June – Week one

The header picture is of Shireoaks church, Saint Luke’s, from the top of the old pit tip which has been reclaimed and is now a public space with meadows and young woodland.
Until the early 1970s the Church had a spire but it was removed for safety – there was subsidence.
From the Church websiteLINK:

The foundation stone was laid by the then Prince of Wales, later to become Edward VII, on St Luke’s day, 18th October 1861. The same day two years later saw it’s dedication.
Built in “High Church” style it was a present to the village by the fifth Duke of Newcastle-Under-Lyne. The Duke was the owner of the colliery at the village and commissioned the architect Thomas Chambers Hind to build a church for his colliers who “badly want it”.


Thinks: why do kettle spouts have filters? Most(?) folk fill ’em through the spout so anything lodging in there will be poured back out with the contents. Unless your water is very, very, hard, you’re unlikely to have anything filterable originating in the kettle.


On with the pics:
Mouse over pics for captions, click ’em to see them bigger.


Narrowboat Concordia moored at the Lock Keeper before heading up towards Shireoaks. The cock pheasant was displaying noisily on an earth heap left by the groundsman. Most days I take at least one and probably more, series of pics to attack with Hugin panorama maker – often of the pond but occasionally elsewhere. Distant heron and close up daddy long legs.



Another pond panorama followed by a dunnock – often mistaken for a sparrow. Nettles are ubiquitous – individual plants are either male or female – differentiating the drab brown flowers is beyond me! (Coloured flowers, including white, are on ‘dead’ nettles or archangels)
Up the canal beyond Rhodesia hireboat Maid Marion was approaching the rail bridge where a C&RT workboat had just come through Doefield Dun Lock. Above and into the lock, Nb Concordia, seen the day before at the Lock Keeper, was slowly reversing down. Apparently they’d failed to get through Shireoaks Middle Lock and were unable to turn round.

In passing: I might remark that nettles are favourite with many insects; our local council sent a team in to clear overhanging and similar growth from the path around the pond. Unfortunately they decided to mow some large areas of nettles which had previously been popular with damselflies and their ilk. Not unconnected perhaps is the dearth of peacock butterflies this year – peacocks lay eggs on and their caterpillars feed on nettles.



Over the road and up onto Shireoaks Woodlands or The Tip, as it used to be known. A real triumph of reclamation.
West of Shireoaks a right turn off the towpath at Duke’s bridge at Cinderhill leads to the bridle path to Brancliffe Lodge Farm. Chaffinches are busy little birds, chattering in a flock in a tree. The field between farm and rail line used to be full of peewits or lapwings but they’ve not shown this year. There’s always crows though.
I’d no idea what the small brown bird was until told, via twitter, that it was a linnet. Yet another chaffinch, this one in a ‘conker’ tree, and, while walking along the feeder to Turnerwood, a dragonfly in the reeds.

At Turnerwood a couple of Pheasant chicks rootling about in the grass. On down the canal there’s two Hugin panoramas of feeder lock. Back at Boundary Lock, so called because the stream under the aqueduct just west of the lock forms the Nottingamshire/Yorkshire boundary, Narrowboat Content was tootling along and Nb Rorah had just left Morse Lock as I passed on my way home.



Walked out through Kilton and along Rayton Lane which heads toward Scofton. Hip went gnarly so I walked back via The Canch rose garden.

First round the pond – Grebe on their nest; a robin on a fence post.
On Rayton Lane: a low flying swallow; a panorama of the lane – the two views of the road are actually a straight line bent by the pano making procedure: Why the colour is called ‘cornflower’ blue, once again I’ve forgotten what these ‘flowers’ are called.

Fields alongside the lane are cultivated in lines – leaving some beautiful perspective lines. There’s a bird that’s none too common round here – a yellowhammer. Chaffinches are all around. A couple of Hugin panoramas finish the section.

Another chaffinch and a small tortoiseshell on pink campion before returning to town.
Round the rose garden: two beautiful roses and a pair of experimental panoramas of the rose garden itself.



Round the pond and up the cut to Woodlands: a Mallard flying over the pond, one of the pair of grebes sitting on their eggs and a daddy-long-legs fly on a nettle leaf. On the rugby field a crow is feeding its young while a thrush decides that I’m near enough and buggers off. A meadow brown sits unconcerned on a leaf.

Onto the ‘Woodlands’ there’s a cinnabar moth, a common blue butterfly and an acrobatic buzzard.

On the top ‘meadow’ there’s patches of buttercups with the odd contrasting crow. Back down at canal level there are many insects and several different orchids: a common blue butterfly and a soldier beetle with lots of pyramid and a few bee orchids. Back near home there’s a tiny moorhen chick and a ponderama to finish.



Up to Shireoaks Marina and back.
Dunock and robin before reaching the Lock Keeper where the ‘Cuckoo’ boat Dawn Rose had been brought down from the marina for her naming ceremony. Then a meadow brown and a dog rose.

On the rough area east of the marina there’s a few bee orchids and tiny wild strawberries. Rabbits are often glimpsed but rarely stay still long enough to photograph. Back down near town there’s a moorhen family .



Similar walk – up to the marina & back. Two panoramas of the lake, a speckled wood and two sparrows.

On up to the Lock Keeper pound where the new ‘cuckoo’ narrowboat Dawn Rose was being officially named by Councillor Sybil Fielding, the Chair of Nottinghamshire County Council.. This involved pouring beer over her, stem, stern and amidships. There was a reasonable crowd and I found the best place to see all the action was over the cut on Shireoaks Road.

On up to Shireoaks Woodlands an angler was playing host to a robin. I thought the ‘Rod or pole? No it’s a perch!’ was quite amusing (I’ll get my coat)
On the Woodland there was the usual mix of fauna and flora: common blue butterfly, chaffinch, tiny pink (unidentified by me) flower and another (or was it the same?) bee orchid.

Walking back down the canal there were several damsel and dragon flies but they rarely stay still long enough to photograph.
The fairly large (for the Chesterfield Canal) amount of traffic lower down had robbed water from the higher pounds leaving Haggonfields Lock bywash dry. On down, the robin had moved from the angler’s rod to his bait tray.
Back at the Dawn Rose ‘Water Day’ I took the time to have a walk around the marquee on the Lock Keeper car park before returning home passing a postsitting robin. The Chesterfield Canal Society’s Dawn Rose page(s) are herelink.



Up to Turnerwood and back.
An air ambulance touched down just east of the Sandy Lane-A57 roundabout visibly from the pond. Around the pond the grebes were still on the nest by turns. A heron was static in the water until it was spooked and Did The Buggering Off. Thrushes are beautiful birds and their singing is so musical.
The air ambulance departed. (There were no serious injuries)

I been playing with composite pictures a bit – here’s one of a common blue butterfly on bird’s foot trefoil.
Wild roses can be as good looking as cultivated ones.
More often seen flickering in the distance, brimstones are large yellow visitors.

Up around Brancliffe Lodge farm. The trees along Brancliffe Lane have always attracted me. The farm is often the first place to see swallows. Catching them on the move is a one in a hundred chance, luckily they like wires and perch on them often. Sparrows are among my favourite birds.

Once round to Turnerwood, an ice cream ’99’ being essential and on down home. Seen very few red admirals this year, I think only two. Skippers on the other hand are increasingly common.


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