This week we went up on the moors north of Rochdale between the villages of Syke and Whitworth and were stunned to see a Corncrake. Ill equipped. we didn't manage a decent photograph so we have been returning to hopefully see it again.
It would probably be migrating from Central Europe and stopped off on the way to the Hebrides or Northern ireland where it still hangs on and farmers receive subsidies to leave hay making until the end of August.
Corncrakes were familiar in our youth, their distinctive cry, said to resemble the flicking of a comb, and reflected in the Latin name Crex crex. They still survive in large numbers in Poland where the hay meadows are cut by hand with scythes and their striking cry there is quite common.
Today we stopped near the Manstone which is a huge Millstone Grit Boulder, the subject of much historical fantasy and folklore. It marks the boundary of the old Hundreds of Spodden and Hondresfield which is continued in 19th Century boundary stones with elegantly carved 'S' and 'H' on opposing faces which continue up to the top of the flat topped Brown Wardle.
Both landscapes are taken from locations probably 1 1/2 miles from Rochdale Town Hall.