Sunday, 14 June 2009

Golden Plovers to Little Blackpool

I'm having a day off gardening today - after strenuous weeding and path building this week I decided to go out for a walk up to the moors to see if I could find this bird - a golden plover. We saw two adult golden plovers up there last week and I really wanted to get a picture, quite a challenge because, as you can see, the grass is tall and the bird is remarkably well camouflaged.  I actually found it due to its alarm call (didn't like the look of me), it's tough to see in the grass.  Anyway, this is a juvenile bird so that means the two adults I saw last week have had a successful breeding season, good news for this bird, which has declined in numbers.  

Summer is well on its way now, foxgloves are starting to open all over the place - these were in the valley bottom.
Wild roses are everywhere too now.
This is a weir on the river that runs past my house.  You can see a rather forlorn sluice gate here, but behind it are two more that used to control the mill leet that runs on to the site of the old cotton mill - originally water powered.  This weir is just above ...
... "Little Blackpool", where the river runs over rocks.  The perspective on this photo is a little weird - it looks like a stream, but if you look carefully (enlarging the photo) you can see a huge stone wall on the left and you realise this is a reasonably big river.  It's called Little Blackpool because 100 years ago the millworkers used to come up here to paddle in the river among the rocks on hot days!  Can't say I would have liked that - the river was very polluted then.  Now it's clean, full of little fish and the haunt of herons, dippers and grey wagtails.  A lovely spot and shady in the strong sun.

Back to the garden tomorrow...
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