Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 12 April 2009

Felmersham Gravel Pits

I was determined to get out today, despite what the weather chose to offer. And it chose rain. Undeterred I set off just after 6 a.m., and headed for somewhere new to me. Felmersham Gravel Pits. I had my route planned out on paper; none of these fancy sat navs for me, good old road maps. As I headed for Felmersham, the dreaded sign ahead……..ROAD CLOSED. I don’t have much faith in ‘Diversion’ signs, but I followed them anyway, and eventually found my destination.

And what a great place it is. Three large lakes surrounded by woodland. Beyond the reserve are fields, so plenty of opportunities. In the summer months it’s a haven for Butterflies and Dragonflies, so a return visit is already on the cards. I was greeted by the honking of plenty of Geese; Canada and Greylag.

They appear to have made the place their own, along with 3 pairs of nesting Mute Swans; one per lake. I took a slow walk along the edge of the lake, and despite the heavy drizzle of rain, the birds were filling the air with their songs. I stopped for a brief chat with a man out for his morning stroll. Full of useful information, and he also told me that the local farmer has a dispute on at the moment regarding access at one end of the reserve. This means that for now, a complete circuit is no longer possible,

but he kindly showed me a way. What a nice man! I managed to find the breach, and continued my circuit, checking off some Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Reed Bunting, a fleeting glimpse of a male Bullfinch, and then stopped for a while, to be serenaded by a Blackcap. Beautiful singers.

The picture’s not up to much, but the weather was quite awful by now, and I was looking like a drowned rat. There was a carpet of plants ahead of me, either side of the path. No idea what they are, but quite striking I thought.

all to soon I’d completed my route; well, about two and a half hours later, so I made my way back to the car. Still quite early, so I decided to go on up the road a bit to another reserve I’ve been to before.

That held a few surprises for me, but I’ll do that one tomorrow.


  1. Looks like a lovely tranquil site, Keith. A rare thing these days.

  2. Definitely worth a return trip in the summer Keith.

  3. Thanks Graham. I practically had the place to myself. It was really good to get away for a few hours.

  4. Thanks Frank. I shall certainly be going back.

  5. I think the plant could be butterbur, always an early-flowerer. There are separate male and female plants and those look like female flower spikes, beginning to run to seed.I really like the atmospheric shot with the teasels in the foreground, with the muted colours and reflections - would have been half so evocative in bright sunlight.

  6. Thanks Greenfingers. I think you're right with that ID, Butterbur. Just been looking through some books. Thanks.

  7. Your a glutton for punishment Keith going out in that very dull weather. Nice blackcap though.
    Happy Easter.

  8. Looks like a lovely place to go, that first photo looks idyllic and I thought the Male Blackcap pic was really nice. You did well to brave the weather as well, it was miserable here too.

  9. Thanks Roy. The weather could have been better :) I was determined to get out though.

  10. Thank you ShySongbird. The rain carried on pretty much all day, but I did manage to get out to a couple of places. I'll probably catch the flu or something now :D

  11. I can see that you are a determined man, Keith! Heavy drizzle of rain is no way desirable weather for a walk... :-) Nevertheless, according to your photos it seems that the trip was worthy of your effort. The first picture of the lake looks mysterious and the birds are beautiful.
    By the way, I know Butterbur by its name and I think that it is a medicinal herb but I had no idea how it looks. It's a bit funny, we know so many names but can't imagine what they stand for...

  12. Thanks Petra. I had to get out for a few hours, what ever the weather, and I'm glad I did.
    The Butterbur was a striking looking plant the way it was growing in a mass. I've since found out the leaves grow quite large eventually, and they were used years ago to wrap butter. Hence the name.
    I'm never too old to learn :)