(Report from John Clegg). On the hottest day of the year so far, nine menbers joined the tailback of traffic that took 30 minutes to cross the Runcorn Bridge. Whitegate Way is an old railway line, opened on 1st June 1870, to transport salt from the mines along the west bank of the River Weaver to the main Chester-Manchester line at Cuddington. The line closed in 1966 and is now a shared-use path.
From the car park at the old Whitegate Station the group walked eastwards towards Winsford. As the day was very hot, most of the birds took to cover, so we didn’t see many. Those we did see were mostly warblers, although we did hear a Green Woodpecker in two places.
In the bright sunshine many butterflies came out, including Comma, Meadow Brown, Large and Small Whites and two sightings of Brimstones.
The only drawback was the large number of cyclists using the path as a race track, with no consideration for walkers. None of them had bells to warn when they were coming up behind, and one cyclist just missed runing into our group.