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Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Coast by Campervan - Day 3, RSPB Leighton Moss & Morecambe

My second day out was infinitely more sensible - I only had about 30 miles planned, and one stop. But I changed that too. The plan had been a visit to Leighton Moss in the morning with an early afternoon arrival in Morecambe so I could wander around the beachfront. But I had a very slow start and did not leave the site until close to 11.00am.  Then I found the RSPB site was so lovely that I stayed there nearly all day so there was no time for an afternoon stroll around Morecambe, but in the end that did not really matter.

Leighton Moss was fabulous, even though I did not get to see the 'star performers' which attract serious birders from miles away.  Despite my pedometer telling me I walked 8 miles I was never in the right part of the site to see Avocet, and I did not get a glimpse of the otters who live there.  But I did see the most beautiful lapwings on their nests, close enough to a Hide to see eggs, I saw a couple of Marsh Harriers, and more other birds than I can recount.  With only a little camera to hand, there are no really interesting pictures, but MY, did I see some interesting cameras.





I saw enough massive photographic gear being carried around to pay off the national debts of a small nation;  pretty certain I saw at least two of these: gulp!



And one of these, holy ***



Which was carried by a lady who using both hands to support it (not something you want to drop!) and her husband was acting as sherpa weighed down by bags with [presumably] camera bodies and the tripod.

Despite being half-term, once away from the visitor centre Leighton Moss was quiet and peaceful.  I even had the SkyTower to myself.





I liked this circular area next to the cafe, reminded me of Ryton and the Biodynamic garden at their organic centre.





Eventually I tore myself away and headed a few miles south to Morecambe where I had chosen an unusual campsite.  Unusual for me in as much as once I’d seen it on Google Maps it was forever unkindly referred to as “the container park”, as this satellite image shows.  A mainly static site, but selected because it was within a few minutes walk of the seafront at Morecambe. And I have no idea why, because I’ve never been there before but I had a hankering to stay in the town and walk along the Prom.  The site was actually very quiet, felt fairly safe, and had what few facilities I needed.  It also had absolutely no ‘soul’ or charm but at least I tried something new, which was also one of the objectives.



Having arrived much later than expected, but Leighton Moss was worth it, my Promenade bimble ended up just being an hour’s stroll.  Morecambe was “interesting” . . . I wandered around pretending to be an anthropologist  and people watching, but felt very detached from it all. It is a funny little place, seems to accept itself for what it is - a rather faded seaside resort that has seen better days but is trying to rejuvenate. As the tide was going out I did have the pleasure of watching a curlew and pair of Little Egrets feeding in the mud, and felt sad that I was the only person I saw with binoculars. Ironic - I spent all day at the RSPB reserve and saw none of the buggers, then spotted two Egret 100 yards from the Prom at Morecambe; very beautiful and a birding ‘first’ for me.






Reflections on the Wednesday?  Only 30+ miles travelled and much more “do-able”. And therein lies the problem with “Coast by Campervan”. If I only cover 30 miles or so each day it is either going to take me bloomin' years (which I don’t want) or I am going to be almost permanently on the move (which I don’t want).  Further cogitating in progress . . .




23 comments:

  1. Even though your day didn't quite go to plan it sounds like the right balance for you. All day at the RSPB site and an hour's promenade stroll sounds good to me. I really admire what you are doing and enjoying reading about your adventure.

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    1. Thanks Eileen, it was a much nicer day even though I didn't get terribly far.

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  2. I really hope the Morecambe Eden Project comes to fruition, it would be an amazing boost.

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    1. Wouldn't that just be something? Don't hold your breath - Tim only has half the money and waiting for £40m from Govt.

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  3. It sounds like you found a much better balance this time. I don’t have any suggestions on how you can strike that balance for the entire challenge but am keen to see what you decide.

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    1. Cheers Eileen, a few days distance has helped. I have some new ideas, although no firm plans yet.

