Moss Valley circular (17th January 2017)

Tuesday 17th January: a David Blackburn-led walk from Coal Aston. He writes:

 A group of 16 met this morning at   the ‘Top Chapel’ in Coal Aston , where we were kindly offered tea/coffee and toasted teacakes in the warmth before setting off on our 4 mile walk . The route took us through woods and fields in the Moss Valley to Hazelbarrow Farm, where we made a short detour to say ‘hello’ to the resident alpacas before continuing our circuit. We returned through Owler Car and Nor Woods ,then more field paths back to Coal Aston The day was dull , but still and pleasant and although we encountered some mud , conditions underfoot were generally very reasonable.

The following information is an extract from an article called “Wild side” published in The Star on Saturday January 28th by Professor Ian D. Rotherham. ” Other species, especially birds have made their own way here, many aided by climate change or habitat restoration projects. One such example is the Little Egret, a small, brilliant white heron. This was the subject of a message from Mick Fairest with an observation from the rural Moss Valley just south of Sheffield: “Hello Ian, I thought you might want to know of a sighting of a Little Egret landing in Cook Spring Wood, Moss Valley. The record has been passed to me by members of Dronfield Footpaths Society who are also members of Dronfield Wildlife Group”. This is indeed an interesting record of a species now colonising rapidly across much of Britain. However, even today this is largely restricted to coastal zones and larger inland water bodies such as big reservoirs. I would guess the bird was roosting in the woodland having flown in from nearby Rotherham Valley Country Park or somewhere similar. Migrating birds also tend to use the east-west aligned river valley of the Moss Brook as a navigational route on their travels. Expect more of these delightful birds.