Burscough to Rufford, 11th July 2010

It was a longish walk for us today, about 4 miles along the canal. We took the 10.10 train to Ormskirk then waited about half an hour in Ormskirk bus station for the 2B bus at 11.15 to Burscough Bridge village. We joined the Leeds-Liverpool canal and made our way eastwards to the junction of the Rufford Branch. It was a dry and breezy day, threatening rain but warm in the sun. Lots of bright new butterflies today, two Red Admirals, a Comma, lots of Large Whites, two Small Tortoiseshells, a Green-veined White. We had our lunch at No.2 lock and watched a single-man narrow-boat, the Ephesus Crusader, negotiate its way through No.1 lock and into the second. It’s a very long job for a lone boatman – about half an hour per lock and he had six to pass to get to Rufford Marina. I saw only one Moorhen all day, and no Mallards or Coots, but we saw two Mute Swans near Rufford, a male Reed Bunting carrying food and two Mistle Thrushes with a smaller, browner one (a young Mistle Thrush or a Song Thrush?). There were House Sparrows near Top Lock Cottages, Swallows zipping over rippling barley fields, Yellowhammers singing, a Pied Wagtail near No.6 lock and two big Rabbits. Fringed Water-lily and Arrowhead in the canal.  We arrived at Rufford Marina about 2.30, rather hot and tired (but about an hour ahead of the Ephesus Crusader!) and had time for a loo stop in the Hesketh Arms before catching the 2B bus at 2.55 to Ormskirk and the 3.20 train back to Liverpol Central. 

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