I had to travel to Docker to see my first swallow this year. We quite often come back from Carnforth that way and stop on the hill top at Outfield to admire the beautifulview all the way from Barbon Fell across Leck Fell to Ingleborough – one of the nicest views in the Lune valley. Where we were parked, the field on our left had been ploughed, and the cereal crop had just sprouted, and a flock of black-backed gulls and another one of rooks were busy searching for any seeds left on top of the soil. A pair of lapwings were circling around as though they had a nest close by, when out from underthe hedge appeared a pair of beautiful red-legged partridge. They fairly scurried across the field, stopping now and then to feed before heading back for shelter under the hedge. No wonder the bird population is declining. What chance have those four birds of producing families? If their eggs aren’t eaten by marauding badgers and foxes the young will become prey for the gulls and rooks. There are fewer insect-eating birds returning every year, hardly any swallows or house martins, no flycatchers or willow warblers. Have we become so clean in our habits that in a decade’s time insects and birds will be a distant memory?
Have you noticed how many ash trees are dying in the hedge rows? It really is scary to see all those bare branches, and how quickly the ash die-back disease has struck them down. Science may be very clever but they still have not got all the answers yet.
The next dance in Whittington Village Hall is on 1June when the Tartan Sound band will travel all the way from Lockerbie to provide the music for dancing. Another great night guaranteed. Why stop at home on Saturday nights and watch TV – get out and enjoy the fun