Thursday, 19 June 2014

ECTON SEWAGE FARM

Sounds nice doesn't it, sewage farm lovely! As I approached on my bike I could already smell the actual sewage farm when I got to the Billing Aquadrome I'm really not sure how the residence of Bellinge and those on the Billing Aquadrome put up with the stench it was making me physically sick. Luckily I was heading for the lakes at the back of the sewage farm where it wouldn't be so smelly. I entered via the Cogenhoe campsite and onto the flood plain that leads up to the small concrete bridge.
Straight away I was onto some wildlife as soon as I crossed the river at the campsite, a Grey Wagtail was taking advantage of the small boats as a launch pad for catching insects off the surface of the water, mostly it was catching these.
TAKEN WITH A 500MM PRIME, NOT IDEAL FOR MACRO
 On the flood plain area apart from the herd of cows was these Swallows perched up on the fence I really like the plain green background from the field and spent too long photographing these....I really do have a Swallow problem.
JUVENILE SWALLOW
 I walked around the lake clocking Blackcaps, Cettis Warblers, Common Whitethroats, ChiffChaffs and Willow Warbler but not as many as last year, there was plenty of Butterflies floating on the breeze too. I also got a Buzzard and a male Sparrowhawk. However two really notable things the first was the number of juvenile tits, it really was deafening the sound of Long Tailed Tits, Blue Tits and Great Tits I did search for Marsh Tits as there is normally a few down on this site, sadly couldn't find any.
The other notable bird was a Cuckoo calling, I headed off in the general direction of Grendon down the River Nene, couldn't find the cuckoo but carried on down the Nene. I got as far as the canal lock/sluice that sits roughly opposite Whiston village where a footpath leads through a field, it looked tempting so off I went as I could then cycle along Whiston Road and the eight mile bike ride home.
JUVENILE BLUE TIT
 The best bits at the sluice gates was three Kingfishers which didn't hang around. As I peered down to see what was in/on the water I saw an Otter peering up at me which quickly dived and vanished before I had time to get my camera out the bag, they do half swim fast. Whilst I was stood on the bridge a rather knowledgeable bloke and his daughter approached me apparently the Otter is seen regularly down here, which was handy information to have.
As I walked up the field it was good to see a Skylark and some Yellowhammers and the Cuckoo again, This time I could see it on the the phone cables in the middle of the field. I was surprised to hear it calling as it appears via the BTO website most are/have left the UK on their long migration back to Africa.
The long journey home was uneventful until I got to Bellinge, a police car pulled up alongside me. "Excuse me, I don't think you should be cycling on the footpath". "Erm, can you see the blue sign there, does it not have a bike and person on it"..copper looks..."that means it's both a footpath and cycle path" somewhat embarrassed and in what I think was an attempt to save face in front of his colleague he then asks "can I ask what you have in the bag"..to be fair my 500mm lens bag is big but "no you can't" I was tired and frazzled from the heat I didn't need this, I definitely didn't want to pull my lens and camera equipment out in front of people on this housing estate, well rough it is. The copper then wanted to stop and search me. "You need a reason, what's your reason". Apparently a woman was mugged by a bloke on a bike, yeah right, but plausible on this estate, stop and search over the bloke wanted advice on camera equipment!! I blew, it doesn't take much to be fair, "you want advice, don't stop someone cycling on a cycle path, don't then stop and search them and finally after all that don't expect them to give you advice on camera equipment" "I'm only doing my job" "are you? The person who did the mugging if there was a mugging, where is he then?" with a few more words exchanged, mostly him warning me I was allowed to go  I cycled off the cop car drove past and the other officer waved, boy I was tempted to show a finger or two but thought better of it and just shook my head...idiots.
JUVENILE COAL TIT
 On a slightly better note I had some juvenile Coal Tits on my feeders. A common bird but in the wooded section on Eastfield Park they had gone with one showing up last winter I was hoping they'd bounce back so I was really happy to see the young on my feeders.


11 comments:

  1. Cracking shots of the Banded Demoiselle and the Swallow Douglas.
    You had an eventful walk/ride? Shame you missed that Otter.
    I guess the old bill saw you as an easy pull, not likely to give them much hassle and an easy tick to keep the numbers up in their log book! Think of all the paper work involved if they ever caught that mugger?...[;o)

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    1. Thanks Trevor. It was great just to see the Otter even if it was briefly. I have never seen so many banded's on a site it was swarming with them!
      As for plod I really ain't happy their intial "pull" was because I was cycling on a cycle path then the stop and search was to save face opposite me was a small grassy park type area with under 18's blatantly drinking...not a word to them!

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  2. Banded Demoiselle is a real beauty. To see an Otter and to get it's picture are often difficult.
    Now you shouldn't have leant your bike on his car. You should have asked him to hold it for you.

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  3. Thanks Adrian. If I did that to the copper I'd probably ended up having a strip search :-)

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  5. Being stopped by the bungling coppers put aside, a great post and fantastic Swallow image Doug.

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    1. Cheers Paul I spend too much time on Swallows very addictive ☺

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  6. Sewage Farms are great places for birds Doug. Seems the smell attracts the plod too. Pair of cocks.

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    1. Thanks Keith I think with old bill the saying "like flies around shit" is applicable though I am not sure which are the flies and which are the shit.

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  7. Although you were justifiably pissed off with plod, Doug, I had to smile at your story - well done you!

    I love that damselfly image. Good to hear that the Banded Demoiselle are plentiful - not seen one yet this year, but could probably rectify this on a sunny day with a stroll on my local patch.

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    1. Thanks Richard nature makes up for the silly old bill wouldn't mind too much but almost got run over by a plod on a bike on the way back from my local shop... I had a little chuckle to myself at that one

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