The first day of our latest adventure in Bessie finds us in Lincolnshire and camped on the gravel drive of a little certificated site near Boston. We arrived in the afternoon yesterday and, in spite of the warning from our genial campsite owner, attempted to park Bessie on the grass behind his house – the normal area for camping. We reversed up with no trouble but soon found we could not move an inch forwards. We were stuck. Luckily our host had a four by four with a chain and he managed to haul us back down to the drive. That will teach us to think we know best!
So, we are camping on his front drive, luckily able to plug into the electricity in his garage (good job our cable is a long one!) and our hose just about reaches the water pipe if we reverse up a bit. A bit weird but it’s cheap!
The area is rich in birdlife and we decided to start with a visit to Gibraltar Point, a wonderful nature reserve run by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Although it is situated on the Wash a mile or so south of Skegness, it is necessary to drive through that seaside town, memorably featuring on those wonderful 1930s John Hassall posters for the Great Northern Railway, to reach it.
It was probably a wonderful place for good family fun in those innocent times, but today it looks rather lurid and tawdry.
The road leading to the delightful Gibraltar Point takes us past sturdy middle-class villas and a magnificent golf course. There are two car parks and for £3 you can park all day in both or either of them. The first one is the starting point for three hides on the coast side set in marshy land leading to the sea wall.
The day is bright and sunny – no coats needed – and the first hide opens out onto a lovely mere edged in reeds.
There are quite a few Mallards but also these lovely Black-tailed Godwits and their little Dunlin friend, all very successfully camouflaged.
We noticed several dragonflies skimming past us and this one handily landed on a post:
We passed some cows on our way to the sea wall – this one seemed quite content to provide a comfy resting place for a magpie, as did the dreamy white cow in the featured image above!
Some steps lead up to Mill Hill from where you can see the sweep of the Wash below.
A Redshank was walking along the shore:
From another hide we found these sweet little Grey Plovers, engaging in what looked suspiciously like a energetic courtship dance!
A beautiful Little Egret landed and came close to the hide, enabling me to capture this close-up.
We drove a few hundred yards to the main car park where there is a visitor centre, complete with a shop and cafe. We decided to have a latte and a piece of cake each. The coffee was nice but the cake a little dry – probably because it was the end of the day. We visited a couple more hides, one in woodland where there were plenty of bird feeders and plenty of customers, including several fairly agressive goldfinches!
Quiet reflection in a pond beneath the feeders:
From another hide there were several Shovelers to be seen – this male looks particularly striking.
And a group of colourful Teals:
Overhead there was a fly-past of Greylags:
These Mallards look glorious in the evening sunlight:
The boats lined up along the nearby bank glowed…So, it was back through lovely Skegness and a journey of about 30 miles back to our gravel drive in Kirton End…
Pam Barnes said:
So pleased that we are on your circulation list to know that you are off on your travels again and providing us with more magnificent wildlife photographs – thank you. How long for this time? We have just returned from a cottage holiday in Blakeney – have you ever ‘done’ the North Norfolk coast? You would love ‘CleySpy’. We utilised our wonderful bus passes to get around on the superb ‘Coasthopper’ bus which does exactly what it says in the name. We can recommend an excellent pub for good food and also a place that does the freshest crab sandwiches you could ever taste! Look forward to hearing more about your trip. Baton down the hatches on Sunday night/Monday morning!!! Take care. Pam B X
Good to know you’re keeping up with us Pam! That’s a co-incidence by the way. If you look back in Bessie’s history you will see some posts from last year (left-hand menu) when we visited Blakeney, Cley and a few other North Norfolk places. In fact we’re going back to some next week when we move to another campsite. What a pity our holidays didn’t co-incide! Spill the beans on the pub then…
Pam Barnes said:
PS – when we were first married, we had the very same Skegness poster in a frame on the wall of our first house! Pam x
Wonderful photos as usual. I’m surprised you didn’t linger in Skegie longer! 😉 I look forward to hearing more about your latest adventure. xx
Thanks Sal – more to come. Trying hard to catch up… What’s happened to Sean? x
We lost broadband connection. He’s catching up now!
Sue Mann said:
Good to hear you are off on your travels again! Nice part of the world to explore, although maybe not Skeggie and Boston these days! As kids, we used to spend every summer holiday on the other side of the Wash in Heacham, so could see the Boston Stump. You might recall my family are originally from Norfolk and I still have relatives there. Enjoy, and I am sure you are watching the weather forecast with interest – and hopefully not a repeat of 16th October 1987! Batten down the hatches.
You are not alone in mentioning the weather forecast Sue! We are now in an orchard but not under the trees!
I’m finally able to access the web. Stunning photographs as usual, I particularly like the Little Egret and the Mallards in th eevening sun. There is just a special quality to the light at that time of day.
Thanks Sean – we wondered where you were! What about the cows and magpies though? Surprised no-one has mentioned them yet.