9 July 2019

· Wirral ·

A pub dinner in Parkgate with my dear friend Stense. I arrived early, as usual, and parked on the front outside the pub. There was a heron fishing in the big pool on the marsh. I also spotted a mini starling murmuration: fifty or so birds rose from the marsh, flashed back and forth in the sky for a while, then descended on to a chimney stack. A couple of minutes later, a second mini-murmuration, with the birds landing on a different rooftop.

After dinner, Stense and I marvelled at the sun beginning to set over the pool. The heron had left, replaced by the silhouettes of geese and goslings drifting on the glowing water. Stupidly, I hadn’t brought my camera. I took a single snap with my phone, explaining it would be crap. I was wrong. Camera phones have come a long way.

Dee Marshes, Parkgate, sunset
Dee Marshes, Parkgate, sunset

J.M.W. Turner painted a Dee sunset from Parkgate, but, according to the Tate’s website, the watercolour’s whereabouts are currently unknown.

Parkgate’s sunsets are slightly less glorious these days, marred as they have been by hundreds of wind turbines on the horizon.

By Richard Carter

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Website · Facebook · Twitter · Newsletter · Book

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On the Moor

Carter cleverly weaves in science at every opportunity, whether it’s inspired by direct observations of birds and animals and plants […] or spinning off from a trig point onto the geometric methods of surveying through history all the way up to GPS. […] All in all, this is probably best described as a great ramble on the moor with an expert guide. […] It’s a wuthering wonder.
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