It was Ben's 9th birthday on Saturday, so we've been busy. Relaxation finally came at 16.00 this afternoon when I decided to go fishing for the first time this year. For some strange reason I felt drawn towards a place that I haven't visited in over 30 years: The canal at Spark Lane, Rufford. I remember Hoggy's dad Martin bringing me and Hoggy fishing here once in the early 1980s. Today I was after a winner...
Conditions on Saturday were perfect for a walk with my kids and friend Daniel up England's highest peak: Scafell Pike. The kids stormed ahead whilst muggins here carried all their gear in a rucksack. Scant wildlife offerings included a raven, a buzzard, wheatears, meadow pipits and skylarks. I couldn't be bothered photographing those, but here's one shot of the rambling rabble...
Eddie rang tonight claiming 6 Black Terns were at Preston Docks. Seeing was believing, so we sped down there for a look. Sure enough, he was completely wrong. There were in fact 14 black terns, but I'll let him off.
The weather forecast reckoned Saturday would be the driest day of the bank holiday weekend, so Mark and I headed for Burton Mere, a safe bet for a decent day out. Favourable tide times also offered an opportunity to visit Hilbre Island, off the coast of West Kirkby, reachable by foot at low tide...
The morning rain was unexpected and making for poor photography. Although we saw several Spotted Redshank and a pair of distant Whinchat, we decided to postpone Burton Mere and head for West Kirkby instead, our ultimate destination: Hilbre Island. After parking the car we began the 2 mile trudge across the sand to Hilbre: two tiny islands surrounded by rock-pools and plenty of wildlife too...
Hilbre was a stunning place which deserves more time. Next time, I plan to get stranded there at high tide. Tired from all the walking, Mark and I headed back to Burton Mere for a leisurely stroll around the place. The sun was out and so were the birds...
What made this PM visit to Burton Mere special was a combination of perfect sunlight, good air clarity and lack of leaf-cover. Many small birds were out singing and feeding, all out in the open and at close range...