Deep into autumn now, and we’ll be heading over to the Dee Estuary to see how the golden season is progressing. Today’s walk will turn out to be moderately long, maybe 12 km (between 7 and 8 miles), containing large parts of two walks we’ve done before upstream in the estuary.
So, as ever, we make our packed lunches, turn off our phones and go. There will be no work today. There never is on our Fridays.
Last time we were here, there was a digger out on the marsh opening up new channels. And now we see the result of the work that the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) has done. As part of a scheme to control mosquitos in the area they have created new bird habitats, mudflats and wading areas. So the birds will eat the larvae and mosquitoes, who knows? Sarah’s looking into it.
But here at the end of the lane we are stunned. A large area of new mudflats is crowded with thousands of Canada Geese.
And, not wishing to anthropomorphise the birds, they do sound like they’re all chattering excitedly about their journeys from the far north and the new wintering place they’ve found.
Maybe they’re not though. Maybe they’re threatening the new arrivals trying to land on their bit of precious mud. Either way, it’s a wonderful sight – and sound. Captured here, by Sarah:
We have lunch here and Sarah then takes the now traditional photo of what must be the Wirral’s loveliest bench.
After lunch, we walk on. Past the Harp Inn, along to the New Quay (well, new in the 16th century), then turning inland across fields, along the Wirral Way and railway cuttings through Neston, and out the other side into ancient lanes.
Where an autumn display of golden, russet magnificence awaits us.
And now we are into the evening. Into the gloaming. Everyone has gone. The buildings and the main gates are locked.
And we are perfectly at peace. We sit.
And before making our way home, out of the secret side gate…