Wednesday 26 November

We left Bramble Cuttings once Max had tired of exploring the entire area and headed towards Middlewich.

With bare trees it is easy to spot birdlife hiding amongst the branches and we spotted a kingfisher ahead of us, expecting him to fly off as we approached, but he must have known we didn’t have a camera ready because he stayed put and even turned round as we went passed to show off his good side. By the time I’d got the camera he’d flown ahead off us and continued to taunt us for another mile or so by just staying too far in front so that we didn’t get a decent photograph. We’ve been told that Kingfishers occupy a limited patch and after about a mile he turned and flew back the way he’d come.

The rest of our journey was uneventful.   As we approached Big Lock, we met a boat coming towards us which meant that the lock was set in our favour.   We stopped just before Andersen Boats to fill up with water and from there we could see the first two narrow locks ahead of us.   We noticed an unusual number of high-viz jackets moving around the second lock which made us a little nervous as the last time we’d seen activity like this was when the lock ahead of us was closed due to damage.

Anyway as we approached, we realised that the jackets belonged to guys doing community pay-back and they were sweeping the area around the locks and cutting the grass.   We breathed a huge sigh of relief.

We carried on through the locks and moored up just above Kings Lock where there was plenty of space. We noticed the swan count had risen since we were last here and at least twenty were seen with more arriving all the time.



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