Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Pheasants run off in a straight line



Talking in recent days to a Shooter before his first of the year pheasant shoot this coming Saturday)

The pleasant pheasant or pheasants are always stood in the lane,
Some are noisy and rambling amongst the fodder beet
They appear to give the impression they are so stupid!
But so soon they learn to recognise things, like -
the smell of the Gun, and car doors banging simultaneously,
" They are the sounds of the shooters coming after us they say" 
so on hearing this will try to skulk off in a orderly fashion one behind the other,
just like you see a train and its carriages,
The searching dogs will disturb your peace and quiet and make you lift to the skies
Just before all hell lets loose.....

16th October 2018

Turdus reflections - East Lancs 1980s - South West migration



(Memories of a past Thrush Vismig Day in East Lancs 1980s):

Look up into the sky, high and sometimes higher (binoculars)
To see the black dots, then look further to see the smaller dots
of Thrushes bounding South West between the broken clouds. 
In stream after stream and all on one line, and too high to count, 
How many hundreds or maybe thousands there could have been.

(turdus reflections 16 Oct 2018)

Sunday, 9 September 2018

More archived sketches


I was so intrigued by the "rare" species this Peregrine was getting eg: Corncrake
Leaches Petrol and even a Swift - and could not resist doing it for the Peregrine Group
down in Bristol. I was contacted by the Aylesbury group who also have a Peregrine on
their town hall and they asked if I could do one for them has well, so they sent me
the photos and the species list etc - the Aylesbury one is shown further down the page.



This was done for my Nature Blog to show just were the corridors are in Burton In Kendal
for the passage of Chaffinch, Swallows and Meadow Pipits.



I did this has a "Diary Page" for Saturday March 2nd 2013, when we had a day out in
Grasmere. We always have a drink and a butty by the side of Williams grave followed
by a visit to the Church for prayers, before setting out on the "Coffin Route" which takes
in two of William's houses eg: Dove Cottage and later Rydal Mount. Before finishing
off in the beautiful little Church built by the "Le Fleming" family.



I started doing a month by month calendar of local birds, mammals and
flowers seen locally during the month of February, but thats as far as it
got and have not yet done any of the other months


Another diary page for Friday April 12th 2013 in Dalton Crags and Hutton Roof


I was asked if the "National Forum for Biological Recording" if they could use this one for the front page of newsletter magazine which you can see the finished product below







This was done to try and show one or two differences in regards to the Wheatear. The Eurasian Wheatear versus the Greenland Wheatear



This was to use in my bird migration presentation
it always brings a great light hearted response



Records of the Greenland Wheatear that always passes through Hutton Roof and other areas like on this photo which can even be fields along the side of the Canal near Holme.



This sketch was photographed and then used on the "Large Screen Banners" for Natural History events for the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.  I have a photo of the banner in situ which you can see below (Click over to enlarge) also you can see my smoked sunbeam photo at the bottom.

This is regularly used at the entrance to the Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

CBDC enjoying a well deserved ice cream at the Westmorland County Show. It shows
the banners in situ here as well



Another of my diary records

I was recording a "outstanding" movement of Meadow Pipits from behind
Kelker and moving South over Hutton Roof - decided to record in this sketch



More or less self explanatory- Kept being turned back on account of snow blizzards
and bet they got fed up of this - it just kept on happening


Another sketch showing the directions the birds take over Hutton Roof on
their migration exit usually to the South/South East - but not all!!


I just had to do this one.  I was up on Hutton Roof and a large skein went South West overhead
so I thought I would let this guy know they were on their way to his patch down in Bare.  And
the next words he said "what is the ETA" so I said 10-15 mins. Could not wait to get
home to sketch this one showing the "air traffic controller"


For the first time (for me) we were witnessing two Great Grey Shrikes
on Hutton Roof (2015) and I noticed at times there was great
rivalry between them, so I thought I would do this little sketch
showing  "subordinate" and dominance behaviour.


