Fieldfares and Frozen River Douglas

River Douglas boatyard pontoon

After saying the weather in West Lancashire hasn’t been too bad mother nature threw the heaviest snowfall our way last weekend since I was a child. So, after struggling home on Friday night we did what any other like minded loony would do and went for a walk on the Saturday. We had such a good time tramping along the River Douglas through the snow I did it again on Sunday, this time with the ‘proper’ camera.

Instead of just going along the river I spent some time wondering through the boatyard until I noticed an odd sound coming from the river, on looking closer I was shocked to see ice flowing downstream, the noise being generated as it pilled up against the boatyards pontoons.

ice in the River Douglas

This may not seem such a big deal until you realise that the River Douglas is tidal in this area and contains mostly salt water when the tide is high (when it’s low water you can wade across it in places, at high water it is over 15 feet deep). I stood there and watched this spectacle for ages until I remembered I had the camera with me.

Dragging myself away from this highly unusual occurrence I continued my walk Northwards along the banks of the river, stopping every so often to see if I could get a half decent snap of the ducks on the river without falling through the snow into a hidden gully. Eventually I gave up on that idea as they were just to far away but climbing back onto the retaining bank I spotted a flock of birds feeding on the Hawthorn. Assuming they were Starlings I just watched them for a while until they flew overhead and I got my first proper view of a large flock of Fieldfare.

Flock of Fieldfare along River Douglas

I’ve never actually been close enough to photograph these beautiful birds and they certainly played hard to get  as whenever I got close enough to attempt a picture they flew off but eventually I managed to get a shot of a group of them on the bushes, not quite as close as I’d have liked but still, not a bad first go.

Fieldfare eating berries along the River Doulas

After seeing them I slowly made my way back along the farmers track and down Marsh Lane, a short but wonderful walk along our local river. Amazingly the temperature has since got colder and driving over the river this morning there was even more ice so I’ll definitely be going back over the Christmas break for another look

winer mist on the River Douglas


  1. vinchuchu said:

    beautiful images, I am a great trip, as beautiful as a day of fishing. thank you

    December 21, 2010
  2. Blade said:

    Stunning, I am lucky enough to have my boat on the pontoon at the boat yard and enjoy every visit and trip up the river, a brillaint place to spend time messing about on the river.

    February 21, 2013
  3. Stu said:

    Thanks for the comments Keith, we only live up the road a bit ourselves. Did your boat suffer my damage when the river froze? I know some of the smaller fibre glass hulls were damaged.


    February 21, 2013

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.