As I sit in the spring sunshine in my garden, in the heart of Pennington, I’m amazed at what I saw in “just one hour.” It’s quite relaxing apart from the rumbles of vehicles driving up and down the A580 East Lancs Road, aircraft departing Manchester Airport flying overhead, joining the North Atlantic Tracks. First, an Aer Lingus aircraft head to Orlando, closely followed by a Virgin Atlantic aircraft heading to the same destination, numerous Ryanair and Easyjet aircraft pass over, starting their journeys. But beyond the man made additives trying to break the tranquility its nature making the most sounds a cacophony of bird songs, bee’s buzzing, the wind blowing through the trees and hedges, creating a beautiful natural orchestra, free for all to enjoy, you simply have to be quiet and listen.
The reason i have the ability to sit here and enjoy nature’s show, instead of being in work, doing what i do best. Is because I’m recovering from pneumonia as well as contracting the dreaded Covid virus, this all coming on the back of loosing my dad suddenly, so as I try to mitigate my way around a loss that can never be healed and two illnesses that wiped me out, I have the luxury of sitting silently, listening and watching. From my seat, I can hear cheeps above me. It’s distinct and always brilliant to hear, as these little birds indicate that summer is on the way! As I look up to the skies I watch as the returning Swallow’s and Swifts dart around above me catching insects, remarkably these birds are no doubt the same ones from last year, that had Pennington as their home as well as countless of generations before them, all travelling thousands of miles from their winter migration home in the hot climates of Africa, seeing these should indicate better weather and summer is approaching! But this is England so I won’t hold my breath regarding hot weather.
I hear a distinct call from a predator above high up riding the thermals is a Common Buzzard, circling majestically as it calls out to its mate, the other bird has just took off from a Hawthorn tree just across the field from me, as it starts to take flight, the swallows and Swifts zip around it, heckling it through their song, then a large Crow flies in attacking this graceful predator, finally as I watch the Buzzard catches the thermal and up it goes, the Swifts and swallows carry on their feeding and the crow returns to my large conifer tree in my back garden, as I look up both Buzzards are circling together almost like little dots in the sky, yet their calls are still as loud as though they were on the ground, the views they see from up there must be incredible.
Across the field another predator is looking for lunch, a lone Kestrel hovers silently over the field looking for its meal, I can hear in the distance alarm calls from Blackbirds as well as a Skylark sending out alarm calls, the Kestrel just carries on hovering adjusting it’s position every now and then as it scans the field. It gets closer and closer to me, as I watch it suddenly drop from the sky into the long grass, what seems like an age it finally reappears snd takes to the skies again, with something in its mouth? Could have been a mouse or a Vole. I’m not sure, but whatever it was, it has now become lunch.
Again as I sit with me cup of tea watching quietly a large bird catches my eye as it flies across the far back field, approaching the field directly behind me, as it lands quite clumsily I see its a Heron, as is folds its wings I watch it strut around the field like a pompous man in an evening suit, big steps as it wanders around looking for a meal, as it walks along the hedge another Heron lands on the opposite side, it to starts its pompous strut for a brief minute they both stop, staring each other out across the field! Their heads held high as they stared, then like a click of the finger they cracked on their foraging strut once again.
I brought from my dad’s house after he passed away his metal bird feeder, which was in his back garden. I know he used to watch the birds from his kitchen every day, always making sure there was food available for them. When we used to chat on the phone, he’d tell me what had been on the feeder as he sat doing his crossword puzzles. I decided to bring it home with me to put in my garden so I could watch the birds visiting the feeders,kind of feels like he’s sat watching with me enjoying the moment, really wish he was to be honest. But as I sit, I watch Blue Tits and Great Tits hanging off the suet cage, various Sparrows visit the seed tray, Wood Pigeons walk around on the grass under the feeder collecting fallen seed. A Greenfinch lands followed by a Chaffinch on the fence at the back. A tiny little Wren sits chirping its head off, and a Dunnock picks through the soil on the flower beds, looking for insects, a short moment later to beautiful little Goldfinches land their distinct Red face patches and Yellow wing catch the sun as I watch them picking through the seeds, then as quick as they arrived they leave as a cheeky Robin lands Sings a stunning little song then has a peck at the suet cake, it’s practically like watching a bird fly-thru restaurant, they arrive they feed then they leave so simple yet such a nice sight to watch.
As I sat there everything I watched happened in one hour, from the birds I mentioned all doing individual things,I also saw Jackdaws, crows, Rooks, a lone Jay squawking it’s head off, a male pheasant walked around the field calling its distinct call. I saw Ducks whizzing overhead quacking as they flew, Sea Gulls flying over quite high up no idea where they would be going? A Sparrow Hawk flew very quickly through my paddock. If you’d blinked, you would have missed it. It was so fast, blackbirds, Starlings, Thrushes coming and going on my lawn. Just one hour dozens of nature’s gems just going about their everyday survival methods, if you just stop for a moment it’s right in front of your eyes, a nature documentary in Pennington but live not recorded happening as I look. We take our surroundings for granted and just sitting for one hour breathing in fresh air, which made me appreciate just what is around me and that this space is not mine, I’m lucky enough to share it with mother nature’s gifts.
2 thoughts on “Just One Hour in Pennington, Leigh.”
Very very good and interesting; great photography… a joy to read, after such an awful time. Life goes on and I can see you mean to enjoy it.
LikeLiked by 1 person
What a pleasant article to read in the midst of all the other miserable readings – we Live in Lowton and my son lives close by to you , in Pennington – we love to spot the birds and other animals that we are fortunate enough to live amongst. I’m sorry to hear about your dad – we lost our beloved mum 2 years ago – she too had bird feeders in her garden that I brought to my house – lots in common, lots to live for – carry on doing what you’re doing – it brings joy to others
LikeLiked by 1 person