Tuesday 16 December 2014

A Traverse of Owl Country

After my muddy and frosty cross country slog on Saturday, I found I wasn't done with running adventures for the week, and today headed back to the owl country beyond British Gypsum (or whatever it is called now!).

I had no idea where it led, but I was determined to follow the track within to its conclusion.

It is a bleak spot on a grey day with the sun already beginning to sink down into the dirty grey blankets of the horizon. It is good country for owls - open, scrubby with plenty of cover for rodents, with a few bushes and trees for the raptors to perch in. It reminds me of the open wasteland near my work, where I have seen barn owls hunting at dusk.

Alas, I saw no owls. There were plenty of cawing crows, and as I ran along the broken surface of the track, I flushed out a small flock of brown birds from cover, probably partridges. The path led down to a farmer's field, I had an idea it might eventually lead the to the bridleway off the Hawton Road, but as I turned right, and the track became concrete, it became clear I was heading for the Cotham Flash area.

Magpies sat on fenceposts, seagulls wheeled overhead. I wondered if a flock of whistling wigeon would take to the air at my approach. No joy. The most exotic sight I had all run was a big flock of pigeons, aimlessly wheeling above some kind of field of brassicas.

But, it's a new route found, and assuming I can avoid any folk on off road bikes, it's one I'm going to be running a lot more in future. Especially as it naturally takes me back past Rumbles Cafe.

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