Moss Valley circular (25th February 2020)

Tuesday 25th February: David Blackburn (stand-in Leader)

With the recent very wet weather and a poor forecast,I was pleasantly surprised when there were14 of us , including our newest member on her first walk, for this morning’s excursion around the Moss Valley.Things started with a hiccup as the planned hot drinks and toast were unavailable . It was an unexpected pleasure to set off with sunshine and blue skies- which stayed with us throughout the walk. Our route took us along Cross Lane, up into Long Wood and onto Hazelhurst Lane, then round past Povey Farm and up Owler Car Lane back to Coal Aston . Distance was a little under 5 miles , but it seemed more as the underfoot conditions made it rather hard work in placesMy challenge was to find paths that were reasonably mud free, which we largely managed except for three shortish lengths – over the field into the woods near the start, up the field path to Hazelhurst and around Povey Farm. This was a particularly bad spot as a lot of farm vehicles had churned the whole area into a thick gloop, with just no way of avoiding it. I then used Owler Car Lane as an alternative to the planned route to Troway, as it was obvious that way was very, very wet.. It was not an easy option as although it has a hard surface, this has been badly damaged and rutted by the heavy rains – and its all uphill too.Everyone returned safely – and cheerful too, despite a lot of work ahead to clean muddy boots and trousers

and the following from Graham Gill:

We were very pleased to welcome new member June Clegg on her first walk with us today. It seems that June is quite a keen bird watcher as she brought along her binoculars and used them at every opportunity. On the way round today she and I spotted lots of interesting sightings :-
A Buzzard being harassed by a Sparrowhawk over Cross Lane Farm
A Treecreeper and a pair of Jays at the coffee stop in Long Wood
Dunnocks and Goldfinch on Hazlehurst Lane
A group of around 15 Lapwings in a field near Povey Farm
A group of 4 Buzzards circling over Owler Car Lane
June heard a Yellowhammer on Sicklebrook Lane
Welcome, June. You will be a very useful asset to the DFBS on walks in the future.