Trip reports

Midweek Walk to the Watercress Beds and Sopwell Nunnery

Midweek Walk to the Watercress Beds and Sopwell Nunnery
Male Siskin, Gary Thornton

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Our second midweek walk of the season started near Westminster Lodge where we crossed over the road to make our way along the Ver Colne Valley path to the Watercress Wildlife Association Local Nature Reserve. It was a very cold morning (-4) but the blue skies and frost on the bare tree branches, especially the weeping willows, were a Christmas card scene. We were greeted by Sheila, Howard and Steve of the Association who kindly gave us a talk about the reserve and the work they were doing to maintain it. They showed us around the Reserve, which is on disused watercress beds and allotment gardens and is a haven for wildlife. We heard and saw quite a few ring-necked parakeet immediately we entered the reserve but no doubt some of us hoping that they would not take up residence! We enjoyed seeing the siskins and flocks of goldfinches.

We then made our way to the Sopwell Nunnery where Julie Wakefield kindly gave us a most interesting talk of the old ruins and 'walked' us through all the rooms! Thank you very much Julie. The views of the Abbey were wonderful.

We had a total of 17 people and 11 stayed for lunch at Ye Olde Fighting Cocks. Most of us had the Rabbit Winter Stew, which was delicious and no doubt helped warm us up and hop back home!

List of birds: Blackbird, chaffinch. coot, carrion crow, collared dove, dunnock, goldcrest, goldfinch, Canada goose, greenfinch, black-headed gull, herring gull, jackdaw, jay, lapwing, magpie, mallard, moorhen, ring-necked parakeet, robin, mute swan, siskin, blue tit, great tit, great spotted woodpecker, woodpigeon and wren - 27 species.