Croft Hill and Nature Trail – my daily exercise walk – by Sue Walton

Croft Hill and Nature Trail

Hello everyone, I hope you are well and keeping safe. As my daily exercise I am walking up Croft Hill and around the nature trail every day. Croft quarry is the deepest granite quarry in Europe and still working today, I know this as I’ve been watching the trucks bringing up the stone from the deepest part.

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The weather has been so lovely these last few weeks and the birds have been singing their hearts out, Robins, Blackbirds, Song Thrush, Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps to name but a few. The Buzzards and Carrion Crows are filling the sky and although I have not seen the Peregrines I am told they are nesting on the quarry face.

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My route takes me through the trees, which are full of blossom, and through a small bluebell patch, and on up to the trig point. From here the views are pretty spectacular on a clear day, Croft Hill being the only high point around. It’s then down and along the bank, which is now full of mature trees and shrubs, here I sometimes see a pair of Jay’s and often Green Woodpecker and just in the last week or so lots of Whitethroat. Listen to the following video clip of the bird song – what can you identify?

At the far end it’s down the steps to the boardwalk and along to the lake. I don’t usually see much there, just a Moorhen, but there are Sedge warbler singing now and more than one too.

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A pair of swans are nesting along the river and once I caught the flash of a Kingfisher.

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On my way back home it’s really noticeable the lack of traffic on the road and planes in the sky, but great to see that nature is in full swing. I set the app on my phone the other day and my walk is three and a half miles and usually takes me around an hour and a quarter. Now I’m slightly ashamed to admit this but I don’t take my binoculars with me, just my phone as I try to keep up a good pace! Hopefully once the lockdown eases I will go on a proper birding walk and take my time.

Take care everyone,

Sue.

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