The Shrike impales his prey in such a delicate fashion and is known as the "butcher bird"
I watched as he lay the vole with such intricacy in a tangled jungle of prickly hawthorns.  You
would say just by looking it was totally impossible for him to do that but he did it without problem.
Also this is a little cracker of a sketch for warm ups in presentations
because I show this first of all which usually brings a chuckle or two from the audience
 before I show I show them the real thing (see next photo)





This is yet another of my diary sketches, showing some detail of a Stonechat which was overwintering on Dalton Crags, and also showing Ravens mobbing a passing Red Kite,
and also showing the directions of the Fieldfare and Redwing passage (19th October 2013)


This is one of my older sketches, which I can still laugh at and brings quite a "chuckle" from the audiences when I tell them that the "pyramid looking hill" in the background is supposted to
represent "Ingleborough" in Yorkshire and alsways check to see they have spotted the Rarer Red Rumped Swallow.


Again this is a comical sketch for the presentations.  It shows three different Swift
breeding sites in our village of Burton In Kendal. The top one is saying "The Manor Sounds important to me (and he lives in the Manor House) and the one in the middle with the crown
on his head is saying "I am really special because I come from Royal Stock" he lives in
the Royal Hotel "Cottage".  And the one at the bottom on the left is saying "Well maybe! but I am the Cock in "my" yard.  He lives in "Cocking Yard".



I always record our Swift nights when we met each Thursday evening. But in the earlier days up to about 2016 I would always illustrate them as above ready for display on the "Burton Swifts"
website the following day.



Another diary page for February 20th 2013 to show that Woodcock were being observed
on Hutton Roof - continentals sheltering up for the winter months. Also the start of the
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming away. The rare Daphne Mezereone starts to come out and those nasty deer ticks will still grab you even in the colder February days.  Wal (Cumbria Wildlife Warden) with the chain saw in his hand ready to do some coppicing with the volunteers. So you can see it tells a lot in this little picture.


Another from the "Swift Nights" recording from 11th June 2015



I enjoyed this, I was walking through Lancelot Clark Storth (CWT) when I heard this trimphone calling, just like the old trimphones from the 1960s, but it was around 2012.  Sure enough it was a Song Thrush enjoying himself, from the uppermost of the tree.  I thought to myself at the time he must be a old bird (about 50 years old!!) so I wonder if some of these things are passed down to future generations. 


This is a record of a true story and brings a lot of laughter from the audiences at my bird presentations. And basically what it is my daughters mariage day, and I am saying to myself "why do they get married in October" the best birding days going! So that morning I stopped out quite late doing my Counts of Fieldfare and Redwing and I think daughter may well have been on pins as to whether I was going to get there on time or not.



You can more or less set your clock with the return of the Whoopers! its usually around the third week in March when you have every chance of seeing birds coming back through and heading back to Iceland.


This is the one I did for the guys at Aylesbury for their web site or magazine, not sure which now, but after seeing the Bristol one I did they requested for me to do this one for them, so they sent in a photo of the building the bird was nesting on, I think it was the Town Hall.  I needed to change the victim species over on the menu list to incorporate what these birds were regularly feeding on. 


Old Blacksmith Bert Marsden, as I could picture him from the 50s/60s, we did not have any photos for the blog and though maybe this would suffice till we hopefully get a photo in the future. 


Another popular one for the bird presentations, showing a vismiger in bed having overlaid instead of being up with the birds at first light (6am in most cases) he is dreaming about it all. It highlights that this sort of thing is not on, if you want to be a successful vismigger.  On the presentations after a few seconds I set of a "alarm clock" to try and tell the guy to "wake up".  


I wanted a bonfire picture with the "guy fawkes" on top. It was for the blog to record just how good the bonfires were when we were kids, with carved out faces in turnips on strings with small candles in them, and Mrs. Careys bonfire toffee! (fantastic), also later on spuds cooked from the bonfire. Our fireworks were tame them days I suppose compared to today. We had bangers, jumpjacks, roman candles and sparklers.


Just another diary page from the Swift Night recording on 5th June 2015



Just another diary page from the Swift Night recording on 19th May 2016



I recorded most of the Chiffchaffs in and around Burton and Hutton Roof, and got familiar with them all and gave them names in most cases relating them to their particular geographical location, but there were odd ones called "Miss A Note" and "Speedy" because they had a story to tell and that what gets aired on the bird presentations. 


