Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Thursday, 13 May 2010

The Dee Estuary visit.

There's a group of 4 wonderful people at Inner Marsh Farm RSPB reserve and a million thanks to them. My visit here was one of the best and I am very grateful to :

Paul Brady, Colin, Geoff and Rhianne [I've probably spelt her name 3 different ways by now on the blog - sorry] made me so very welcome and the atmosphere here was brilliant.

Paul, although a Middlesborough fan with a Scouse accent, took me around the area where some amazing new developments are to take place; new visitors centre planned, 6 hectare scrape and walkways though woods and around ex-fishing lakes, as well as hides and screens. Building to start very soon, the reserve will become one of the RSPB flagships.

Having camped nearby an early start gave me common tern [195] and much the same birds as the previous evening; yellow wagtail [194], black-tailed godwits and dunlin, pintail pair and a few wigeon. Grasshopper warbler reeling behind ther hide and a partial albino jackdaw with white wings.

Met local birders Stan Skelton and Keith Dockers. More birdy chat appreciated.

Off eventually to Parkgate and lovely chats with passers by [sincere and grateful thanks to Johnnie Hardie and 'a lady I met' but I'm sorry I didn't write down your name in the book], as well as suasage gravy and chips from a famous chippy there. I'd last had chips from this emporium 36 years ago [yes I'm that old] when myself and 2 students from my days at Chester College, Charlie Wildman (?) and Peter Martin went on the bus to bird the marsh. I well remember the flying chips as a close by male hen harrier [my first] came out of the grass in front of us.

Indeed the whole of my visit to the Dee Estuary has been like the return of the Prodigal Son. Even a few tears as I came through Burton and remember photographing aswallow on a tv aerial there and walking for my first view of Burton marsh. Lots of memories and good times. Changes to with less water in the Burton marsh area and the rookery there now gone along with the trees that held it.

Met 2 brilliant people whilst chomping chips, Paul and Sara, police officers from Chester. Sara - get your pictures onto the net and email me. I'd love to see them. A great day for meeting interesting people today.

Time I think to move again. I'd mamaged to pay for a bit longer on the net - £1.60 but time up.

Remember to please look at Roz Savage's blog.

Stay Green and get on your bike.

All the best


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