Long-tailed Tit gathering moss at Sale Water Park
Long-tailed Tit gathering moss at Sale Water Park.

After what seems like several months a couple of days of sunshine created an ideal opportunity to  dust the bike off and head off down the Trans-Pennine Trail towards Sale Water Park. Feeling a little bit unsure of how wise it was to go cycling with an expensive camera and lens in the rucksack I was relieved to find large sections of the route had been re-surfaced.

Long-tailed Tit at Sale Water Park
Long-tailed Tit
One of the birds that has really benefitted from the recent run of mild winters always great to watch the Long-tailed Tits flitting through the trees and scrub.
Grey Heron waiting for the arrival of its mate.
On a totally different scale for a few months each year the Grey Heron takes to the trees. With their huge wingspan and bill clapping there’s an almost prehistoric atmosphere within the Heronry. Trying to photograph them proved interesting with focusing through the branches being somewhat challenging.
Grey Heron watching over the Heronry
Giant Hogweed next to Chorlton Water Park
The unmistakeable leaves of Giant Hogweed growing on the banks of the River Mersey next to Chorlton Water Park.

In a typical display of bureaucratic incompetence despite emails and  phone calls neither Highways England or their maintenance contractors – Balfour Beatty Mott McDonald could be bothered to treat the Giant Hogweed found growing last summer in the central reservation of the A5103/Princess Parkway. Apparently there’s no “safe access.” Strange how the police never seem to have this problem when they park up practically next to the plants and set up routine speed traps. Unfortunately thanks to the storm drains the Hogweed is now spreading downstream. Despite it being an invasive species Manchester City Council’s Parks Dept. response was a predictable – “its not our land the riverbank is the responsibility of the Environment Agency.” Nevermind, they’ll have an opportunity to treat it next year and the year after, and the year after that.  In future when some little child is maimed I hope their solicitors find this post and realise that for the sake of a 5 minute walk with a knapsack sprayer it could have been avoided.

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