Friday, 12 June 2009

Great Langdale (01/06/09)

Stayed the night in a camp site up in Great Langdyke cos it was offered to me for zero pounds and zero pence and when i got there the first thing i noticed was that it stank of human poo which was hardly a pleasant start. Took ages to put my tent up and when i did get it up it was covered in mould which didnt look good but was just happy i got it up in the end. Also dont want to sound like a winge but the camp site was riddled with midgees cos it was a damp evening no wind and the camp site was surrounded by gorse and dense vegitation. I set out for a walk to get away from the smell and spotted a bird half way up the hill side which i could not identify with my own knowlodge as I have got a lot to learn about the smaller bird types been the sparrows, buntings, finches, thrushes, chats all those types. I got out my trusty collins book and the first thing i noticed was its sandy breast and blue / grey back so I scanned a few pages to find that it was a Wheatear.

A few Ravens about but not much else to see as i followed a track up a mountains edge to see where it would take me and over the brow i could see a small tarn in the distance next to a farm completly in the middle of no mans land. I came across a collection of ponds next to the path so started checking it out to find half a douzen smooth newts and stayed a while to look out for palamte newts which are slightly larger and have slightly webbed feet and a flat pannel tail but had no joy.

I got up to the tarn but there was nothing insight no wildlife at all so i hanged around for five minutes then it was getting dark so i made my way back to the camp site and on the way back noticed a monkey puzzle tree all on its own on the fell side so i got a half decent shot of it using a smart effect on my phone as you can make out from the snap shot below.

I have just realised that there was no point me putting this post on the blog because i dont see any wildlife on it and just moan a bout a few things but it took me a bit to type up infact four hours work while i was at the sport centre so i mihgt aswell post it anyway!

Monday, 8 June 2009

Northumberland Borders (31/05/09)

Me and John Milo were planning to go and look for Hen Harriers up Geltsdale valley this weekend but as there was talk of them not setteling down and not been sighted for a week or so, so John decided that we went to check out a Peregerine Falcons nesting site in Northumberland. Sunday morning we headed out fair early for a sunday at about 10am because I wanted to get back for the Andy Murray Match in the French Open.
Dad had been speaking to a fella that week and he said that the 3 chicks on the nest would be ready to fledge this weekend so we were hpoing we would catch the special moment for our selves.
On the way over Dad was pointing out all the different bird locations and nesting sites he has visited over the years and all the changes to the area and landscape. The Falcon nesting site that we were heading to I dont want to give to much away in terms of location as Dad was telling me that they have used the nesting site since 1974 (The Year Leeds Won the League!) and the eggs get stolen some years as well as pillocks disturbing the birds so I dont want to give off to many details in this blog as we all know it gets read by a huge online global audience (Hi Gary).
When we got to the spot we parked down this secret lonning as dad seems to know every little secret place in all the remote places in his terrotory. We headed up the fell side and we came to a pool in the river that dad referred to as the wash pool becaue all the miners came down for the quarrie and washed themselves in it and had a bit swim. We got to the track at the top and came across 2 Curlew chicks right infont of us scurrying along and before I could get my phone camera out they went into the bracken on the side. Also Curlews alarming above upto three of them and they are quite a common bird in places i have visited in the uplands and moorlands.
When we arrived at the nesting site the nest was clear to us as the whitewash (bird poo) on the crag face was clearly visable, and soon afterwards the male perregrine which is smaller than the female was up alarming at us while circling above. We got the scope locked on the nest and the first thing we noticed was that there was four chicks not three and also the chicks had no brown juvenille feathers coming through and still had its white plumage which meant they were still another two wekks away from fledging the nest so that fella was talking nonsense! We took some digiscope shots of the nest (Photo above) and within 5 minutes were on our way as the male was alarming virotiouslly (how the flaming hell do you spell verotioslly!)
On our travels back home we seen two kestrels, A blackCap, Lapwing and a Buzzard which i never ever get bord of seeing. I got back in time to see Super Andy Murray win in straight sets to round off a good news day!

Sightings Record
  • 6 Peregrine Falcon
  • 2 Kestrel
  • Buzzard
  • Blackcap
  • Lapwing
  • 5 Curlew
  • Jenny Wren

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Grasmere (Rydal Water) Wed 27th May

Stopped off at the first remote spot I could find when I was down working at the National trust Regional offices and came a cross a splendid peace of water called Rydal Water with a nice veriaty of surrounding woodland, Fellside and Craggs and cliff faces. I parked up in the car park in the woodland roadside and took the risk of not paying for my parking as I think the vultures should of gone home for the day, anyway after goiong back to the car twice as I left my tree book then my old sneakers I headed out following the public routes to see if where they would take me.
I came across a woodland river which leads into Rydal water and got some great views of a grey Heron and got a couple of decent snap shots which you will see below. I followed it down the river as it kept making its way down stream slowely before taking off for good.
Making my way through the forrest I came across a lot of grey squirrels which i still dont mind but obviouslly because of the situation I prefer the reds all day long. Alos half a douzen Roe deer along the public route through the woodland and as you would know they are very timid and soon get a shift on.
Did one tree Id stop to identify a Rowan and think in future i will be able to distinguish it without the use of my super pocket book!
Next up a personal highlight of mine! as you step out of the woodland and into the open there is a large cliff face clearly in view and I looked up to see a raptor of some sort circling straight up, after analysing its features for a while identifying the pointed wing tips, size and flight pattern i got excited when coming to the conclusion that it was a peregrine falcon! I got my magic bird book out just to clarify the sighting and what confimed it was the chettering kek kek kek kek call been made which meant peregrine! Success! After admiring the raptor for bout 10 minutes i made tracks to add to that treat of a sighting and heard two cuckoos calling at each other but i was unable to spot them in the plantaion next to the lake.

Nice View looking out to Rydal Water with the sun shinning on a Splendid oak in the field infront

Action Shot of the heron taking off! shame i only had my phone camera and not my Nikon P90 which must be getting delivered from Uzbekistan by a guy on a camel!

Grey Heron Just Chiling

A good look out point pic does not do it justice at all! That old ChestNut!

Making my way round the lake I spyed two great spotted woodpeckers going past me with their distinctive undulating flight.
A duck came up close to the waters edge with an unfamillier colour pattern and long thin beak, I would of got a pic of it put as you have seen my camera is crud put scanning through my book I came to the conclusion that it was a pair of shoveler ducks as they are similar to a female mallard in the summer season and it was the only one of its kind in the duck with the obvious length of beak.
On my way back round to the car i watched a dipper collecting food for its young hungry bobbing chick which was good to see as i admired the happenings for a good five minutes. Walking road side back to the car I called into Badger Bar hoping to watch barca stuff manure in the european cup final but there was no tv in the pub and just a few bodgers propping up the bar as it was a bit of a shit tip i moved on back to the car. and headed up to my heap of a youth hostel to share a room wid some pompus toffanators! over and out

Sightings Record (27/05/09)

  • Peregrine Falcon!
  • 2 Great spotted woodpecker
  • 2 Cuckoo
  • 2 Dipper
  • 6 Roe Deer
  • 2 Shoveler Duck
  • 8 Grey Squirrel
  • Grey Heron
  • 3 Oyster Catcher
  • 10+ Greylag Geese
  • 20+ Canada Geese