The weather is so surprising at the moment. Blue skies then snow. Warm sunshine. Then snow. And repeat.
I am wondering what to wear for a week night beer garden drink. Looking in my wardrobe, I seriously haven’t bought any new going out clothes since 2019! Pjamas ~ yes. Walking pants~ yes. But no new tops or dresses. However I suspect I will still be frequenting my warm puffa jacket for any approaching social activities!
At present social activities still revolve around walking, so here are some photos from yesterday’s walk along the river to Chatburn and back. A repeat of a post I did earlier in the year, but a little more wildlife on display. 🙂
The weekends activities included the RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch. Hurrah! Something to do, and really quite ideal for lockdown. I must admit though I didn’t have the most exciting hour. My newly filled feeders seemed to be regarded with suspicion by the resident sparrows. Not one bird ventured from the foliage behind the garden shed. What was going on!
I counted 8 sparrows during the sixty minutes I sat glued to the window, camera at the ready. For all that time they mostly stayed hidden in the ivy. Then about five minutes before my hour was up I noticed a much bigger bird had landed in the greenery. It was mostly obscured but I noticed a long speckled tail through the leaves. It wasn’t a pigeon! Then suddenly it flew higher and all was revealed. A sparrowhawk! No wonder my little feathered visitors were staying away from the food. They didn’t intend to be food themselves.
Sorry to say I didn’t get a photo of my raptor visitor. Think I was in shock. 😲 But I have added Sparrowhawk to my birdcount results for the first time ever.
Meanwhile my sister and family were doing the birdcount at the same time as me. I usually join them but unfortunately not this year. 😔 They had a really successful hour with Nuthatch, Long Tailed Tits, Pheasants, Kestrel and a Wren included in the final tally. 🙂
After lunch Wil, Hugo and I headed out for a walk from Clitheroe , taking in the fields and River Ribble near Waddow Hall. Plenty of wildlife out this afternoon and an enjoyable 4 mile ramble from home and back.
I was delighted to find some Scarlet Elf Cups, such vibrant pops of colour in the winter landscape. They are also called Red Cups, Moss Cups and Fairies Baths. In folklore Wood Elves drink morning dew from them. Scarlet Elf Cups are most commonly found on mossy decaying branches on the woodland floor.
I saw plenty of Snowdrops in people’s front gardens today , it was also nice to see some wild ones too. A real sign that Spring is on the way. ❤️
I wouldn’t like to admit to having a favourite water bird ( I love to see them all) , but if you insist, I would probably say the Goosander . I always smile when I see these sawbilled ducks on the river, the female especially with her nut brown quiff . They are super adorable 💖.
Thanks for dropping by. Let me know if you have done the Birdwatch, seen Snowdrops or walked anywhere this weekend. 🥾🐦
Today was one of those days when I really wish I had taken my camera out with me, instead of just my phone. This frosty walk along the river from home to the village of Chatburn gave lots of photographic opportunities of the feathered variety. I counted Grey Herons, Little Egrets, Canada Geese, Moorhens, Kestrel, Goosanders and Wagtails .
We don’t often walk on the left hand side of the Ribble on this route for some reason, so it was nice to see the surrounding countryside from a different perspective. Clitheroe’s industrial landscape appeared sporadically in the distance.
Mary Horner’s attractive carved bench was particularly striking. Was she a shepherdess I wonder….
After a brew and sausage roll in the village of Chatburn we chose to walk back home on the road, though another great way to get back to Clitheroe is of course along the other side of the river.
Yesterday in the scorching heat we found the elusive Bee Orchid! This one was in Cross Hill Quarry Nature Reserve in Clitheroe, which can be accessed through Brungerley park. A kind member of a local wildlife group offered to show my sister, her kids and I where it was. 😊
There are over fifty species of orchid in the UK and all are protected. Although there are much rarer orchids ,the Bee Orchid is particularly striking I think. It’s flowers resemble the insect and amerous bees can transfer pollen to them, mistaking them for another 🐝 bee.
There were plenty of insects out in the late afternoon heat yesterday. We saw lots of butterflies including meadow brown’s, skippers, ringlets, common blues, tortoishell s, red admirals, whites and comma all fluttering around the quarry.
As you can imagine, wandering round a quarry in the heat made us all want to dive in the river, which luckily was close by. We all went for a paddle to cool off and the above heron wasn’t bothered by our presence at all.
