Even though we were in the middle of Storm Dennis, it was dry and mild, if a bit gusty. We got off the bus near the Liverpool Thorn Collection, a set of rare trees planted on the central reservation between Templemore and Rathmore Avenues. There were lots of large red haws and apple-type fruits still on the trees, but no leaves or blossom yet, of course. Then we climbed up to Sudley House, to the sound of the bell of Mossley Hill Church. From the top of Holt Field there is a wonderful view to the south. On the skyline were three churches. The church tower in the Italianate “campanile” style, could be All Souls, Mather Avenue. To the right of it were two narrow church spires which we couldn’t identify.
In the grounds of Sudley House the Snowdrops were looking ragged, while the crocuses and daffodils were not quite out.
A Robin was singing from the hedge and there were Wood Pigeons and Magpies on the fields. Near the house someone had put out a pile of chopped apples by a stump. There was a Rat tucking in when we first looked, and later there was a queue of a Common Gull and a Carrion Crow, with a Grey Squirrel making off with its booty.
We went into the house to see their current exhibition of etchings by Whistler and Pennell “Etching the City”, then set off early after lunch, as several of us had other plans.
Public transport details: Bus 80A Great Charlotte Street at 10.13, arriving Rose Lane / Templemore Avenue at 10.40. Returned on the 61 bus from Elmswood Road / North Mossley Hill Road at 12.55 to various destinations.
Next few weeks:
23rd February, to be decided. Meet at Queen Square at 10 am
Anyone is welcome to come out with the Sunday Group. It is not strictly part of the MNA, although it has several overlapping members. We go out by public transport to local parks, woods and nature reserves all over Merseyside, and occasionally further afield. We are mostly pensioners, so the day is free on our bus passes, and we enjoy fresh air, a laugh and a joke, a slow amble in pleasant surroundings and sometimes we even look at the wildlife!
If you want to join a Sunday Group walk, pack lunch, a flask, waterproofs, binoculars if you have them, a waterproof pad to sit on if we have to have lunch on the grass or a wet bench (A garden kneeler? A newspaper in a plastic bag?), and wear stout shoes or walking boots. We are usually back in Liverpool City Centre by 4pm at the latest.
If you are interested in the wildlife of the north-west of England and would like to join the walks and coach trips run by the Merseyside Naturalists’ Association, see the main MNA website for details of our programme and how to join us.