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Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Low numbers every where until today

Since I last blogged all my activities have seemed to result in low numbers, until today when Short Stop‎almost overwhelmed me.

The week had started badly when our attempt to do our bit for the BTO survey failed, as the fog on Fylingdales Moor was so thick we could barely see to put one foot in front of another. Short Stop last Tuesday was all done and dusted in an hour, three people needing a room for the night and two hosts found in ten minutes and two phone calls.

Coasties found us short of people. Only four of us, and the Cleveland Way ranger, to repair a long flight of steps
just a few of the steps
leading out of Robin Hood's Bay. To make it harder everything had to be taken down to the bottom in a quad bike, no room for the van and trailer, so that meant several trips.

The steps were uneven and the wooden boards rotting, so that meant realigning as well as new boards. As I have posted before steps are not my forte, but there was no choice. I dug out the old boards, 'lost' them in hidden greenery where they will rot totally and helped to put new boards in. Absent colleagues were badly missed, next time we hope they will be there! However we had a choice of benches for lunch and a sheltered place to sit.

Thursday we did the bird survey, but it was a freezing morning with a gale blowing. Before factoring in the wind chill it was only 5 degrees. No insects, so no sensible bird would have ventured out of a sheltered roosting place. We heard a sky lark six times, was it the same one? In the blustery rain we will never know.

a peaceful spot below Crosscliff
Monday I was at Saltergate helping with the Mobile Display Unit,‎  There were several Voluntary Rangers and not a lot of customers, so after lunch I went for a walk along the Old Wives Way. It was lovely and peaceful and I sat for a while enjoying the quiet away from the roar of the traffic (especially the speeding bikers) on the main road.
easy to be a ram

Later I came across this ram, dozing in the long grass. His job had been done in just a few minutes some months ago, now he could rest. At the other end of the field the ewes were busy, busy, busy. Their lambs were either demanding food or trying to escape through small gaps in the fence. I knew how they felt, my grandsons spend much of their time in the park trying to escape from sight.

To my surprise I met no other walkers or cyclists, usually this is a popular cycle route into the Dalby Forest. Our car parking charges are a lot less than the toll to drive into the Forest.

I passed the ancient Malo Cross, climbed back to the car park; along the last section a pair of lapwings were calling and swooping in the wind. A lovely end to a lovely walk, my spirits soared with the birds, fanciful I know, but just occasionally I can indulge.

And so to today and Short Stop again. Five people today, including one man who had slept out all weekend. Several hosts were away as it is half term and others on voicemail only. It was after 3 o'clock that I placed the last person, with a great sense of relief; it may not be so cold now, but rain is forecast for tonight.

A week of contrasts, the wild of the Moors and the very different desolation of a night on the streets of Leeds. But there is a link. If the total waste of money that is the Fylingdale Early Warning Station (warning against what?) were not there the Moors would be more beautiful and imagine what could be done with the money saved.