Around the Shore

On Wednesday we drove home from work rather than using the train, having had to collect our youngest from nursery on route. TBH dropped me off just beyond Crag Foot and I followed the track beside the stream which drains Leighton Moss and onto Quaker’s Stang. As I crossed the bridge over the stream the fence opposite was thronged with swallows but when I went through the gate the all took to their wings. All that is except this one rather dumpy specimen…

I’m not sure whether this is a juvenile or if it has it’s feathers puffed-up to keep warm. Not that it was at all cold. I waited for a while – trying, unsuccessfully, to take a photo of a small yellow-brown bird on some thistles behind the fence – a warbler of some sort I thought. If the swallows had been spooked by my presence they certainly were at all worried once they were airborne: some swooped close over my shoulder and as I stood there, several more swallows came back to the fence.

The colours seem a bit subdued for a swallow – am I wrong, or is the pastel shade a seasonal thing?


Now that I’ve seen musk mallow in the flesh and not just in a book I’m probably going to start finding it everywhere – at least that is what’s happened with eyebright: last year I got very excited when I found some in Little Langdale, now I’m realising that it’s almost ubiquitous on any unimproved open land in this area. Anyway – I feel justified in posting another musk mallow flower so soon after the last (as if I need an excuse)  because of the caterpillar which is exploring here.

The road to Jenny Brown’s cottages has a screen of trees which provided good cover from which to watch this heron’s deliberate movements in quicksand pool.

I’ve often posted photo’s of the feathery seed-heads of traveller’s joy, but I’ve never noticed before the elegant sculptural form of the creamy white flowers.


From Jenny Brown’s Point I could see some large ducks out on the bay. I took a couple of photos but since they were almost into the sun the colours were very muted. From their outlines, especially the bills, I thought that they must be goosander’s or mergansers. Perhaps if I could change the angle slightly I could get a better photo. I clambered down the rocks with theatrical care, not wanting to muddy my work clothes, but at the moment that I stepped onto the shingle beach, the birds were away.

Not to worry – from this new vantage point I spotted an egret, still a recent enough arrival in this neck of the woods to seem like an exotic treat. In outline it looks like the heron, but it’s movements are very different: where the heron moves with exaggerated care, the egret jerks about in a apparently comical panic. Like the heron though it is supremely cautious and despite my distance was soon away when I watched perhaps too intensely.

This, as yet unidentified, plant was growing on the rocks near to the point:

A mass of long stems were mostly green,…

.. but a couple were also red…


The leaves were tough and fleshy…

The rocks behind the plant were hopping with little critters like this…


 Autumn Lady’s Tresses.

I think that this is a a micro moth, a snout moth, a grass moth or very probably all three. Which species it is exactly, I have no idea.


This harebell was irresistible, catching the light as it was. In sheltered spots on Jack Scout it was really quite warm.


The hitherto unidentified ‘dandelion like’ flower looks like this when it is opened:



 Another low-growing sun-silvered thistle head – I like the starburst on the lower side.

Another u.f.p. – unidentified flowering plant!

Around the Shore

5 thoughts on “Around the Shore

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks Phil – I think that you’re right on both counts. The sea beet grows fairly abundantly round the shore here, I see that it has also been called sea spinach, I wonder if there is any joy to be had for the forager?

  1. I’ve just been flicking through ‘The Wild Flower Key’ – Francis Rose, and had come to the same conclusion re the first unidentified flower possibly being Sea Beet.

    The yellow flower from the Daisy family could be a Cat’s-ear or a Hawkbit (there are several species of each).

    I’d recommend the above book if you wish to go to the effort to follow scientific keys to identify flowers. It’s helpful too, for when the plants are not in bloom.

    Lovely pictures to accompany your descriptive writing.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Thanks Sheila,
      That book looks like just what I need to relieve the frustration of photo guides in which the photos are all too often inconclusive.

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