Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Lake District, half-term week

With recent weekends booked up with stag do's and visiting family, I was looking forward to a short break in The Lakes with Debs and my family to blow out the cobwebs and hopefully do some casual birding in different surrounds.

I was both pleased and surprised at how common Wood Warblers were on the Beech and Oak covered slopes of the hills. Still using my temporary camera until Thailand when we will purchase a new model, so no photos of the birds themselves despite crippling views! What stonking birds these are. Instead, a photo of typical Wood Warbler habo will have to do:

I also picked up a lovely male Redstart on an 8 mile walk from High Dam to Bowness, always a delight to see and again not a bird that breeds widely in Norfolk (Wood Warbler not at all of course). Tree Pipit were encountered twice in cleared areas at the edge of forest, and a cacophony of alarm calls led me to a Tawny Owl in dense scrub nearby.

Around Windermere, we had Red Kite over, 2 Mandarin, 2 Common Sandpiper and Grey Wagtails. Of the usual Warblers, Garden were seemingly much more common up here than back home, their scratchy song emanating from many a Bramble. A special moment and a proper wild encounter was had when I spotted a young Roe Deer on the ground, left temporarily by its mother but not quite well hidden enough.

I had expected to pick up the breeding Flycatchers on our walk, but it took until the final day to connect with Pied and Spotted, both of which were at nest sites close to a river. The male Pied was singing constantly but was not easy to spot high up in the dense foilage of the Oak he had chosen. The Spotted was far more obliging. Now to find one on the patch again this year.

Speaking of the patch, a Cuckoo is still heard regularly from the house, and pleasingly a brood of Coal tits have fledged in the garden. Hoping for Goldcrest next. Last night, a Pipistrelle sp hunted around our outside light and a Noctule flew over the house. I have been lazy/busy and not yet had the Moth trap out in our new place, but aim to rectify this over the coming weeks. Before we left for Cumbria, I had what I think was an Elephant Hawk Moth out the back on the hedge in darkness one evening.

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