My walk of around 2 miles on Tuesday took me to the Washburn Valley. I followed the path taken by the Bees group on the 9th May 2017 from Lindley Bridge to the Dob Park packhorse bridge over the River Washburn. It was again a cool but fine day. The valley is famed as a quiet breeding ground for birds. I was met with a cacophony of bird song but unfortunately sightings were rare. I could only identify the songs of great tit, curlew, wood pigeon and pheasant. However I did see a flock of sand martins darting from tree to tree overhead and observed their burrows in a sand bank on the riverside. The reservoir was an expanse of mud and grass in contrast to May 2017 when I had seen a mandarin duck swimming in the water.
Nevertheless the flowers and trees were most attractive. Wood stitchwort lined the path, bluebells hid in the shaded parts and the gorse shone brightly in the more open areas. Pignut dotted the fields and cuckoo flower the meadows. Bugle, thyme leaved speedwell, forget-me-not, red campion, wood horsetail, wood anemone, wood sorrel, welsh poppy (an orange variety-possibly a garden escape), giant butterbur and chickweed lined the tracks. There is a lovely area of mixed woodland with bird cherry (in fruit but not in flower), apple, hawthorn, rowan, elder and lime. While resting on a seat overlooking the packhorse bridge I spotted some reliable old friends - a mistle thrush grappling with a worm; a robin also made an appearance. A very worthwhile visit to lift the spirits and keep myself entertained at this difficult time.
See photos Margaret