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Sunday, 19 February 2012

Sunday Stroll



Wasn’t today fabulous? I don’t know about you but I’m ready for some Spring sunshine. I decided it was most definitely a day to get out and about, and the housework could wait a little while longer.

Calke parkland isn’t a million miles away, part of Calke Abbey, and somewhere I really enjoy going. This National Trust property is well worth a visit. The house is closed at the moment, but the parkland is there for all to enjoy.

My walk started at a gentle pace, and to be fair it was more of a stroll if I’m honest, after all Sunday, is the last day before I’m back at the grindstone for another five days. Chance of me getting out for a decent walk in the week is slim at present, so I wanted to make the most of being out in the wide open spaces.

The large parkland has lots of trees scattered about, some of the oaks are hundreds of years old, and on past walks I’ve seen fungi growing in abundance on their ancient bark. Today, I wanted to breathe in the fresh air – nothing more. I prepared well, wore a warm jacket, scarf, hat and my walking shoes. I work on the principle I can always take something off – better than being too cold. It was pleasant in the afternoon sunshine, although the air was cool on my face.

Deer roam freely in certain areas of the park, and could be quite clearly seen today, although they kept their distance. The herd numbers over one hundred red and fallow deer, and in the past I’ve managed to take some great shots with my camera.

A lot of the park is a National Nature Reserve, and there was no shortage of wildlife around today. I went into the bird hide, and for the first time, was lucky enough to see the Great Spotted Woodpecker, I was amazed, I expected it to be much bigger, but they are only the size of a blackbird! I really need to hone up on my bird knowledge. It was quite a striking bird, black and white, with a red patch on the back of its head. 

Apparently, all three species of the British Woodpeckers can be found on the park. There were lots of other birds feeding off the ground, as well as from the special nut feeders. I saw several great tits, blue tits, robins, blackbirds, a nuthatch, as well as two cheeky rats, and a squirrel on the ground below the feeders who were tucking into anything dropped by the birds in their foraging frenzy.

As I left the bird hide, I spotted some photographers had set up outside, their scopes and cameras pointed on something I’d clearly missed. They were a friendly bunch, and only too happy to let me look through their lens at a little owl some metres away, sitting on a fallen tree. I didn’t realise you could find these owls out during the day, however it seems they are more than happy to perch in hedges and copses, as well as on fallen tree trunks.
I enjoyed my walk in Calke, and I’ll be going back again, there’s so much to see and enjoy throughout the changing seasons.

Next time, I must go further, and discover more. 

P.S. The picture is one I took back in September 2010, I forgot my camera today! 

3 comments:

  1. This sounds beautiful. Right now I am totally into Downtown Abbey :-) Sunday strolls are just the loveliest - thank you for sharing yours.

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  2. Maria - that sounds and looks lovely. How inspiring and relaxing that walk would be. :-)

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  3. Melissa - Downtown is FABULOUS, seems we've all gone mad over it. I love the National Trust, and Downtown has made them even more popular!

    Diane - Very relaxing. Set me up nicely for a writing session when I got back.

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