Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Brighter Grey Days


Surprisingly during the couple of hours that I spent on the reserve this morning, the sky brightened quite a bit in patches and the sun almost broke through. The cloud was also thin enough to be able to feel the warmth of the sun beaming down. The photo below shows such a bright patch, almost a cause of celebration at the moment in these SAD days.

The tide in The Swale was at one of its very low points, exposing areas of mud that are not normally exposed. Although you can't see or hear them, the mudflats were covered in around 140 Carrion and 1 Hooded Crow as they noisly walked to and fro, presumably feeding on shellfish or other marine creatures.
The dark hulk to the left is all that remains of the old sailing barge "Lizard", built in 1891 to carry cement and last used by the Government in WW2.

I decided to make my back to the car via some of the adjacent farmland and the photo below shows the track that runs down to the reserve seawall from Harty Church. You can see The Swale in the background. We know it as "the gravel road" because of its gravely soil structure.

Getting to the top of the above "gravel road" you find yourself on another public footpath. See the top of the "gravel road" to the left of the next photo. You can either turn left to Harty Church, in the background,

or turn right and head towards Elliots Farm, going past Forge Cottage on the way. Ken Lodge will know this route and recognise the spinney at the end of the track.

This one was taken outside Forge Cottage, looking back towards the spinney.

Two photos that show that Spring is gradually happening. One of two Gorse bushes on the reserve boundary and some Goat Willow catkins.

And finally, two views inside The Tower Hide that show the recent handiwork of the Green Woodpecker.


  1. Hi Derek, a very interesting post and nice to see photos of other parts of your area. The last few are much more like the scenery I am used to seeing here. Your 'gravel road' reminds me of a similar track close to me which I have always known as 'Leisure Lane', I don't think it is an official name but was always known as that by generations of my family.

    Lovely to see the Goat Willow Catkins, I am assuming it is what I have always known as Pussy Willow, I always look forward to seeing it.

    Poor Woody, all that work for nothing ;)

  2. Jan,

    I think all the little tracks get given local nick-names over time, its like the little spinney where I took the catkin photo, we drive through that to get to the reserve. About 20 years ago a girl used to keep her horse in there when it was more open and its still known as the Horse Field now.

  3. I can't believe the size of those trees along the 'gravel road'. Was there any special reason for planting them ? Does the same farmer own the land on either side of the track ?
    Thanks for the memories Derek.