Friday, 30 August 2013

Bank Holiday Week Catch Up

Have not really posted anything for a while and that's because I have not really been out and about much of late.
I did pop along to the bird fair on the Friday and played with the nice and shiny optics and went along to the talk by Alan Davies and Ruth Miller of the Biggest Twitch fame which was interesting and was much better than been at work.

But to the Bank Holiday!

Lesley was on nights which meant I just had to keep Gem entertained, and preferably out of the house so Lesley could get some well needed sleep.

Sunday found me sitting at Longport by the long gone signal box, when I was younger I spent many a happy Saturday afternoon here watching the Carless Tanks worked by 37's of all sorts, I even got an invite into the box once!
I was here again for 37's, this time of the DRS sort, a pair were top and tailing a EMT service train filling in for drivers whom were working to rule as they don't feel the railways need to operate on a 7 day a week basis and that there 40K salary doesn't cover Sunday working makes your heart bleed.
Any way good on EMT for allowing passengers to still travel by train rather than by replacement bus even better for using 37's. Brought back memories of the loco hauled service to Llandudno that use to pass through Stoke and more so as 425 use to be one of the regulars back then.

37405 at Longport on the Crewe to Derby service train

37425 on the rear of the Crewe to Derby service train fresh from being named Concrete Bob/Sir Robert McAlpine

On Monday I took Gem to visit the steam pumping plant at Claymills near Burton, if you are into Victoria industrial engines its well worth the visit, plenty to see only the single main engine was working out of the four but with the various steam belt driven work shops as well plus a ride on a miniature traction engine it was a good day out. Plenty of train activity was seen which was a bonus . Also being next to a sewage works and open fields there was quite a bit of birds life around. I think the Damselfly is a drab form of the Common Blue.

60099 at Claymills on the Kingsbury to Humber empty tanks

Drab Form Common Blue Damselfly

Having the week off meant we have managed to do a spot of birding, on the Thursday the 29th Aug we headed off for a quick walk around Hanchurch Woods along the path from the Wood Cutters Cottage, being close by its a nice quick place to head for.
Walking along the track we could hear a Raven calling which eventually came into view along with a nice Buzzard perched on a dead tree.
The high light came when a flock of 21 Crossbill came down to settle in a Birch tree and eventually one or two dropped down for a drink in a pool a bit further back from the path.

Crossbill at Hanchurch

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