The Rainford Loop.
Yesterday I was walking in the southern part of Lancashire. Our starting point was Siding Lane Ranger Centre near Rainford. My walk description advised me to bring binoculars as the area was popular with visiting birds, especially at this time of the year when pink-foot geese arrive in their thousands from their summer home in the Arctic. I was sure they would be there as on several recent mornings I had been woken by their calls as flocks flew over my house at dawn.
Sidings Lane Local Nature Reserve was the site of an 1860’s colliery owned by the Rainford Coal Company. Following the 1926 miners strike the colliery closed in 1928. Some relics remain such as a couple of concrete capped shafts but most of the land has been returned to nature.
Our route headed south to cross the Liverpool to Wigan railway line and then proceed along field tracks and lanes. This was farming country and we stopped to watch workers harvesting the crop of sprouts.
It looked hard work, all that bending, and it was very cold in the open fields.
On the second half of our loop we walked along the old coach road to Lord Derby’s estate. The fields alongside were where we had expected to see the pink-foot geese but all we saw were two crows. Later as we sat eating our lunch I was joined by a robin who enjoyed the crumbs from my last mince pie.
It had been an easy stroll, just over 6 miles and with a total ascent of 32 feet. That was climbing up the embankment to cross the railway line.
Back at the car we were taking off our boots when we noticed lots of birds fluttering around a tree. Someone had filled the feeders up with seed and the birds were almost queuing up to get at it. There were blue tits and Nuthatch. I did my best to get a picture but I needed a longer lens.
They were joined by a hungry Grey Squirrel wanting to steal their food.
It had been an interesting half day and only a short drive from home. I must go back.