Just a quick post featuring a walk today from home. We set out about 8 am hoping to miss the heat, it was already getting warm early on. Luckily for Hugo this is another route taking in the river Ribble ,so he had plenty of opportunities for paddles and swims.
Today’s walk is a circular route from Clitheroe to Mitton and back. It’s one we have walked a few times over the years.
Before the sun broke through the clouds yesterday and all the social distancing sunbathing and street parties commenced, we headed out for a walk up Worsaw Hill. The grassy limestone knoll is walkable from my hometown of Clitheroe, we managed an eight mile circular route before lunch time. 🙂 Here are a few images from our morning.
This was a quiet walk with great views, wildlife and if done in the future, places to find refreshment. Also for film buffs, Worsaw Hill appears in Whistle Down The Wind , which was made locally.
We are quite lucky in our small town that we are within easy walking distance of countryside. The river Ribble is best followed on foot if you want to spy the wildflowers that are springing up everywhere. Wildlife just keeps calm and carries on. 🙂
This walk was yesterday’s. What wildlife have you spotted recently?
A few weeks ago I couldn’t resist buying a little book of poetry from a book fair that I came across. The anthology is full of beautiful poems about…..birds. And each one is paired with a gorgeous illustration. The book is actually a collection of stunning avian art works that can all be found in The British Museum. It is therefore called The British Museum Birds and if you find a copy, I hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂
Anyway I thought it might be a nice idea to pair the poetry in the book with my own photographs on here occasionally. Though I am cheating a bit today as these pictures of a Little Egret were taken by my other half on our walk by the river Ribble on Saturday. I think its quite unusual to see egrets inland, but this one has been spotted here in Clitheroe a few times recently.
The illustration in the book is Egret On Willow In Snow , a hanging scroll painting on silk by Oda Kaisen ( 1785-1862).
In the gloom of whiteness,
In the great silence of snow,
A child was sighing
And bitterly saying : ‘ Oh,
They have killed a white bird up there on her nest,
The down is fluttering from her breast!’
And still it fell through that dusky brightness
On the child crying for the bird in the snow.
Edward Thomas ( 1878-1917)
Sorry the first poem I included is quite sad. But I hope you liked it anyway. X
Last Sunday we decided to take Hugo on a proper long walk ie somewhere different to the usual trudge down the fields and back. After checking the weather forcast we grabbed our walking boots and headed for the Dales, where it was meant to stay dry until at least after lunch. 😉
I had found an 8km ( 5 mile) walk starting from the village of Stainforth near Settle in a Northern Eye book called Top 10 walks to WATERFALLS. The route takes in two waterfalls Catrigg Force and Stainforth Force as well as moorland and riverside. We parked at the pay and display car park in the village and followed the ‘Pennine Bridleway’ up the fellside.
It wasn’t long before we came upon Catrigg Force, tumbling 50ft down into Stainforth Beck. The falls and surrounding area were explored often by composer Sir Edward Elgar, who would stay in nearby Settle when visiting his friend and fellow musician Dr Charles Buck. Maybe the peaceful Yorkshire Dales inspired his compositions…
You may be wandering why I am dangling a pink and green toy dog over a waterfall?? This is Sybil and these cute stuffed dogs are made by a group on facebook called Hounds4Huntingtons in exchange for donations to the Huntington’s Disease Association. Sybils love adventures so I shall take her on a few of mine. If you like , check out their facebook page or Sybil_On_Tour on Instagram. 😁
After admiring the waterfall we continued on until Higher Winskill Farm where we had to walk through a field of these magnificent beasts! They seemed quite interested in us but pretty friendly.
I think we took a wrong turn at Higher Winskill and we ended up on the moorland road that leads into the village of Langcliffe , instead of taking a footpath there. Luckilly the road was quiet and the scenery lovely. The rain was moving in however and by the time we got to Langcliffe it was pouring down.
Langcliffe looked a nice village but disappointingly there was nowhere to shelter from the bad weather. No pub, no cafe and no shop. 😦 We persevered on , crossing a railway and a weir over the river Ribble.
The rest of the walk followed the Ribble, a river that flows through my hometown of Clitheroe as well. We continued on past a caravan site and eventually we were rewarded with the cascading Stainforth Force and an old pack horse bridge. Happilly by this time the rain stopped long enough to pose for a few photos. 😁
After crossing the old packhorse bridge we followed the short road back to Stainforth itself to complete our waterfall walk.
Have you any waterfalls near you? What is your favourite waterfall walk?