everybody knows the meaning of life!
Over here, grouse shooting is connected with burning swathes of moorland and that does not help the meadow pipit in any way.Delete
Regarding world peace, I think that most people know it involves elimination of the entire human race.
I like the Pippit pictures. I always had difficulty distinguishing between tree and meadow pippits until I realised that it's pretty easy if you can see their legs - so they have to be stationary. Mind you in order to get a picture they usually have to be stationary anyway.ReplyDelete
I have now caught up with your posts I missed when on gardening leave so I can go to bed when today is over with a clear conscience.
Hang on Graham. You have forgotten about the homework questions on those posts!Delete
I'm good at skipping homework these days. When I was at school I was so conscientious it was painful. Not any more!Delete
Bad boy Edwards! Report to my study for a sound thrashing!Delete
That last one is a wonderful photo of the pipit. How good of the bird to keep still lomng enough for you to capture it in such exquisite detail.ReplyDelete
We get meadow pipits here as well, but have never seen one that close.
The feather markings are quite exquisite aren't they JayCee?Delete
Hello, just found your blog. I was quite serious about bird watching, but gave it up when work and family got busy. With the lock down, I have started again. The wing pattern of the Meadow pipit is beautiful and looks much like our Eurasian tree sparrow in Malaysia. That is a really good photo, worth Nat Geo status!!ReplyDelete
Thanks for calling by Kestrel and for leaving such an encouraging comment. Happy bird watching over there in Malaysia!Delete
I am not familiar with the Pipit. We have very common birds in our garden - blackbirds, robins, thrushes, an occasional pheasant and the goddamn pigeons.ReplyDelete
I have heard of wood pigeons and collared doves but the goddamn pigeon species must be peculiar to mid-Lincolnshire.Delete
I have never even heard of a pipit! Does its name relate to its call or song?ReplyDelete
The baby lambs steal my heart.
We have a moorland bird over here called the peewit and that bird's name definitely derives from its familiar call. I found this about the etymology of the pipit - "The generic name 'pipit', first documented by Thomas Pennant in 1768, is onomatopoeic, from the call note of this species."Delete
Your meadow walk gave you three interesting connections...sheep, pipit and a mystery package.ReplyDelete
Shame I didn't see a Red grouse too! Was the Red grouse name after you? "Grouse" can mean "complain about something trivial; grumble"!Delete
Is it the Sheffield version of Dartmoor letterboxing?ReplyDelete
Well, I guess it is Lord Tasker.Delete
P.S. I had to Google Dartmoor letterboxing!
I sure with your compass skills you'd be a natural.Delete
"I sure"? Are you becoming an African?Delete
The birds are beautiful, nice and close up too. The sheep, I just shake my head. There are a few good jokes about sheep but I will spare your readers the dirty bits:)ReplyDelete
You are indeed a lucky man to live so close to so many lovely places to walk.
Our snow is finally all gone now. The wind is howling today, gusting up to 70 km an hour.
The Alberta spring/summer spans a pretty short time doesn't it? I know this through my communications with Great Uncle Red in Red Deer.Delete
Yep. We have about four months of good weather for growing which is hard. The plants are coming up though, green coming up even as the snow disappears. The summers are very nice. Stay safe my friend.ReplyDelete
Your weather seems much more predictable than over here in Merry Olde England. We never know what we are going to get. With you it's like there's a big switch in Ottawa - WINTER OFF/WINTER ON.Delete
The first photo is stunningReplyDelete
Thank you John.Delete
Love the first picture of the bird. What a beautiful arrangement of feathers he has. The meaning of life? Do, tell.ReplyDelete
As I said to Ursula at the top of these comments, if you really want to know you will have to find the tobacco tin. No favours for surrogate sisters I am afraid!Delete
You had a lovely walk and the pictures are full of life and beauty. It does appear you found a pandemic geocach. Many years ago I went geocaching with my sons and enjoyed it very much. How considerate for these Geocachers to leave hand sanitizer for the ones that find it and leave a message.ReplyDelete
I don't know anything about geocaching but I have heard the word before. You might well be right Bonnie.Delete
Sadly, I think most all species beside us are in decline. Cockroaches and rats excepted. That pipit is a pretty little bird. Reminds me of a sparrow, some of which are quite lovely.ReplyDelete
Mosquitoes seem to be doing okay too Joanne.Delete
What a peculiar find. (The Dettol and notebook, not the pipit -- although that's a good find, too!) I don't think I've ever seen a pipit.ReplyDelete
And I have never seen such a notebook in an old tobacco tin before.Delete
YP, your pictures are always stunning, but that first one of the Pipit is utterly gorgeous. They are such pretty birds. The lovely things that you discover on some of your walks never ceases to astound me; last week, a pyrographed block of wood, this week a notebook in a tin (with a silver pen, no,less)...and looking back on your posts I know that there have been many others. It all speaks of such wonderfully gentle and pastoral wanderings, and is a joy to read.ReplyDelete
Such a sweet and encouraging comment Elizabeth. Thank you.Delete