A small party of eight set off to Foulridge and after parking up near Foulridge Wharf we set off on the canal towpath towards Mill Hill Bridge.
The day started dry but rather cloudy but less breezy than of late. Before long we saw a flock of long-tailed tits We watched them for a few minutes before their high-pitched twittering call faded away as they moved on. A nuthatch was heard before being spotted flying across the canal. A little further on the towpath the descending song of willow warblers gave away their presence before a pair were seen in flight. Large numbers of Canada Geese were gathered in a field and not far away there was also a large flock of lapwing. Some unusual looking white geese with knobs on their orange beaks were quite raucous as they bathed in their small pond and interacted with each other ( later identified as Chinese White Geese).
Speckled Wood and Painted Lady butterflies were on the wing before the weather turned just before lunch and drizzle set in for much of the day.
Most of the group had lunch on picnic benches/stones near the Anchor Inn; the overhanging trees gave a measure of protection from the light rain whilst John enjoyed a fish and chip lunch in the pub. The option of returning on field paths was rejected as probably too damp, so we all retraced our steps on the canal towpath. A buzzard was heard and was added to our list of 19 birds recorded.
The botanists noted 58 plants in flower including Devil's-bit Scabious, Wild Angelica, Marsh Woundwort and the unusual white form of Meadow Cranesbill. 7 ferns were identified.
Since fracturing her ankle in the summer, this was Margaret's first trip with BEES; she coped well and managed the whole walk of approximately 4 miles. Margaret and most of the group were glad of refreshments in the cafe before we set off home at 3pm.
Thanks to Sally and John for leading and to Stuart for driving.
See the photos here.