Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Rochester Cathedral, Castle and 2 RSPB Reserves Tuesday 19th January 2010

Please visit my website  www.biking    and sponsor either the RSPB, the WWT or Asthma UK on the charities page. Thanks.

Into Rochester to collect a fixed bike, visit the Cathedral and Castle and get to the RSPB reserves - Nor Marsh and Motley Hill.

The Cathedral was anything but peace and quiet as 2 workers hammered away towards the nave. No turnstiles here. Just a £3 suggested donation box which received the said amount. After looking around the place met the 2 workers and found that one of them was from Aston Fields, Bromsgrove; home to 'my' special needs school - Rigby Hall.

Into the castle, a superb and very tall keep to climb and plenty of atmospheric passages to explore. Another great English Heritage site visited.

To the Riverside Country Park and after a coffee, a walk to the end of Horrid Head [great name] to look over the Medway at Nor Marsh. Lots of grey plover and other common waders roosting alongside the shoreline of the marsh and another RSPB reserve seen, even if I couldn't set foot on it. New year list birds - turnstone, brent goose, red-breasted merganser [101].

A photographer from the local paper came and did what he needed to do before David Rolfe, who'd turned up to escort me to his house after a visit to Motley Hill. Dave Saunders had turned up as well. Good to see him again and his 'see you tonight' was not understood by me at the time.

Motley Hill RSPB reserve - next to a sewage works with a large white 'Prisoner' like ball. Wonder what the 'ball' is for. Asked some workers there but they didn't know. Walked over the rise and down towards the small area of flooded saltmarsh. Waders were roosting there so kept well back not to disturb them. A black-necked grebe was seen here [102].

Cycled with David Rolfe taking the lead to Sittingbourne and a meal of gammon and eggs at Bobbing Apple. Thanks David for putting me up. Coincidence when entering his house; a house by the way with birds everywhere, paintings, books, magazines and ornaments, well some of the paintings were by a friend of many years ago who I've lost touch with : Steve Cale. Beautiful framed pictures of green sand', red kite and LRPs.

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