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  4. It sounds like you had a much 'easier' day than the previous one. Leighton Moss looks lovely though personally I'm not into birding so would only go for the pretty scenery - any birds I saw would be a bonus. Too late now but you could have parked at the south end of Morecambe prom and walked to Heysham village and back - it's all pedestrianised so is a nice walk, and there's a nice little church in the village.

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    1. Thanks Eunice, I'm not sure Leighton Moss is somewhere you would go for scenery unless acres and acres of dead flat reed beds are your thing :-)

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    2. You'd be surprised at the things which float my boat Jayne! :) :)

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  5. Wondering how far from home, is the farthest point? Why would I wonder that, is a good question.... :-) Maybe because this is all logistics. How to see what you want, when you are near, the place, you want to travel-to-on-the-coast.

    Oh my, I'm making less sense, the more I write!!!!!!!! ,-)

    You are having fun! That's for sure, and actually, the point of the whole thing. That, and the accomplishment of saying, you _did_ it!!!! :-)

    "The site was actually very quiet, felt fairly safe, and ...." Safety!!!! That's been on my mind, but I didn't mention it. But since you did, I guess I can. Please be safe. Please. I admit, it scares me, to see you going all these out of the way places, by yourself........

    There! I said it! "Worry-Wart" me. Is afraid. For you.

    ✨✨✨✨

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    1. I guess the further point SW (Penzance area) is about 600 miles, east it's about 400 miles to the corner of Kent, and Joan O'Groats in Scotland is also about 400 miles, but would take twice as long as heading south (no motorway, slow roads).

      Hope Mrs Worry-Wart has received an email setting at rest her safety concerns. xx

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  6. I'm downright green with envy. Sounds like a wonderful birding day to me. Remember that the JOURNEY is the point, not the destination, so take however long is needed to truly enjoy the trip.

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    1. Thanks m'lovely, well, I have certainly enjoyed my journey so far - despite the first day wobble - and taking a much longer time than originally anticipated is definitely one of the alternate options.

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  7. Dear Jayne
    It sounds as though you have found the balance. Lovely photos too. Keep enjoying!
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  8. You definitely took the weather with you - it looks glorious!
    Your bird watching antics reminded me of looking for red squirrels once when we spent the day up near Ullswater. We didn't see a single one until I stopped at the traffic light at Pooley Bridge, where one was sat right on top of the village sign just looking directly at us. X

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    1. It was chilly Jules, but the bright blue sky was lovely.

      Your squirrel spotting antics made me laugh. Once spent HOURS hoping to see Osprey and failed. The following day we saw one above the River Derwent near the house :-)

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  9. You look to have had nice weather - it makes such a difference to a day out. Don't worry about your mileages - some days may only be five miles with so many wonderful things that your heart aches for more where as others you may wisely wish to avoid the section due to industrialisation, military zones etc and fly on ahead - let it happen as it happens. Stop when you are ready, leave when you need to and enjoy xxx

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    1. Thank you dear Kate, wise beyond your years, as always. xx Yes to everything you say 🙂

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  10. It all looks & sounds so interesting.The RSPB reserves always seem nice, as we've visited maybe 1 or 2 when in UK. Is it somewhere on Morecambe Bay where the interesting statues are? Oh & are your Egrets the same as some we might see over here? Maybe I should "google" that (hee-hee). I'd love you to experience our van parks over here as they are so different to yours. As we have no facilities in our van, we usually stay on an en-suite site, good for oldies like us.(giggle) I'll email later today if I can. Take care & huggles.

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    1. Hi Susan - statues - are you thinking of the Antony Gormley "Another Place" installation? That's a bit further south at Crosby near Liverpool.

      Although my van has "full facilities" I don't tend to use the shower. It is easier and much more roomy to use site facilities. Or I can always heat up some hot water and have an old fashioned wash. No-one has yet commented on any smell 😀

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  11. Must admit, I can't decide whether I like Morecambe, or whether everything east of the sea front should be bulldozed.

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    1. {snigger}, I feel a bit the same. I understand the need for sea defences but my goodness, there's a lot of concrete . . .

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