Monday, 4 January 2010

Godney Tetrad - part 2

This post deals with the second half of my bird survey for the square shown below and is shown on the Google Earth map from number 6 to 11. (Click on this map to see more clearly). At the crossroads (where the I met the pony and traps from my first post) I carried on across going south and walked round to the right (west ish) to follow the road towards Godney.
Just as I turned that corner there was a lovely old apple orchard on my left where there were several Fieldfares, Redwings and other Thrushes feeding on the windfall apples.Carrying on westwards to the small hamlet of Godney, this church caught my eye. I bet it looked very interesting from the inside, but I didn't have time to pop in to take a look.At the church, I followed the road round a sharp left hand bend and walked south towards the rhyne (at the bottom of the first map). There were some lovely pollarded Willows along this stretch of road and as you can see from the following photos below, I couldn't resist taking some shots of these!


These next two were taken along the same stretch of road, but just into the sun which gives a totally different feel to the shots.
This photo below was taken looking west along the large rhyne at the bottom of the first map (number 8 on the Google map). If you click to enlarge this photo, you will see that there are four Grey Herons standing on the banks here.The fields on this section of the walk were slightly lower lying than the rest of my survey area and therefore had flooded in the recent rains which made for picturesque scenery.If there had been much more rain, the roads would have been flooded too and I wouldn't have been able to do the survey on this particular day.At this point, I followed the footpath shown in the first map running east along the left hand side of the rhyne.Walking along this path, as I looked right, there was a lovely view of Glastonbury Tor which dominates the surrounding flat Somerset Levels landscape.Here's another view of the Tor, but with some lovely wind sculpted trees in the foreground.As I walked along the path, I became aware that ahead of me was a field of cows. Now those of you familiar with my blog know that cows and me don't mix too well, specially on bird survey walks! However, I had no choice but to carry on past these beasties. If you click on this photo, you will see in the distance, on the right hand side, one black and white cow ahead, quite close to the edge of the field and the rhyne.As I approached, this massive madam didn't seem to want to budge out of my way. I could see a confrontation coming......... so, after gritting my teeth, I forged ahead, pretending that I didn't care whether this bovine bulk was blocking my path to freedom. I know Roy will think I'm a right woose (-:, but I think cows can be quite unpredictable. Anyway....................in the end the puny human bird surveyer prevailed and Doris gave way and was able to get back to her grass munching.My troubles weren't over yet though.......if you check back at the first map, you will see that where the rhyne does a sharp bend to the right, there is a track showing which runs north back towards the village and the end of my survey. Well, the stark fact was, that it wasn't there! No track or at least if it was there, it was under a few feet of water! I was stuck! I didn't want to back track all the way round again, it was a long way, and I was quite weary by this time. The surrounding fields all looked like the one shown below, pretty flooded, but I decided that I had to try and walk along the edge of these fields to get back to the village (from number 10 to 11 on the Googe map). I had waterproof boots on, but they were only ankle high. Well, it wasn't too bad for most of the time, if a bit squishy, but when I got to towards the gate in the field near to the village, the water was alot deeper. I looked around to see if there was any other way to get out of that field, but there wasn't, so I had to grit my teeth again and just walk quickly through that water to the gate. It was up to my knees! The walk back to my car (on the left of this photo) was very wet and squelchy and cold, nevertheless, I really did enjoy this survey and look forward to the second winter walk. Maybe for the spring/summer ones, it will be a wee bit drier! (-:

14 comments:

TonyC said...

LOL!! Cows and wet feet - yep sounds like a British sirding walk to me! Great post Jen - I can just imagine you fronting up to Doris.

Roy said...

Lovely scenery Jen, made me feel quite homesick.

Very well done brave Girl for facing down the black and white Lady and "yomping" through the water.
I could see by the look on her face that she quite liked you, well who wouldn't. {:)

Lovely two part post Jen thanks for posting all those images.

Kelly said...

...oh you poor thing! Water up to your knees--and in winter too. I'm shivering just thinking about it. I have to agree with Tony and Roy...I can just imagine you going up against that cow. Humorous to say the least, no doubt! What we won't do for our birds! Lovely post....

