Tuesday, 29 March 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Narborough Railway Line

Maureen Simmons

Our chosen walk this week was along the disused railway line at Narborough. As we left the car park we met the gate warden who gave us information about the reserve and also told us about the five bovine custodians who'd been carrying out reserve management and recently left for pastures new. It was such a lovely morning with brilliant sunshine and we had an excellent view from the top of the embankment across the surrounding countryside. It really was magical because we were above the height of the multitude of birch and hazel trees on either side. We heard many birds including robins, great tits and pheasants as well as a green woodpecker.

Gorse bushes were in full bloom but couldn't match the brilliance of a patch of coltsfoot about 6ft x 3ft, all flowers turned towards the sun. We also saw our first butterfly of the year - a Brimstone. Before long the embankment reduced and we were walking on the same level as nearby fields where we spotted 3 hares in total. How they could run! They really are the Usain Bolts of the local animal population. The trees changed from birch and hazel to blackthorn ,mini oaks and even an apple tree bearing several mummified apple corpses from a previous season. We wondered if this had been generated from a core thrown out of a train window many years ago. At the end of the path we retraced our steps and on our return to the car park saw two buzzards circling overhead. One suddenly dived and we assumed he was in luck for an early lunch.

It was a fitting end to a brilliant walk and we can only imagine what it must be like later in the season when things for which the reserve is renowned appear.

 The Ovington Ramblers are a small group of friends who have decided in their 20th year of walking together that we will try to visit all the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in their 90th Anniversary year.

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