Curlews calling….

Tuesday, 17th March 2015 (Day 2, Week 11)

Hello!

It’s week 11 guys and I’m still going!! I’ve surprised myself with my persistence!

What’s  the weather like where you are? It’s a lovely afternoon here.

And what a heavenly morning Mr RR and I had, starting with a walk around Mylor Bridge and Restronguet Creek, followed by lunch at The Olive Grove Bistro and a little shopping at Coast and Country Crafts and Quilts. What could be better!

I also had the honour of being permitted to try out Mr RRs posh camera, which is much more upmarket than mine but also a bit of a drag dangling round my neck (as opposed to being shoved in a pocket).  Upmarket, of course, comes with lots of buttons and gadgets and little pictures in the viewfinder, all of which proved too much for me; I couldn’t walk and think and dream (about the later visit to the craft shop) and find the right buttons to push!  So about halfway round I reverted to my own camera!  I think the photos taken with his camera are better though – humph!.

Enjoy reading

Rickety


Target: 1000 miles in one year (20 miles a week)

Achieved so far: 228.8 miles (target 220 miles)

Achieved this week: 5.1 miles


Mylor Bridge circular via Restronguet Creek (5.1 miles)

Cloudy and threatening to rain turned into hazy sunshine and Spring time by the time we’d completed this splendid walk (from Classic Walks, Cornwall, 3rd Ed).

Starting at the (free) car park in Mylor Bridge we walk up through the lovely village along the Truro road, described in the book as a ‘quiet country lane’. To be fair this road can’t have fitted that description since about 1952!  It’s the main road from Truro after all!  No matter, we manage to get to the public footpath at the top of the hill in one piece, wondering at the orchards of eucalyptus like trees on both sides of the road.  I’ve since spent an inordinate amount of time consulting my library and the internet and I can’t identify these trees – they may be a type of eucalyptus being cultivated for oil – or they may be something else altogether!  Here’s a picture – do let me know if you can identify:

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Walking on down the lane and through some fields we have gorgeous views of Restronguet creek below us.

Restroguet Creek
Restroguet Creek

From here we follow the creek through Tregunwith Woods, scattered with daffodils and primroses, passing a renovated barge – The Miller – originally built in 1932, on the east coast of Scotland and used as a grain carrier on the River Thames until the second world war.  During the war she served as a balloon barage near Sheerness – meaning a barage balloon was tied to her and used to discourage dive bombing and low level attacks. Bought in 1993 by her current owners, she remains seaworthy and has sailed extensively around the British Isles.

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The Miller
    The Miller

On along the creek soon arriving at the famous Pandora Inn and the sun is shining.  The Pandora Inn was named after HMS Pandora by Captain Edwards who sailed on the ship to Tahiti to try and bring justice to the mutineers against Captain Bligh.  The ship was wrecked on its way home and Captain Edwards was court martialled.

Pandora Inn on Restronguet Creek
Pandora Inn on Restronguet Creek

The public footpath runs along the front of the Inn and up the hill continuing to follow the creek.  After a short while we cross a beach, not needing to use the private path reserved for high tides

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Beach near Restronguet Weir

As we walk along through the wooded path we can hear, but not see, curlews calling.  They have a very distinctive call and it seems to echo along the creek.  You can listen to it here: https://www.rspb.org.uk/discoverandenjoynature/discoverandlearn/birdguide/name/c/curlew/

Along the way we see primroses, daffodils and periwinkle and notice a large group of Acanthus plants with lush green leaves and decaying flower spikes.

Acanthus (Bear's Breeches)
Acanthus (Bear’s Breeches)

My Medieval Flower Book tells me that the plant’s old French name, blanc ursina (or ‘white bear’) was given because the flower bracts are sharp and tear the flesh.  It was used medicinally for sharp pain and gout.  The English common name is probably based on a mistranslation of ‘blanc’ into ‘brink’ the old word for breeches.  Fascinating isn’t it?

The estuary banks here are covered in seaweed, and every now and then piles of shells are heaped up on the rocks.  It’s difficult to tell whether this is a natural occurrence or if they have been discarded here – whichever it is – they’re very smelly and we hurry on!

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Look how this tree is growing out from the river bank!

Carrying on alongside the creek, we soon head uphill past the castle like Greatwood House and then downhill to Mylor Creek. We’re now walking through conservation land, alive with birdsong although the only bird life we see is a pair of Goldfinches.  To our right the fields are full of gorse bushes, to our left Mylor Creek with it’s busy boatyards and sailing vessels moored along the shoreline.

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Mylor Creek
Mylor Creek

It isn’t until we’re right back into Mylor Bridge itself that we see some interesting water birds. A greenshank, wading in the mud.  And a puzzle – could be a Sabine’s Gull, could be a black headed gull with it’s Summer plumage already.  Either would be exciting, unfortunately much pouring over books and photographs has not helped me make up my mind.

So a couple of identification issues today – do let me know if you have any ideas!

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