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."
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.
That's what we did as soon as we arrived and were immediately
surrounded by a hoard of hungry birds.
A mad scramble ensued as our feathered friends gobbled up the
Some though were content to wait their tern - sorry I mean turn.
A swan looked quite indignant when the food ran out.
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".
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
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.
Dropping down the other side a track leaves the Nutbrook Trail
and provides an access route to the Nature Reserve.
By the time I reached the car park peace had returned to the
site and the birds had settled down again.
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.