Dibbinsdale, 29th September 2019

It had rained hard all week, and as we gathered outside Bromborough Rake station with members of the MNA for a fungal foray, one or two of the hardier souls trekked down the steep path on a recce to the deep valley of the stream and came back to report two inch floods on the bridges and much mud underfoot. The MNA decided to soldier on, but we weren’t feeling quite that adventurous, so we took the train one stop further back to Spital, where we entered the Brotherton Park and Dibbinsdale LNR from the north end, on a reasonably flat and solid path.

It was a narrow way, wet and drippy under the trees. The only fungi we saw were some big mushrooms, possibly the edible species, but we didn’t try them. Autumn continues to be fruitful, with many acorns underfoot, huge crops of dark red Hawthorn berries and the red fruiting spikes of  Wild Arum brightening the shadows under the hedge. There were still some plants in flower. The Bramble had put out yet another generation of blossom and the white trumpets of Bindweed were scrambling everywhere. Lower down were flowers of Hogweed, Dandelion, Wood Avens, Red Dead-nettle, a shy little geranium-type which was probably Dovesfoot Cranesbill, and down the bank was a stand of Himalayan Balsam.

We heard some strange noises, and decided it was either Magpies or Jays having a fight, but we saw nothing. Later a Jay flew off. Some of us caught a couple of brief glimpses of a Bullfinch, and on the way back we found a Great Spotted Woodpecker in an almost-bare tree, silhouetted against the leaden sky.

It was getting far too wet for comfort or pleasure, so we ate our sandwiches in the shelter on Spital station and decided to call it a day.

Public transport details: The Chester train from Central at 10.15, arriving Bromborough Rake at 10.35. Returned from Spital station at 12.50, arriving Liverpool at 1.15.

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