Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Weather.


It is still windy here this morning.   As I am sure you remember from previous years, we have a huge rookery about half a mile further down the Lane and this time of the year, when the dawn coincides with my sitting up in bed drinking my morning cup of tea, I see thousands of them pass the window.   Sometimes, depending upon the direction of the wind, they pass over the house rather than past the front windows, but this morning, with a strong West wind blowing, they were almost hitting the window in their frenzy to get to their feeding grounds (ploughed fields, grass fields,
anywhere where there are easy pickings).   They pass in a huge  wave which takes about a quarter of an hour to pass, and this morning the wind was so strong that it kept blowing them back - they were flying directly into it, so that they were swirl past, then swirl round and have another go.   And it did strike me forcibly that their wings must have incredible strength.   Correct me if I am wrong (and I am sure somebody will) but surely the larger the bird the greater the wind resistance.  They were really struggling.   No wonder they are such strong birds.

On a totally different subject - but still about the countryside - friend W has lent me a book - 'The Shepherd's Life - A Tale of the Lake District' by James Rebanks.   It is unputdownable and should be compulsory reading for all school teachers who belittle children who wish to go into following their fathers into a farming life rather than going out into the wide world and 'making something of themselves'.  Also, for the information it gives about farming sheep in this upland country.   We live in the Yorkshire Dales but on the high ground life is much the same as the Lake District - the only difference being that the predominant sheep is the Swaledale and not the Herdwick.   Do read it if you get a chance.

And on the subject of yesterday's blog about the weather - the river Ure did come up and cut off several people who had to be rescued from their cars (in Aysgarth and in Appersett) and apparently by this morning the Ouse in York, where all our water eventually goes, is eleven feet above normal.  At present the wind has abated a little and it is not raining. 

We have just crossed the River Ure at Ulshaw bridge on our way to the Feed Merchant at Masham and the farmer stopped so that I could take a couple of photographs of the Ure in flood for you to see.

20 comments:

Midmarsh John said...

It is fascinating watching large birds flying in strong wind. I have often seen gulls and wood pigeons 'fly' backwards in strong gusts.

Gwil W said...

It's windy here too. We also get thousands of crows at this time of year. People call them "the Russians" because they come here from Siberia to overwinter. Their acrobatics are sometimes breathtaking to watch.

Heather said...

I have often watched, and felt sorry for, birds trying to fly against the wind. Their determination is amazing. I hope all properties were safe from the flooding - some home owners in Somerset are still not back in their homes over a year after being flooded out.

Reader Wil said...

Thanks for this vivid description of autumn in your surroundings, which is not only a matter of autumn colours but also about wildlife and especially birds. The latter are here very busy as well. We have a lot of crows and geese.All very exciting! If all goes well, my sister and I will be visiting a relative in Withern-Alford,Lincolnshire next spring.
I wish you a great week!
Wil, ABCW Team.

Cheryl West said...

I am reading The Shepherd's Life and agree it should be required reading, perhaps not only for teachers. It would make readers appreciate a farmers dedication and hard work. My favorite bool of the year. I hope your weather settles soon.

Wilma said...

Flooding is really scary. There was terrible flooding in Texas last month with many casualties. More locally for us in Belize, our nearest village, Monkey River Village, has about 25 households and no paved roads. It doesn't need paved roads because there are no motorized vehicles. It has 3 "streets" that are little more than paths along which the houses are aligned. But back to flooding - the village is very low-lying and the streets are under a few inches of water right now with all the rain we have had. So the work has commenced using shovels and wheelbarrows to bring sand from the river's edge to raise up the paths. It should take about 2 weeks to complete. Maybe I should do a post about this project.

Would love to see those waves of crows flying by.

Joanne Noragon said...

I joke about living on top of the hill, safe from floods. It is a serious problem down in the village, in the valley, where there is no place for the water to spread. It can rage over the banks, destroying property and infrastructure.

Derek Faulkner said...

I've read a lot about that book Pat so I'm just ordering it.

Another book you'll probably enjoy, which I've just finished, is "Up with the Lark - my life on the land" by Joan Bomford.
She has been farming since the 1930's and still is, and this year was the BBC Countryfile farming hero of 2015.

Simon Douglas Thompson said...

If this rainy November continues my marathon at the end of it will be underwater

donna baker said...

I think you are right Pat about the wind resistance for larger birds. I notice the large buzzards fly gently (hardly ever even flapping their wings) on the updrafts higher in the sky. Poor Rooks. What a hard time to get to their food source.

Maywyn Studio said...

Fascinating post. Thank you
I haven't seen larger birds struggling in the wind. I wish you had a video camera, a GoPro thing. I'm off now to read The Yorkshire Post. :)

The History Anorak said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
angryparsnip said...

Such an interesting post about the rookery. Having a wave of birds, that last a quarter of an hour, pass your window is amazing. I live on a hill and one early morning as I was still in bed a small wave of birds flew towards my window then curled up and over my bedroom like they were riding an ocean wave. It was beautiful.

cheers, parsnip

meigancam01 said...

Amazing article, and those pictures are mind-blowing.
Thanks for sharing this article with us.

Elizabeth said...

Such wild Novemberish weather!

JoAnn ( Scene Through My Eyes) said...

Great photos of the river. It would be something amazing to see all those birds flying against the wind - or just flying by. I would be up every morning just to watch them, I'm sure.

Rachel said...

We have a rookery here too and hundreds fly over at first light. They chatter as they fly.

thelma said...

Lovely post, I can just imagine the River Ure in full flood, it is considered to be a 'sacred' river by some prehistorians, but i have never really followed its history. As for rooks and crows, (I can never tell the difference), the crows gather in the trees behind the house and 'talk' loudly as they congregate for their nightime rest.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks Derek for the book recommendation. I did see Joan Bomford on Country File for her presentation. I shall add that book to my book list for Christmas.

Thanks to everyone for calling - glad you liked the post and the pictures.

Terry and Linda said...

You live in a beautiful world. Although, too much water is well, too much. Still I enjoyed your post about your area and the birds.

Linda
http://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com
https://coloradofarmlife.wordpress.com/sherlock-boomer
❤ `*.¸.*´