Sunday, 27 September 2009

We all love Rain!...Not so much (August)

The August month was a good one in terms of sightings and wildlife on show considering the wet weather for pritty much the whole 4 weeks. Im going to start with the highlight of the month even though the medioka picture doesent reflect that at all! Gary and I decided to head down the the glorious Haweswater to go after a Golden Eagle! and I dont think I have ever montioned this before, England's last Eagle! When we got to Haweswater car park it was pishing down quite heavy so we were couped up in the car waiting for the shower to pass through for about 45 minutes until it started to brighten. When the weather cleard we were good to go and headed out to the Eagle viewing point which was a 20 minute walk from the car. The weather was still a bit dodgy but we soldiered on in determintaion of seeing this glorious bird. When we were approaching the viewing point Gary shouted Ewan!!! in complete shock as the Eagle was moving down the valley getting closer to us chasing off a raven from its patch so the giant bird must be very territorial of its area at Haweswater. We admired it for 10 -15 minutes as it worked its way down the valley and perched on a small tree where i got the mediocre picture of it (below). We didn't stay there long as the weather was fuddy and we werent going to get better views than we did just before so we left while spirits were sky high and the day was a success!

John Milo and I went for a day out to South Cumbria in mid August to see a few Nature reserves down there. The first port of call was Foulshaw Moss nature Reserve which is owned and ran by the Wildlife Trust and it is a really good set up and variation in landforms with a huge amount of reed beds and woodlands as well as pond habitats. we had a number of highlights on our visit with the first been a Peregrine chasing a duck right next to the reserve. We seen a couple more peregrines patrolling the skies as we got to the viewing point on the reserve and we also got a distant view of a Goshawk which was cracking also. We were hoping for Marsh Harrier but it wasent to be on this reserve so we made our way back to the car going round all the man made paths that manoeuvred around the ponds. We came across a good number of Common Lizards(Pictured Below) that were basking on the wooden paths and also got good views of Common Darter Dragonflies and Blue Damselflies.
Our next stop was Leighton Moss on the Cumbria / Lancashire borders and it is a huge Marsh land area owned by the RSPB. We visited a couple of the mansion sized bird hides but been the holiday season there was familys and little sproglets making a racket so it wasent the best. I'd never seen so many bird watchers in one single place an they all looked quite similar at middle age with a sleeveless waistcoat and a healthy beard! It was like looking into the future of what im going to look like but i have got a hell of a lot of work to do with my beard as all i can go grow is a couple of curly ubes on my chin but I have got time on my side so im going to keep the dream alive! We were hoping for Marsh Harrier at Leighton Moss as there was 5 nesting pairs there this year but some already could of moved on as it was late August. We did get a glinpse of a Marsh Harrier flushing some Ducks in the distance but thyats all we would get so that was that.

It was time in early August to ring the two Barn Owl chicks that had been reared in the Barn 100 yards from Jockey Shield. John and his assistent Rob did the job clinging the ladder and getting shat on in the progress but its part and parcel of the bird ringing job! I managed to get a couple of half decent pictures of one of the yougsters and they have the ugly ducklin sindrome where they start off ugly as sin and turn into beautiful stunning birds!

Went into my neighbours garden when he was at work to take pictures of what was present on his bird table including Nuthatch and Goldfinch. I also got a treat when a young Red Squirrel danced straight past me and stopped 5 feet from me to get some nice close shots of it where I didnt even have to zoom! I had just been moaning the other day that I had not seen a Red Squirrel all calender year then one runs right by me a couple of days later, its a funny old world!
Got a 1st snap lucky of a Great Spotted woodpecker knocking on a silver Birch in the garden as well, I was quite happy with this picture as all my others of Woodys involve them tapping on plyons which ruins the whole image.

My next blog for September includes a Trip to the Shetland Isles in hope of Minke Whles, Dolphin and Seals as well as a venture out at dusk in search for Otters. I have got more Buzzard encounters in Geltsdale and a few great ocean images from St Bees Head as well as the Wildlife that we encountered there. A trip up to Aberdeen to see there Red Kite Collection as well as Osprey on the Forth Estury.
Wildlife Sightings for the August Month : -
  • Golden eagle
  • 2 Common White Sided Dolphin (Gary seen)
  • 4 Red Squirrels
  • Marsh Harrier
  • 9 Peregreine
  • 10+ Common Lizard
  • Goshawk
  • 4 Common Porpoise
  • Short Eared Owl
  • Long Eared Owl