“I was actually in Cowley Brook woodland that is on the fell road below Geoffrey Hill. As I entered through the small pedestrian gate I could hear and then see a small flock of common crossbills high up the Scots pine” Grimsargh Wildlife Forum. 21 February at 15.22.
Having read that this morning and not having seen a Crosshill for years I was parked up by the plantation after lunch. I entered through the same small gate and wandered into the pines. I could hear what I thought were Crossbills somewhere in the depths…
…but I could not see them. I wandered up and down the plantation just above the brook, stopped and listened, scanned with my binoculars – but not a sighting. I completed a loop around the plantation, still hearing them in places, I concluded that I’m not very good at bird spotting, swallowed my pride and disappointedly headed back.
As I was walking around I was disappointed to see that it has been necessary for United Utilities to display on several trees notices reminding dog owners to remove their dog’s mess. That is despite large notices at the entrance gate advising on sensible conduct. It struck me that if they, the dog owners, don’t heed this then the additional signs will have little effect. What a shame that this little wild life area is suffering from urban park mentality and that the ‘wildness’ is being polluted, in my opinion, by additional signage.
Back at the gate I had my third disappointment- a great pile of rubbish, overwhelmingly dog poo bags. Perhaps these had been collected by someone, but why not bag them and remove them from the site. On the gate are some bin liners for people to deposit their poo bags (Why not take them home in the first place?) and maybe one of these had burst or been damaged by animals – there are deer, foxes and crows about. Whatever, it is a right mess for someone to clear up – presumably United Utilities. I don’t know how frequently the warden visits. All very unsatisfactory.
I may return tomorrow on my quest to spot a Crossbill, but by then they could be anywhere in the forests on Longridge Fell.