They keep going on about Hawfinches at Sizergh and Ospreys near Keswick and guess what? the 555 bus stops right outside of my house and I can use my bus pass to get to these fabulous places.


Since leaving Lancashire and coming up to Cumbria (or maybe I should say Westmorland), we sometimes get so much water coming down that it never surprises me to find a new tarn where the day before it was just a field!!


Saw this a couple of years ago, just has I passed the village of Holme on my way to Milnthorpe and coming from the opposite side of the road to me there were this small party group of 5 stoats running in the verge, I presume they would have shortly entered the field via the large hedges.  I checked it out and they call a large party of Stotes a "Caravan of Stoats"


I wanted a sketch of Carter Place Hall for one of the blogs, a place were we occasionally played when we where kids



This is the area where I watch birds migrating from whilst they go overhead during the Autumn months. I am there most mornings - where the red dots show.  I get thousands of Chaffinch going through this particular route and its about 20 minutes walk from our house. 


Another one of my vismig maps showing how the wind was reacting on the 9th October 2012  I try and commemorate a sketch every year on my late dads birthday. 


This one brings a laugh on presentations, I did it after a vismig session down at Hunting Hill in Carnforth, and the lambs were tugging at my haversack to try and get at my butties.  But that was just one vismig experience, I have had the police stop me a couple of times (cos its early morning and residents were wondering what I was up to!, I have had dogs use my leg has a toilet, and found myself once watching from in a field and all of a sudden I was surrounded by a group of chunky sheep, never gave it a thought at first - just thought wow these just were quality ews with plenty of weight to them, never at first thinking, but could see they were not scared and appeared cheeky, so I checked out the "under carriage" and soon realized I was in trouble, so gingerly just steady paces backwards to the stile, whilst never taking my eyes off them. 


I have been so lucky on two occasions to witness "A confusion of Willow Warblers", one time on the Lancaster Canal and another time at Haweswater near Leighton Moss. So it was another one for the blog and I also went on to do the following poem, which has had so many positive comments.

WILLOW WARBLERS – COLLECTIVES

Flying in the dark through a moonlit sky,
Falling from high like little angels,
Floating down on a wavering leaf,
The “confusion” has now begun.
Our dear little Willow Warbler

Daytime closed you was not seen,
Whilst morning wakes your plenty,
So tread so soft our leaf explorer,
A “bouquet” of special prize to us,
Our dear little Willow Warbler

Your music is a descending tale,
Which finish the year “hou whit”,
A choir of pairs sings thy will,
A “Fall” would be a lot of thee,
Our dear little Willow Warbler

Sylvia’s hand of lucid intricacy
You thread that weave so delicately,
To house and raise a splendid cast,
It’s a start to a “Wrench” fulfilled
Our dear little Willow Warbler

Bryan Yorke - 2015


Another sketch used in presentations - shows a egg talking to its mother and asking that it leaves clear instructions of how to get back to Africa.  I often wonder when the parent leaves in Mid June for its long journey back to Africa and the juvenile does not leave until around early August, how on earth does it know just where to go, but yet it not only finds Africa without problem, in most cases I believe it gets back to areas close to the parent birds. AND ALL THAT IS STORED IN A EGG!!


Another one of the Cuckoo having just laid a egg in a Tree Pipits nest.  Tree Pipits maybe one of the host species of the "Cuckoo" in Dalton Crags.


A general sketch of Dalton Crags, showing some of the species which frequent this small area.


A sketch to try and show the differences between the High Brown Fritillary and the Dark Green Fritillary. 1) the smaller, yet smaller spot on the forewing, the round shape of the trailing edge of the forewing against the dipped in the middle shape of the wing and finally with wings closed the green sheen to the commoner whilst the rarer High Brown shows some black dots circled in red. 


