Monday, 20 February 2017

Leighton Moss

A murky misty day at Leighton Moss. Highlight probably staying late at the Eric Morecambe hide and seeing the flocks starlings murmuring, not quite murmerating.

Marsh harrier
Pintail
Canada geese
Teal
Wigeon
Shoveller
Little egret
Grey heron
Mallard
Moorhen
Mute Swan
Pheasant
Coot
Marsh tit
Greylag
Gadwall
Shelduck
Cormorant
Snipe
Little grebe
Redshank
Black-headed gull
Tufty duck
Treecreeper
Great crested grebe
Siskin
Thrush
Wren
Dunlin
Curlew
Starling
Magpie
Robin
Great tit
Blue tit
Crow
Jackdaw
Red squirrel
Lapwing
Oystercatcher

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Around Martindale Common

Distance: 15.7 miles
Ascent: 1200m
Weather: wet and windy, clag
Brief glimpse of a red squirrel,  toad, rooks and crows.
Mittens: wet
Glasses: wet
Everything: wet
New Tops: Brownthwaite Crag, Gowk Hill, Wether Hill (b & l gr whatever that means), Red Crag, Low Raise

We were set off not long after 9am,  filled with breakfast, and loaded down with lunch and my new expensive camera that didn't leave the cosiness of its waterproof bag due to the bad weather.

It was drizzling as we headed up to Bordale Hause, timing it perfectly so we ended up between two hordes. The thing about hordes is that they stop a lot, and one lot having just overtaken us, proceeded to stop. That was the last we saw of them. We turned left at Boredale Hause, leaving the coast to coast route,  and headed down into Boredale, along the valley dropping down to a farm, where we crossed into Martindale over Winter Crag. The paths were muddy, grassy and quite slipsome. They then got muddier and considerably steeper on the other side of the valley, heading up Nettlehowe Crag to the High Street path along the ridge - in the wind and clag.

Visibility was limited,  not helped by steamed up and wet glasses. At times along the way I even took my glasses off, which was different  but not necessarily any better. We wandered around looking for tops,  in the clag, and I got knackered clambering up vertical (ok maybe not vertical) grassy fellsides.

Lunch was had on wobbly rocks behind a wall by somewhere near Red Crag or thereabouts,  it was cold and wet and oniony.

The path down from Knott was clear and quite easy going,  which was a relief given  the strength of the wind. Before reaching Hayeswater, there was a lost dog and a sign telling us about a new bridge over the Gill so we aimed for that, although we'd dropped down below the cloudline here so could actually see something. From the bridge there is now a rough road for the building of a new hydroelectric system,  and we followed this steep track down into the valley by the side of Hayeswater Gill and its waterfalls.

From Hartsop back to Patterdale there are footpaths along the side of the valley edge, quite muddy in places but sheltered.

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Brushes Clough in a Blizzard

Distance: about 6 miles
Ascent: 300m
Weather: cold, windy, snowy
Mallards leaving the ditch, a few pigeons.

A wet, muddy and bracing walk along the track and over Brushes Clough, up to the aerials and around the track along the northern edge of the hill.

Very windy, becoming calmer just as we got home.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Crosby & Formby Beaches

Distance: 4.5 + 8.1 miles
Ascent: a couple of sand dunes
Weather: bright, one short rain shower
Iron Men, oyster catchers, gulls inc lesser black backed, sanderlings, red squirrel

A visit to Crosby Beach to see Another Place sculptures by Antony Gormley. Sorry, Sir Antony Gormley. We parked at the northern end of the promenade and walked along the beach among them to the southern end, and then back.

Then we drove to the car park at Lifeboat Road Formby, stopping to get some m&s sandwiches for lunch from a petrol station on the way. We walked up to the picnic area, visited the squirrels (saw one up in the tree tops that wasn't amenable to having its photo taken) and then headed out onto the sands. A brief shower resulted in some new camera faffing, but it was soon over.

We returned back along the beach to the car park, the last bit over the sand dunes was the most strenuous part of the day.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Martin Mere

Distance: 6 miles abouts
Ascent: none
Weather: sunny start, chilly

We walked from Lathom village (staying at Briar Hall hotel, where we've been upgraded to the executive suite!) to Martin Mere via the canal and rather muddy field paths and lanes.

Skylark
Jay
Shelduck
Whooper Swan
Moorhen (insulted)
Coot
Mallard
Blackbird
Magpie
Pigeon
Wood pigeon
Black tailed godwit
Pintail
Buzzards
Marsh harrier
Teal
Lapwing
Wigeon
Redshank
Cormorant
Grey heron
Snipe
Reed bunting
Fancy Rat
Chaffinch
Goldfinch
Robin
Blue tit
Common gull
Little egret
Great Black backed gull
Crow
Jackdaw
Tufty ducks
Sparrowhawk
Ruff
Pheasant
Pochard
Little grebe
Kestrel (Rob)

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Burton Mere RSPB

Cold, overcast day. Brightened by a hot chocolate by a warm fire in the reception hide.

Black headed gull
black tailed godwit
Blue tit
Canada goose
Chaffinch
Coot
Cormorant
Crow
Curlew
Dunlin
Fieldfare
Gadwall
Goldfinch
Great tit
Grey heron
Greylag
hen harrier
jackdaw
Lapwing
Little egret
Mallard
Marsh harrier
Moorhen
Mute Swan
Redshank
Robin
Shelduck
Shoveller
Snipe
Teal
Tree Sparrow
Tufty
Wigeon
wren
yellow legged / lesser black backed gull??

Saturday, 21 January 2017

Chester Zoo

Distance: 20 miles or thereabouts
Ascent: none
Weather: cold

Am early birthday weekend away to visit the zoo, we stayed at the Mecure hotel near Christleton and decided to walk there and back.

We took the longer route along the Shropshire Union Canal, which was nice,  although there were no pavements around the entrance to the zoo and we had to cross some busy main roads. This wasn't too bad on the way in, but at closing time it was difficult.

A fun but cold day at the zoo, we saw a red panda, baby elephants and discovered an exciting new variety of squirrel.

As it was getting dark when we left, we decided to follow the roads rather than the canal, via the city centre, calling in for a drink along the way.