Life through the lens...

By ValC

Boom, boom.

From the boom of opencast mining to the boom, boom of the bitterns.
A transformation of something so ugly to a beautiful landscape, in just 16 years.

Glorious sunshine and temperatures up to 24C.
Perfect for our visit to St Aiden’s Country Park, and RSPB Reserve at Swillington near Leeds.

We set off walking from the car park with the sweet song of skylarks, which soon changed to the raucous chorus of thousands of breeding black-headed gulls.
Then suddenly we heard the deep throated boom of a bittern. Two in fact.
A first for me, although we didn’t see them.

Then another first of two Black-necked grebes.
Here they have the largest breeding colony in the UK.
A rubbish photo, but had to include it in extras.

A wonderful walk round the reed beds, wetland meadows and woodland.

The other extra photo is the dragline known as “ Oddball”.
It is the largest preserved walking dragline excavator in Western Europe. 1,200 tonnes.
It was originally used to surface mine coal from the 400 hectare area , now occupied by St Aidan’s Country Park.

So we have the promised hot weather at last!
First time out walking in a tee shirt.

Many thanks to BobsBlips for hosting Wide Wednesday with today’s challenge “ Beauty”.

Must just mention the very friendly staff at the RSPB. They were most helpful and informative. You could tell how proud they were of the site.

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