West Hallam - Feed The Birds
w/e 15 January 2017
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Blizzards to the north in Scotland; thunder snow (thunderstorms with snow instead of rain) to the west in Wales; a storm surge and flooding down the east coast of England; snowfall in the south east and rain in the south west. The other man's grass may be a little whiter with snow lying on it but that doen't make it greener because as we say around here "It's a bit chilly in Ilson."

Straw's Bridge

The Arctic wind arrived on Friday and a dusting of snow lay on the ground first thing in the morning. It didn't last long but we decided to go and feed the birds anyway at Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve also known as Swan Lake.
Feed The Birds

That's what we did as soon as we arrived and were immediately surrounded by a hoard of hungry birds.
The Scramble

A mad scramble ensued as our feathered friends gobbled up the food.

Some though were content to wait their tern - sorry I mean turn.

A swan looked quite indignant when the food ran out.
The "walk".

l left the lakeside and walked round to the northern side where I climbed up onto the now overgrown railway embankment and followed a well trodden path (that is unmarked on maps) along the route of the former railway line. Where the embankment reaches the bridge between the larger lake and two smaller ones at the Reserve, the path underneath appeared to be flooded. I continued along the unmarked path turning right at the flood embankment (below) to pick up the Nutbrook Trail to return to Swan Lake. With the Nut Brook now on the right I passed the Pewit Golf Course on the left. At something in the region of three quarters of a mile from start to finish, this wander around the Nature Reserve hardly qualifies as a "walk".

Dark Sky

Although our snowfall had not really been worth mentioning, there was probably plenty more in the dark sky above seen here from the flood embankment, destined for somewhere else further south and east.
Cycle Route

As the Trail nears Swan Lake, it swings to the right to rise up the old railway embankment and a sign indicates it is part of the National Cycle Route No. 67.
Swan Lake

Dropping down the other side a track leaves the Nutbrook Trail and provides an access route to the Nature Reserve.
Car Park

By the time I reached the car park peace had returned to the site and the birds had settled down again.
Long Shadows

Even though it was only mid-afternoon the shadows were already lengthening when I reached the car and the temperature was falling. Even if we don't get any snow, it's bound to be cold overnight and some of the birds appeared to be bunkering down for the night.

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