Ilkeston - Back To Nature
w/e 24 June 2007
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Great Crested Grebe

Mannner FloodsGrebe ChickIt was only a short walk down by the golf course onto the Nutbrook Trail, past Manner Floods (left) and through Pewit Carr to Swan Lake, returning again by the Nutbrook Trail to the golf course. But it did take us close to nature as these images show. A nest a little way offshore at Manner Floods was occupied by the chick of a Great Crested Grebe (right) but it soon joined a sibling and parent for a swim.
Centenary Way

From Manner Floods the walk through Pewit Carr follows the same route that we followed here (opens in a new window) in 2002. Apart from the colour of the wild flowers and the addition of the horses in the fields, the view along the Centenary Way up to the High Lane at West Hallam has changed little in the intervening five years. But that path, part of the long distance footpath from Ilkeston to Ashbourne, is for another day as we turned left off the Centenary Way near here to join High Lane East nearer to Swan Lake.
Swan Lake

Swan Lake is actually a nickname acquired by the Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve but the presence of a large number of the said birds shows why. The lake was formed after some opencast mining operations that if my memory serves me correctly were carried out without the required planning permission. By the time the legal niceties had been sorted out the mining had all but been completed and after the heavy machinery moved off the site, the nature reserve was gradually developed that is much appreciated by local people.

Swans are not the only birds at the lake and Mrs Mallard here was being very protective with her young brood.
Wild Rose

The nature reserve is also a good place to see a variety of flora and wild roses are just one of the species of plants growing and nurtured around the lake's perimeter.
Mute Swans

Seven (plus one) swans a'swimmingThree ducksBut it's the mute swans that most people come to see. I caught these practising some formation swimming perhaps auditioning early for Christmas* - Seven swans a'swimming (left) - but as two of them were out of synch, there's perhaps an opportunity for the reserve behind! I wondered what the critical eyes of the ducks (right) deep in conversation at the side of the lake were making of the swan's display.

*Do you realise that Christmas Eve is exactly six months away from the date this page was uploaded whether you go forwards or backwards? 24/12/2006 - 24/06/2007 - 24/12/2007 - "Tempus fugit".

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