We went for a walk taking advantage of a bright and dry October day. My man flu was being kept under control by various concoctions of vitamins and paracetamol so a brisk walk to take the air seemed appropriate. We decided on the usual circuit through Cuckoo’s Nook (pronounced “nuke” around these parts), the Dingle and down the canal to Park Lime Pits and the Manor Arms. I was allowed to take my birthday binoculars with me and I also took my camera, I made a poor decision to ram it all into a small bag and ended up giving myself backache, the annoying thing was I had lifted a perfectly appropriate bag out of the way in choosing the wrong one. However the choice to take all this was a good one as I had plenty of opportunities to test my binoculars and even took a few shots of a woodpecker  at long range with the camera.

The last time we walked this route, the farmers field was parched and cracked, the surface like a crust. This time it was waterlogged and boggy, the path had been ploughed into the field which made it interesting to keep right side up. The Nook was also well hydrated and the brooks and streams were coursing  in a way I haven’t seen before, the sight of Mallard swimming on a well established pond that had been a grassy hollow only a few weeks before was incredible. The birds seemed less interested in hiding today than they have been of late and my new binoculars were a pleasure to use. We saw, in no particular order, Wren, Yellowhammer, female Blackcap, Reed Warbler, Jay, Buzzard, GS Woodpecker, Long tailed, Coal, Blue and Great Tits. After quite a barren spell, it was really rewarding to see all the activity. As we walked up the canal, we saw hundreds of Roach and something stripy that could have been a Perch, it was quite amusing that the fish were but a few metres from where the maggot drowners were unsuccessfully trying to catch them.

It was a lovely walk and was finished off in style with a pint in the Manor.

It is my daughter’s 21st birthday tomorrow, which actually makes me feel quite old. I would dearly love to be there for the celebration but it is unlikely that I will be able to. I hope she has a really good one.


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