Home from Carnforth

20200613_152204

Warton and Warton Crag behind.

Long-suffering readers of this blog may remember that there was a time when I worked one afternoon a week in Carnforth and a walk home from there was a weekly part of my commute. These days it’s not something I do very often, which is a shame because it’s a great walk, with numerous route options, all of them enjoyable.

On this occasion, one of the boys bikes need dropping off at the cycle shop for repairs; I can’t remember if this was when B had so completely buckled one of his wheels that it was beyond repair, or when the derailleur on S’s bike broke and his chain fell off.

“I put my chain by the path and somebody stole it!”

Later, when the whole family went to Trowbarrow to look for the ‘stolen’ chain, I asked, “Where exactly did you leave it?”

He pointed. Directly at a broken, black bike chain, which he apparently couldn’t see.

“Did you leave it beside this chain? Or could this be yours?”

“It wasn’t there earlier!”, he was adamant.

Anyway, I saw the opportunity to accompany TBH to the bike shop, and then to walk home afterwards.

After TBH dropped me off, I’d walked across the fields from Millhead to Warton and then climbed up to the Crag Road, where a stile gives access to the top of a lime kiln. The slight elevation of this spot gives some nice views…

20200613_153706

Warton and a distant Ingleborough on the left.

20200613_153716

Warton again and the Bowland Hills on the horizon.

A set of steps lead down beside the lime kiln…

20200613_153950

So I had a wander down…

20200613_153804

20200613_153818

…to peer inside.

20200613_153852

20200613_155137

Another distant view of Ingleborough.

I followed the limestone edge up to the back of the large quarry car park and then headed on up to the top.

20200613_160532

The Bay from near the top of Warton Crag.

P1290530

It was a hot day and I dropped down from the top to my new favourite view point, where tree-clearance has exposed a small crag and some expansive views.

I sat for some time, drinking in the views as well as the contents of my water bottle. A buzzard coasted past. I’d already watched another hovering above the fields near Millhead.

P1290547

Foxgloves.

P1290545

P1290548

Male Scorpion Fly. Is it holding a morsel of food?

P1290553

Red Admiral.

P1290554

A hoverfly – Platycheirus fulviventris – possibly?

P1290557

Greenbottles.

P1290567

I think that this striking fungi is a very dark specimen of Many-zoned Polypore or Turkeytail fungus. 

P1290566

This fungus varies enormously in colour. It generally grows on dead wood and is here devouring a tree stump.

P1290571

Dog Rose.

P1290572

Honeysuckle.

P1290577

P1290576

Hoverfly – Episyrphus Balteatus.

P1290578

I was happily photographing roses and honeysuckle when an orange butterfly flew across the path, almost brushing my face as it passed. I tried to follow its flight, but soon lost it. I assumed it was a fritillary of some kind; I’m always disappointed if they pass without giving me a chance to identify them. Fortunately, a little further down the path, I came across another fritillary feeding on a red clover flower…

P1290583

It’s a Dark Green Fritillary, exciting for me because I’ve only seen this species once before.

P1290600

P1290581

P1290614

P1290618

Common Blue Damselfly.

P1290619

Cinnabar Moth.

P1290622

A white-tailed bumblebee species on a Bramble flower.

P1290623

Reflexed Stonecrop.

At Barrow Scout Fields, the gulls were making a fuss; it’s often worth a few moments scrutiny to see what’s upsetting them. I’m glad I stopped this time…

P1290638

At first I assumed that I’d spotted a Marsh Harrier with a gull chick, but only one gull gave chase, and that half-heartedly, and the gulls are usually extremely energetic when mobbing the resident harriers. Anyway, I could soon make out that the raptor was carrying quite a large fish. It seemed likely that it was an Osprey, which the photo confirms. It made a beeline northwards, presumably heading back to the nest at Foulshaw Moss, on the far side of the River Kent. The nest has webcams stationed above it and I’ve been following the progress of the nesting pair and their two chicks online, so was doubly pleased to see one of the parent birds with what looks to me like a good sized family take-away.

I’m, intrigued by the fish too. Barrow Scout Fields were three agricultural fields until they were bought by the RSPB in 2000 and restored as wetlands. Have the RSPB stocked the meres they created with fish I wonder, or have fish eggs arrived naturally, on the feet of wading birds for example? Whichever is the case, the fishing Osprey and its large prey are surely testament to the charity’s successful creation and management of this habitat.

