Oystercatchers in the North Pennines

April, and the North Pennines are a huge wet sponge. Last week’s journey to Widdybank Farm wasn’t just wet, it was also freezing. I usually park the car at the gate and walk the rough mile track to the farm. I stared into the gloom, while listening to hail stones clatter on the roof. The windows had already steamed up and I felt a little trapped by the intensity of the noise. Thinking it was never going to end (48 hours of rain), I grabbed my boots and waterproofs from the back of the car. Over the years I’ve gained a few extra pounds making dressing in very small cars almost impossible. There’s a sense of achievement when the waterproofs, boots and coats finally go on. Stepping out of the car, the view was hidden in clouds. Two Oystercatchers sat huddled by the fence watching me watching them. For a brief moment we seemed to be acknowledging the weather. The cattle grids were like bath tubs, filled with 48 hours of rain. I marched through the wind and cold doing my best to take the occasional picture. The Oyestercatchers were a montage of those few taken shots. One must learn to take the rough with the smooth.

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19 Replies to “Oystercatchers in the North Pennines”

  1. Hi Keith, all the wine the Bear makes me drink has left me slightly belly challenged and out of condition ! and sometimes I look around for the Oystercatchers I can hear whistling, only to realise it’s me wheezing, usually uphill, I always look for the red legs if I think it’s Oystercatchers.
    thanks for posting Danny

  2. This spring has been a bit too much rain and wind for me also…this afternoon is sunny and 55’F tomorrow 73’F and then the rain returns. I am getting almost worthless at the blog on the few days of sunshine…want to be outside.
    I do love watching the seagulls ride the wind and your drawings have caught that spirit too…nice work Thank you for sharing

    Oh that rain gear…and the other day someone parked too close to my car door and I had to wait for them to come out of the store…I could not squeeze past or climb over the seats from the other side 🙂

  3. Keith, I’ve been appreciating your wonderful work through Barbara’s sharing on Facebook and am happy to find you have a blog too!

  4. Hi. This is a great drawing, full of movement. We have the American Oystercatcher, and although I have never seen one, they look to have similar characteristics. How do they tuck in those long legs??? I wonder if it’s the same challenge as getting dressed in a car! I love their long orange beaks! Jane

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