Another diary page for 26th May 2013

Another diary page for Saturday June 15th 2013


Diary page for 21st and 25th to 27th March 2013


Another diary page for Wednesday March 6th 2013


Wow! used to get a lot of neckache with wearing binoculars, dont bother now putting them around my neck. But guess too much "vismigging" could leave you like this and would require you to visit the doctor. and the look on that doctors face whilst he asked the question "how have you managed to get like that"


Reckon to be a Orchid expert? well this can be a bit baffling. On Hutton Roof we have some special orchids which are hybrids of the Dark Red Helleborine (Atrorubens) and the Broad Leaved Helleborine (Helleborine) and these are called EPIPACTIS SCHMALHAUSENEII  what?.



Some things have to be silly to make it work!! or thats what I keep telling myself.
Visible Migration and what to expect!



Froggies "Mothers Union"

Another sketch ready for a history blog which showed lots of gravestones etc


My sketch of the yaffler for presentations


The wind was blowing so strong one day and blew my hat into the canal, were I tried to fish it out with a large stalk. That was OK but I somehow manage to end up with my legs partly in the water and subsequently wety socks and squelching boots




Rob the warden was telling me that he thought that this particular area of the South Lakes was much like a circular route they have in search of food, and their call off service area is "Sizergh" so I just had to do this little sketch showing "Eddie" the hornbeam kernel chomper


All these birds have one thing in common?
they do a contact call like "hou-whit", the Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff have the slightest difference in their call, but the Chaffinch and the Redstart are far more bold, but at times it can be difficult to distinguish!


Another dairy page


Another diary page










This is a large boulder in "Lancelot Clark Storth" which reminds me so much of a old mans smiling face


This was a farmer who checks is sheep out regular, and would come past early in a morning whilst I was birding, and would usually stop and have a "natter" and this particular day he was telling me about the fox he had just seen with a pheasant in its gob!"



I did this one for the ELOC (East Lancs Ornithological Club) which I was told they would use on their site.



This was to show a area which had quite a few "purpurea" helleborines", but the year after doing this sketch a lot of them came through yet without flowers, just bracts. Since they have recovered and are again doing OK


This one was done to accompany my poem about Rag and Bone Men


“Ay Rag Booen”


(“Rag Booen”, Any Owd Rags”)

“Ay Rag Booen” was what was shayted,
O’er many times a day,
Daern main street or back street,
It amplified away…

Thad hear his cart a trundling,
O’er setts his poony clipped,
From Top Oth’ Town to further daern,
He’d do his daily trips.

Thank ya lass fur bundle ur rags,
And neh tha wants a “donkey stoowen”,
Tu brighten up tha step and cills,
Well here thi are, in cream or grey,
A Donkey Stoowen to polish away.

Thank ya lad for bundle ur rags,
And thank thi muther too.
And neh I’ll bring a smile to thee,
But first goo home, and get a jar,
Then a “gowdfish” to thee can be.

A remember, Mr. Mahoney,
And Mr. Capels too,
But the ones I remember best was George,
And his son Teddy too.
Thi were the Rag and Boone Kings,
Who’ad shayt from behind reigns,
“Ay Rag Booen”, “Any Owd Rags”….

(12th February 2012)




I was asked by Rob if I would do a "comical sketch" for him relating to the Hawfinch










 This one was done especially for Cumbria Wildlife Trust
to be used in their E-Magazine has a map for the Whitbarrow Nature Reserve


Used to accompany my poem "Wilbur"


I allowed this photo to be used for their "Large Screen Banners" for Natural History events for the Tullie House Museum in Carlisle.  I have a photo of the banner in situ which you can see below (Click over to enlarge) besides my simplistic Marble Quarry sketch you can also you can see my smoked sunbeam photo at the bottom.

Smoked Sunbeams taken at Arnside Knott on 31st August 2010

I have been approached lots of times about this photo, people saying they have taken photos which
appeared to have sunbeams but they could not manage this effect.  So I told them that I was very
fortunate on the day of this photo, in that the "foresters" were burning old coppicing about 100 yards away and by chance the blue smoke was travelling in a horizontal and once it caught the beams you
got this special effect


This is regularly used at the entrance to the Tullie House Museum, Carlisle

CBDC enjoying a well deserved ice cream at the Westmorland County Show. It shows
the banners in situ here as well