a frosty morning at Sence Valley Forest Park

Thursday brought a frosty but sunny morning to our patch of England, so my mum and I decided to take the dogs out for a walk somewhere different that we’ve not been before. Sence Valley Park near Ibstock was our chosen destination, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. While it sadly wasn’t bursting with wildlife at this time of year, the delicate frost on all the trees and plants made it seem wintery and magical. The sunlight, for once uninhibited by clouds, helped to give it a cheery atmosphere and slowly melted the frost as we walked around the park.

I loved how it edged the leaves and sparkled in the sunlight. It was a lot of fun to photograph the different plants and leaves.

There are three lakes to walk around and the gravel pathways are decent, with benches dotted about here and there. There a few slopes but they are quite easy to traverse. We saw quite a few mothers with pushchairs and young children as well as older people. The paths intersect around the lakes so you can plan you route for how far you want to go. My mum isn’t one for planning routes, however, so we just went in any direction we wanted.

Although the sun allowed for excellent visibility the lakes themselves were quite misty in parts and the water caught the light beautifully underneath. The overall effect was rather pretty and peaceful. Especially with the ducks drifting lazily across.

There are areas where you can get down to the water’s edge and feed waterbirds. I saw one particularly brave little girl get very close to two swans who were bigger than her!

Coot

The dogs had a great time of course. Lots of new things to smell! When they weren’t waiting for mum to throw the ball though. Priorities.

In terms of wildlife we saw cormorants, gulls, ducks, swans, coots, moorhens, and smaller common birds like blackbirds and robins. I did see two interesting looking dove-type birds but I couldn’t get a good look before they disappeared. Having two loud, careless collie dogs bounding about like mini tornadoes and disturbing everything remotely nearby is not exactly conducive to spotting wild birds. One cute little robin was good enough to wait and pose for me a little bit though, allowing me to get a nice photo.

I particularly loved the way the sunlight caught the Mallards green plumage!

Unfortunately we didn’t bring the binoculars so I couldn’t identify more birds. My mum is also not hugely patient, which left me with not as much time as I would’ve liked to look at the birds. Ah well.

I definitely would like to return, perhaps in Spring when there would be more wildlife to see.

We arrived at about 10am, and by the time we left much of the frost had melted, so I felt very lucky that we got there in time to see it.

In other news, I’m finally getting a proper bird feeder pole for the garden so will hopefully be able to help some little guys out this winter and get some nice photos too!

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