Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Walking in the Wetlands.

Quarries are not particularly nice places - dirty, noisy from the machinery and also from the lorries going in and out - a blot on the landscape really. But when they are worked out - then sometimes they come into their own. This is the case with the Marfield Wetlands near to where we live. Although there are still working quarries next door - the disused quarries have been filled with water and are a haven for wildlife.

This afternoon, on our way to stock up with feed for various hens, wild birds, dogs, cats etc., we called with Tess for a walk on the wetlands. Because the weather has been so dry here they can hardly be called 'wetlands' at the moment - the paths are bone dry and the grass is brown.

We were pleased to see a notice on the main path asking for a voluntary ban on using it during April and May because of disturbing nesting birds - and we were pleased to avoid it a walk round the edge.

Wild flowers were out in profusion - pink campion everywhere, wild strawberries in flower, rowan trees full of blossom, hawthorn trees full of May blossom. On the water there were lots of baby ducklings but they were too far away to photograph. They were being shepherded carefully along by proud Mums.

Geese swam on one pool - keeping their distance but watching in case we were going to feed them - I guess somebody brings bread and throws to them as they were quite tame.

As we walked along, sheltered from the sharp East wind and warmed by the early afternoon sun, we were accompanied by the song of blackbirds - one every few yards and all singing their beaks off. Chiff chaff and willow warbler were joining in from the bushes on the sides of the path.

We sat a while on the seat in the sun and looked over a field at the newly leafed trees in the distance - and caught the sound of a cuckoo. They seem to be much more common this year. After not hearing one for a few years there have been several about this year. A wonderful sound of early Summer.

Of course Tess enjoyed it - the new smells, the peace and quiet - we all three did - and for me the icing on the cake was a lovely little mixed flock of hens and cockerels in a run by the entrance. I poked the camera through the wire and took this snap. There were two Buff Orpington cockerels - just like my Max, and they were all scratching happily in the dust.

A lovely afternoon.


Gerry Snape said...

That is such a positive thing I think that a bare hole in the ground can become such a beautiful wild life area.
Thanks for another of your great walks Pat.

The Bug said...

I don't always comment, but I usually read every post with a smile on my face. In fact, today I was smiling in anticipation before I even clicked on the link :)

Totalfeckineejit said...

Bloody hell Weaver! Whereya bin? I was getting worried.

Caroline Gill said...

A delightful post - I love those hens, too!

Reader Wil said...

Lovely photos, Pat! That was again a nice walk with you! Thank you!

steven said...

weaver i think it's so good to turn the diggings into a haven for the wildlife and then also for the eye and soul. steven

angryparsnip said...

I love your walks but I must say the chickens are wonderful.
I assume someone lives there to keep watch over them.

cheers, parsnip

Cloudia said...

a lovely afternoon indeed-

Warm Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral



mrsnesbitt said...

Isn't it lovely to see hens scratching in the dust? Just as nature intended. I could sit and watch ours for hours! Infact I sometimes do!

Heather said...

A wonderful thought that industry which once scarred the landscape has given it back to nature in a big way. Your walk round the Wetlands must have been a delight - your photos definitely are - thankyou Pat. The hens take me back to childhood.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Always nice to have you along. Hope TFE didn't lose any sleep over my short absence. Thanks for the visit.

Crafty Green Poet said...

looks like a lovely place for a walk and it's always wonderful to see quarries and similar sites being returned to nature after the workings.