When I was a young boy, being brought up in both Littleborough and Rochdale, Hollingworth lake was a very frequented area, being dragged around in an evening by my parents to get some fresh air and build my character (3 mile around sure will build character at 7 year old). Hollingworth Lake is situated south-east of Whitworth, in Smithybridge in Littleborough. it is around 130 acre of very cold water. completed in 1800 as part of the Rochdale canal construction, now a nature reserve and tourist attraction, its an asset to the borough. Having moved further away it has been a while since my last visit.
So along with a photographic competitor (and Friend) Vinnie, we paid it a visit. As many who have visited this part of Lancashire may be aware it rains (sometimes a lot). we set off sprightly with blue sky’s and fluffy clouds, heading along Rakewood road to walk around the lake clockwise, Leaving the road we joined a path with a view of the camping and caravan site, places to play for the children and a chorus of young Great tits just leaving a nest, we came across a very new comfy hide which looks across the reserve.
Our immediate view was of two Magpies pestering some Mallards, then to the left I thought I saw something disappear under the water. Time to keep those eyes peeled . It wasn’t long until both mine and Vinnie’s cameras were working overtime, A great crested Grebe, and it popped up right in front of us. Both of us on tenterhooks watching it dive and then return to the surface (never quite sure where), in between dives we also grabbed some Tufted Duck, Geese, Magpie and Mallard photos.
This is the point the thunder and rain turned up. But we were inside, we didn’t care, there was plenty to see across the water, even if all the waterfowl had suddenly disappeared. We hung around for about an hour and a half switching between the long lens and some wider angle landscape stuff, It was an enjoyable time. we were even visited by a very wet dog who decided that the hide would be a great place to have a shake.
Eventually we figured it was proberbly time to leave, the rain seemed to have dissipated a bit , so it was time to carry on clockwise around. So off we went.
Now rain is very deceiving and my new hat seems to like collecting water so that every time I leaned forward my glasses became a spotty mess. Let me tell you I have never got around the lake quiet as fast as we did today. (We did stop to watch the Swallows diving for fly’s). Having a tripod (or shall we call it a lightning rod) strapped to your back in a thunder storm is not that fun. But we survived saved by the Beach and a pint of Guinness.I will be returning very soon (perhaps on a sunny day)