Quiet Paths said...

Yep, it looks like you had wet feet from your walk, or do you wear boots? I wouldn't want to disturb the herons - that is a great shot by the way, but I don't know why they didn't make that rhyne a bit wider for a canoe... now that would be the ticket!

Quiet Paths said...

Oops, I missed the spot where you said you had ankle boots on... I loved your story about Doris the cow. Pretty funny in the telling but I no fan of a one on one with a bovine bulk.

Janean said...

lovely photos...especially in black and white. church is amazing and the cow was great!!

Eve said...

Well Jenny this was quite an adventure! Little did I realize when you go awalking in England there aren't many fences between you and the cows! No wonder your nervous!!! I was going to ask if you were a good swimmer when you and Doris were facing off but my question was answered when you were "yomping" through the drink. Let's see knee high to you would be about ankle deep for the rest of us! You need to pick up some waders to go with your new bins! I loved your journey and following it on Google maps really made it fun. the images from GE seem to be much more clear than here in the US. I can see the church and all but the little sign for the footpath! You should have gone on the day the took the satellite photo tho...no water that day! Is that a bird in the water on the left side of the heron photo? Have a peek when you get time.
Thanks for taking us along. Lovely walking with you!
PS I would have given you a piggy back ride through the pond and we would have "busted a gut" laughing!!!

Rural Rambler said...

Great walk today for me Jen! The church is a lovely picture. I clicked to enlarge the two pictures of the Tor. Beautiful. I want to use the second picture with the Tor to the right and the stand of trees to the left for my background. The crooked open gate you captured is awesome! I think it was prudent to give that Doris Cow all the space she desired, I wouldn't want to mess with her. She has a seriousness about her. I have landed in a few cow patties in my past when I didn't give some of Doris's kind the respect they deserved :)

Great post Little Wren!!!

Jenny said...

Hi there Tony. We had some great trips out didn't we, tho I don't remember getting too wet. Do you remember the day we met at Shearwater? Happy memories! (-:

Hi Roy, you'll have to come and visit the Levels sometime in 2010. Do you really think she liked me??? Hmmmmmm! (-:

Hi Kelly, Luckily it wasn't tooooo chilly that day, I'll have to find a slightly different route for my next winter walk I think, but then I'd miss meeting up wih Doris again! (-:

Hi Christine, yes I need to invest in a new pair of wellies I think. I was none too pleased to have a face off with Doris, but the alternative was a long walk back around.

Hello Janean, thanks for dropping in and commenting on my blog. That's a lovely and unusual name if you don't mind me saying. I'm glad you enjoyed the walk.

Hi Evie, yes, as you noticed, I didn't have much room to manouver (spelling?) what with many more cows on my left and the rhyne on my right and no I can't swim an inch!!! That is a Black-headed Gull in the water on the left I think. In the flooded fields there were lots of gulls in the distance. If you'd given me a piggyback, I think we'd have both fallen in the water with laughing so much! (-:

Jenny said...

Hi there Pix, please feel free to use that photo for your comp background. I'm curious which photo you mean that has a crooked gate??? Trouble is, Doris didn't give in until I was almost on her. A bit of a heart thumping moment if I'm honest! (-:

The Early Birder said...

Enjoyed the trip around the Godney Tetrad very much. I'd have thought by now you could speak Cow as it's a bit like phishing'...when I make a noise, they move away!

Rural Rambler said...

I don't know Jenny, now that I look at it might be some kind of bridge. It is the second picture of the Tor with the stand of trees. It looked like an open crooked kind of gate.

Roy said...

Yes, of course she did. {:)

Mary said...

What an adventure! That church really does look interesting. Go back sometime and check out the inside for us :-) I love the shots with the pollarded willows...especially the ones into the sun...wow! Very awesome looking. I also love that very last shot of the water and trees. I'm glad that B&W cow didn't bother you any :-) Cows and cold water...oh, my! You are a very dedicated bird surveyor!