On what proved to be a fine, albeit windy day, our first outing of 2020 was a walk alongside the Calder and Hebble canal heading for Cromwell Bottom Nature Reserve. As our group of 9 left the car park in the centre of Brighouse, our first sighting was a pied wagtail with the canal providing the usual assortment of mallard and Canada geese busily searching for food. Fungi was in evidence en route and John noted glistening inkcap, turkey tail and smoky bracket.
The reserve itself has had much maintenance work done on the footpaths since our last visit and the notices dotted around the site indicated that this was very much an ongoing project. A viewing platform had been constructed overlooking the lagoon where numerous black-headed gulls were seen in flight. Our lunch was taken opposite the bird feeding station so full advantage was taken of all the comings and goings. Bullfinch were very much in evidence as were great, blue, coal and long-tailed tit, reed bunting, robin, jay, nuthatch and chaffinch. As we continued our walk, Maddie spotted a female goosander flying downriver.
Arrival at the main entrance to the reserve enabled us to view the sightings board for 2019 which amply illustrated the range of wildlife visiting the site. Botanical sightings were limited at this time of year but hogweed in flower was noted by Alice and a variety of ferns were observed along the wall at the side of the canal. An enjoyable day's outing with plenty to observe. Our thanks to Kevin for driving us safely.
See the photos here.