Monday, 28 March 2011

Whixall Moss - Boats and Cranes

Having been away all weekend, this was my first chance to have a go for the Whixall Moss Crane. An early finish off work and I was there mid afternoon, bumping into Pete Jordan at the car park!

It all looked good, walking along the towpath, two pairs of birders commented - "still showing well" just opposite the parked boat". Not a care in the world then - except..... when we got to the boat, the friendly couple who had been putting birders onto it all day, announced - "someone's just flushed it!"

Horror of horrors, allegedly birders too!! who had gone for a closer look in the fields over the canal! I wont type what we said.....

All we could do was keep looking and hope it would return? After walking further along the towpath we realised it was impossible to see the fields on the opposite side as they were well below the level of the canal. Eventually, we walked back and crossed the footbridge, walking up to the next 'drawbridge' - (is that what the're called) and crossed over. Looking back we could see..... nothing! We walked back towards the footbridge, it looked like a big bad dip but about 50m away from it and scanning the fields again, I suddenly realised - I'd got it! Very distant in the snall wooded area roughly opposite from where the track comes out of the Moss and just to prove it.....






Pete had to go, I had an hour or two to spare and was hoping it would wander back in the field to where it was originally (opposite the parked boat). I'd crossed the footbridge again, just to see what it was doing (still very distant in the wood) when I heard the chug chug chug of a canal boat...

In a moment of madness, I flagged the boat down.... The two lads on the boat looked a bit startled as I asked if I could hitch a ride? To photograph a rare bird a few hundred metres away.....

No problem they said, full steam ahead!!!








I could tell roughly where the Crane was feeding and we came to a halt. The view was not exactly plain sailing either with bankside brambles in the way and only one small corner of the field in full view. After a few minutes, unbelievably - the Crane wandered into full view!!

I fired off a few shots - with the motion of the boat, there weren't many keepers and before long it was gone, back into the wood again!

These will do though!












I promised Richard and Steven I'd post a picture of the boat, so as they sailed off into the Sun.......








... I walked off into the sunset! One of my more memorable mad moments and the first time I'd ever been on a canal boat!!!

No comments:

Post a Comment