Sunday 23 January 2022

16th to 19th January 2022 Southport to Chester. Days of Cycling and People


Donations : Acorns 

Many thanks to . . . 

Jackie Griffiths, Bob, Keep U, Rosie, Jayne Grosvenor, Jane & Andy Revell, Louise, Stuart Griffiths, M & D Shaw, Dave & Sue White, Janette Lowndes, Bart, Lise Hanson, Maria Hill, Phil V, Chris Elmer, Sue Murphy, Nicky, John Hague, Mike, Kimberley Bills, Norma Hines, Rob Gilbert, Julia, Colin Graham, Sarah Moreton, Lizzy, Lisa Hillier, Rob Leech, &P. 

Donations : RSPB 

Many thanks to . . . 

Jill from Dorking, Nicky M, Terri Akers, Anne Beckett, Maria Hill, Mark Carter, P.

Thanks to everyone who has very kindly made a donation.

16th January      Southport to Eccleston, Lancashire

A cycle path, the Trans-Pennine Way, takes me most of the way after I reaquaint myself with the Snow Goose at Moels Moss, much closer this time, being in a field adjacent to the road.

Day memorable for the mile after mile of mostly off road cycling, along a reasonable surface on the cycle path and for a spoke problem with the back wheel that took a little time to sort.

A large flock of finches and sparrows just out the incorrectly spelt Prescot, contained mostly Linnets but also Goldfinches, Chaffinches, Greenfinches and Tree Sparrows.

17th January        Eccleston to Stockton Heath, Back to Madeleine and Denis!

After a few road miles, yet another cycle path takes me to the River Mersey . . .

. . . and then along other cycle paths into Warrington. There I cross canals and find my way to the wonderful Air B & B owned Madeleine and Denis in Stockton Heath.

      I am delighted to see that Denis has put up his oil painting of my favourite Van Gogh picture, Wheatfield With Crows, on the wall of my bedroom. Superb.

18th January     Stockton Heath to Ellesmere Port

Leaving Madeleine and Denis with a promise that "I'll be back," I cycle along roads and cycle paths through Halton, where I meet a most incredible lady, Ruth. Ruth is clearing pathside verges from all littler and tells me that she has be doing this as a volunteer for seventeen years!

An RSPB Robin badge is the least of what this magnificent woman deserves!

          Siri on Google Maps getting a bit confused just after this and sends me along a footpath, definitely NOT a cycle path through the wood. I have a problem with a broken brake cable but soon sort it.

          Through Frodsham, I head off over towards Ince Marshes and am surprised and delighted to meet a familiar face, Coling Wells. Colin was warden of the nearby RSPB Burton Mere reserve, as it is called now, Inner Marsh farm when I first went there decades ago. I say was because Colin has now retired after having a career spanning four decades there. A reserve that he, all the staff and the RSPB can be extremely proud of, Colin told of breeding Egrets as well as a list of rarities that would have any carbon twitcher drooling.

        Onward to Ince Marshes, Cheshire, I couldn't find any geese let alone the reported Bean Goose but I did see a Bullfinch* and further on I found a Cattle Egret* with a few Little Egret and pigs in a well snuffled up field. The smell was intoxicating! LOL.


19th January          Tyre Problem, Eight Mile walk & a Saviour

Out the hotel to find a flat tyre. I try to repair it but to no avail and with the wrong size spare inner tube (!), I walk from the Motorway cafe at the Ellesmere Port junction of the M56 to Chester! 8.6 miles. 

           Big Bill Bikes!

          What an absolute superstar and saviour, Bill, real name Richard but surname Billing hence Big Bill's Bikes, spends three hours chatting whilst he not only replaces the back wheel tyre and inner tube but also checks the whole bike over, sorting out smaller problems that would have most likely become bigger ones further down the road.

           A truly wonderful man, Bill tells me of his passion for bikes and of his history as a rather famous cyclist.

Charity Pledges 

These are the names of people who have made a pledge to pay so much per bird species seen at the end of the year to either one of the charities I am supporting or to both.

Lee Dark, Mary & Brian Prescott, Joshua Prescott, Rebecca Prescott and Les Oxley-Stoker, Donna Prescott. 

Massive thanks to everyone who has either made a donation or made a pledge. Wonderful.

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