Thursday 9 October

With less than 13 miles to travel until we need to be at our Sunday rendezvous for our journey into Liverpool, we decided to stay in Burscough another day.   We’d planned today to walk the Rufford Branch and catch the bus back but when we checked the BBC weather forecast it predicted heavy rain for the day and so instead I went off to Tesco while Storm caught up with emails etc.

However, by lunch-time the torrential rain hadn’t materialised and so we set off along the Rufford branch which leaves the Leeds & Liverpool Canal just east of Burscough. The branch leaves through an imposing arched bridge, and the settlement surrounding the junction, top lock and roomy dry dock is now a conservation area.

We walked past the six locks that takes the canal down through fertile farmland towards the distant Ribble estuary and the link into the Lancaster Canal.  The landscape was very flat and reminiscent of home.

We disturbed a kingfisher but caught up with it again.  I don’t know if I’m just getting better at spotting them or whether there are more about this year than usual.

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Loud screeching ahead of us turned out to be thousands of geese, just standing in fields either side of the canal, with more arriving all the time.   A ‘Gaggle of Geese’ hardly describes the sight.   We could only assume that they were gathering ready to migrate.

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