Way behind. As ever. Not just with blogging, but with just about everything else too I suspect. So…last Tuesday: another window of opportunity, this time provided by a prearranged play date for TBH and the ankle-biters. I decided to catch up on some jobs around the house and some paperwork from work.
Only kidding…I decided to get out for a walk whilst the going was good. Just after I walked past this obviously long-neglected doorway, which connects a road with a woodland, a buzzard languidly lifted from a tree in the woods and effortlessly glided away across the field opposite. Momentarily I had a fantastic close-up view, but by the time I fumbled my camera into life the buzzard was beyond the range of my zoom.
Not to worry, just a little further down the road a volery (that’s the term apparently) of long-tailed tits tumbled from branch to branch and I craned back and tracked their cavorting with my camera…
In Fleagarth wood I was puzzled by white patches high on the branches of several trees I passed. Then I found one further down within my reach, and some on the ground, and realised that they were the remnants of a very heavy hail shower which had fallen earlier.
Ivy and fungi on a fallen tree.
The path traverses the hillside on a descending line, and when I reached the bottom I decided to head across Quaker’s Stang.
Which is a sea defence, a long low mound separating the salt-marsh on the right from the soggy farmland on the left.
Quaker’s Stang construction
Greylag geese in the fields.
From Quaker’s Stang I headed to one of the RSPB hides looking out over shallow pools on the salt marsh …
(The cloud on the right was much more blue than it looks here – it was quite unreal. It looked like it was probably chucking it down across the bay in Barrow)
There were groups of pee-wits standing in the water (I said that it was shallow) and pairs of teal, mostly upended with only their behinds above water – I’ve discovered that I can use the electronic zoom on the camera as an aid for identifying distant birds – I haven’t produced great photos yet, but it’s useful none the less.
Looking back to a lone hawthorn tree on Quaker’s Stang.
Rather than retracing my steps across the stang I opted to follow Quicksand Pool, the stream which drains Leighton Moss. There’s no right of way: I’m not recommending trespass – if you get prosecuted, persecuted or just plain old buckshot whilst trampling somebody else’s grass, don’t blame me – it’s just that sometimes curiosity gets the better of me. The stream runs arrow straight…
…kept that way by boards mostly just below the waterline but in places exposed…
Eventually the stream is allowed to find it’s own natural course…
The tide occasionally submerges the salt-marshes leaving an odd assortment of natural detritus and jettisoned waste. Amongst them this crab shell…
Over in the Forest of Bowland it was clear that the rain and hail which fell here in the morning has fallen as snow there…
Oddly, although Clougha Pike was not white over like the higher Ward Stones, the fields below Clougha were clearly snow-covered.
The camera helped me to pick out pin-tails, oystercatchers and mallards feeding in great numbers on the mud beyond Jenny Brown’s Point.
At Jack Scout the singing of Greenfinches alerted me to quite a large flock of them in amongst the thorny shrubs. In land, to south, north and east, the cloud was breaking up and revealing the blue beyond as the last of the light dragged itself reluctantly away.