I hadn’t moved on from watching the disappearing Osprey, before another drama began to unfold in the skies overhead…

P1290655

Two raptors this time, with one repeatedly nose-diving the other. The slightly smaller bird, the aggressor, is a Marsh Harrier, a female I think, which is probably defending a nest in the trees at the edge of Leighton Moss.

P1290659

The agility of the other bird, a Buzzard, which repeatedly flipped upside-down so that it could face its attacker, was astonishing.

P1290664

I have no sympathy with the Buzzard, since I’ve been subjected to similar dive-bombing attacks by Buzzards on several occasions. This went on for quite some time and I took numerous photos; I was royally entertained.

P1290670

Looking across towards Leighton Moss.

I peeked over the bridge here to peer into the dike running alongside the Causeway Road and saw a Water Forget-Me-Not flowering in the middle of the dike. Sadly, it was in deep shade and my photo has not come out too well. I shall have to revisit.

P1290673

Yellow Flag Iris.

P1290687

Unnamed tributary of Quicksand Pool.

P1290686

Spear-leaved Orache.

P1290688

Sea Beet, with flowers…

P1290689

Both sea beet and orache (in its many guises, there are several British species) are prized as spinach substitutes by foragers. I really must get around to trying them both.

P1290691

Quicksand Pool.

P1290693

A roof finial (I think that’s the right term) at Jenny Brown’s cottages. I’m surprised I haven’t photographed it before. 

P1290702

Speckled Wood butterfly.

P1290718

This seemed to be the day which just kept on giving: after the dark green fritillary, the osprey, the aerial battle between the harrier and the buzzard, one last gift – a group of Eider Ducks resting on the sands at the edge of Carnforth Salt Marsh. I’ve seen Eiders here before, but not often. It was a shame they were so far away, but when I tried to get closer they swam away.

P1290721

Oystercatchers.

P1290723

Quicksand Pool and Warton Crag.

P1290729

Looking along the coast to the Coniston Fells.

P1290734

Another Dog Rose at Jack Scout.

P1290750

Large Skipper female.

P1290766

Curled Dock (I think).

P1290773

Named for its curly leaves.

P1290765

If I’m right, then these flowers will turn red then eventually brown.

Curled Dock is yet another spinach substitute apparently, crammed with vitamins.

P1290777

Hedge Woundwort.

P1290796

The mystery vigorous plant in Woodwell pond is revealed to be Arum Lily or Calla Lily. 

P1290801

A non-native relative of our own Cuckoo Pint – the showy white part is a spathe not petals.

P1290795

20200613_195702

Close to home and a distant view of the Howgills on the horizon.

A lovely walk of a little under eight miles – who’d believe so much interest could be crammed into one short stroll?


Now, if your patience isn’t completely exhausted, some fishing songs. First up, a tune I’ve always liked:

This one, is actually ‘Sufficient Clothes’ but was released as ‘Fishing Clothes’ after a Lightnin’ Hopkins was misheard.

Listening to it again, it turns out there’s not too much fishing in this one either:

But it is by the late, great Tony Joe White. Seems I don’t actually know many songs about fishing after all.

Home from Carnforth

20 thoughts on “Home from Carnforth

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Some days are like that, but this was a rare one even by the standard of the best of days. Warm and sunny too – we could do with another spell of that!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      They’ve been nesting at Foulshaw Moss for a few years now, and at Roudsea Wood too. It’s always thrilling to see them.

  1. Not sure what I enjoyed more, the photos and write up or the music – a classic post. Simple pleasures of a great local walk, wildlife and cracking tunes.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I suspect my admiration for ‘Gone Fishing’ dates back to ‘Junior Choice’ on our old Bakelite wireless on a Saturday morning. It’s so chilled!

  2. That walk looks amazing. All that wildlife! Have only ever seen eiders from a distance swimming in the sea. Those Lillie’s look amazing. Very tropical!

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      I’ve seen them three or four times at Jenny Brown’s Point. They nest on South Walney I think, I’ve certainly seen them of the coast of Peel Island.

    1. beatingthebounds says:

      Oh – I’m never quick and this walk I stopped for some long sit-downs as well as taking nearly 300 photos, so the answer is many hours!

  3. Thank you fo much for posting beautiful photos of Wharton Crag. Fifty plus years ago we lived on Hazelmount Drive Millhead and climbed the crag many times with a baby in a carrier and a 3/4 year old in her first pair of hiking boots. She had been well prepared for the day she would have to walk herself. After that first time walking she pronounced that “hiking is just walking in big boots really” . She wasn’t wrong.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s