30 Days Wild: Day 17

Unexpected sheep herding!

Day 17 of 30 Days Wild was certainly different! I started with an evening walk along an old railway line. Heading towards the same area as I saw the damselflies on day 16, I hoped I'd see the big yellow dragonfly again and be able to take a photo. Sadly, it started to rain shortly after I left home so there was no chance! I did see quite a lot along the walk however, and even tried my hand at herding an escaped sheep!

Near the active part of the railway, construction has started on a new building next to the signal box. I'm not sure what it's for, but it's next to a Grade II listed signal box at Leek Brook Junction. The platform here used to serve the nearby asylum hospital - which is now a private housing development.

A little farther along, everything was becoming a little overgrown:

There was a lone dandelion (main photo and below):

Lots of willowherb along the route:

Some ragwort has started to appear:

Some common evening primrose:

This little thing wouldn't leave me alone! It kept insisting on landing upon me! I'm not great with flies, but I think this is the mosquito Aedes cantans. It didn't bite me though!

I'm not sure what this plant is, but it was growing all along the disused track and is very small - and difficult to get a clear photo of on a phone!

There is a crossing further along, with some sheep in the field to the left of the path I took. One of them had somehow escaped onto the railway line, and a lamb was bleating away at it frantically. I thought it best to try to reunite them! I made a video:

As I was trying to sort out this little problem, an audience gathered...

I couldn't get the sheep back into the field and take a video at the same time, so I put my phone away and chased the sheep around a bit, until it eventually went back onto the railway line (through yet another bloody hole) and found its way back to the hole in the fence a little further down the tracks. Unfortunately, I'm far to big to get through the trees so couldn't get to the fence to try to fix the hole. Along this track, it's possible to walk to Leek and even all the way to Stoke-on-Trent - so if it escapes again, who knows where it will end up!

Shortly after, mother and baby were happily reunited:

After this, I stood in a nearby field watching a group of swifts overhead. Excuse the crappy video - but they aren't called 'slows'!

I didn't bring my dSLR out with me today as I knew it was going to rain - and rain is very bad for a camera! Shortly after the swifts, I was really annoyed about this! In these trees, there were five goldfinches, two greenfinches, and one bullfinch!!!

A little further along I saw a large family of geese with their goslings. This isn't particularly unusual along this stretch of the canal, but there were more this year than we've ever seen and it was definitely video-worthy! The video is four minutes long, but they are just all so adorable!

A little while after, I saw two ducks swimming upstream in the river:

It's only a very short walk, but I was out for around two hours, just mooching around in (and with) nature in the rain.

You can read all of my 30 Days Wild posts here!

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