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  • Writer's picturePeter Howarth

Foulshaw Moss a Welcome Reprieve

After weeks of lockdown and months of limited movement I have finally been able to visit some of the local nature reserves. Foulshaw Moss is a favourite of mine, as in late spring and early summer Adders and Common Lizards can be seen sunning themselves throughout the reserve. My partner Katt has never seen either of these reptiles so when my weeks holiday finally came round I decided a visit was far overdue.

Upon arrival at the reserve I was surprised to see a large number of cars, fournately we didn't bump into many of these people as we made our way round the boardwalk. It was a chilly morning so unspurisingly not many reptiles were showing themselves, however as we made our way round we did encouter a few Common Lizards. The ones we saw were very lathargic due to the cold weather making them excellent candidates for some macro photography.

D7500 Sigma 105 1/400 sec at F/8.0, ISO 2800

As we approached the centre of the reserve I positioned my camera so Katt could have her first look at the Osprey nest, amusingly she was as impressed by the black and white dots people call birds as I was and we quickly continued on our way. We saw several moth caterpillars as we contiued round to the more boggy side of the reserve including both Fox Moth and Drinker Moth.

D7500 Sigma 105 1/400 sec at F/22, ISO 3600

Hearing a Water Rail screaming in the distance we chose to sit and watch the Damsel flys dance over the surface a nearby pound. We watched as they courted each other before perching to lay eggs below the waters surface. Moving on we noticed the temperature had increased and so had the number of lizards. Unfourtanely these newcomers were not as sluggish as the first ones we saw making phototgraphing them much trickier.

After ten or so minutes of wandering we arrived back at the car park choosing to sit by the bird feeders before heading to the car. A multitude of finches, tits and sparrows (including a pair of Tree Sparrows a first for me) visited before we finally moved off.

On the walk up the road to the car we passed a dead Adder that had been run over, this both upset me and annoyed me. This snake had cleary been sunning itself on the road and visiter of the reserve had run it over. (The animals that call the reserves home are appreciated by these visitors, however this often doesn't seem to extend out of the reserve. This is more a reminder to please watch the road carefully when approaching wildife reserves.) This little small downer was not enough to ruin the overall day and I left with a smile on my face and boat load of good memories.

D7500 Sigma 105 1/400 sec at f/10, ISO 720

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