Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Saturday, 10 July 2010

Kirkconnell to Mersehead

Tuesday 6th July 2010

Reluctant to leave a bathroom with a collection of Far Side books. Have always thought that Gary Larson was brilliant and for many years he has been my favourite cartoonist. 'How do snakes say goodbye?' ofr instance.

Still on the road early and soon at Kirkconnell National Nature Reserve where I met the warden, Nick Gedge.

Walked to the peat bog/ heathland where the most amazing area of cotton grass greeted me. Masses of it with pieces of seed floating away in the wind to be caught on the nearby trees and bushes.

A spot of elevenses, including a marmite sandwich that is supposed to keep the mozzies away. Something to do with the B12 vitamin it contains. Found a common lizard that allowed a close approach for a photo.

On the bike again and found the Kirkconnell RSPB reserve. No signs anywhere but a local told of fields belonging to the RSPB and the saltmarsh edge down to some very large container tanks along the river was also part of this reserve. Low tide and very few birds. A couple of goosander on the river, a few curlew and oystercatcher on the mud, common spotted orchids along the long tarmac track.

Cloudy and a moderately strong SW wind in my face, rain started falling as I reached Sweetheart Abbey. A superb ruin with the feel of Tintern Abbey, I showed my English Heritage card and looked around in the rain. Thanks to the curator, Moira for the donation.

Next Mersehead. .......

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