Saturday, 13 February 2010
Cant wait till Spring....
A quiet couple of weeks on the widlife front with only three proper outing possible just with the time of year and the poor weather. On the first wednesday of the month I had a successful day with a good new friend called Cain that I started following on funnily enough blogger.com! We met at 10am in Castle Carrock and headed upto Geltsdale from there. We got going at around 10:30 with lovely blue sky on the go so we were hoping to see a good number of birds. We headed up the the cairns at the summit of coal fell to start with as visibility was excellent so we were in for some good views when up there.
We got a few Red Grouse on the way up and a Kestrel but no Short Eared Owl that can be seen hunting on the higher ground.
After admiring the views we moved headed in the direction of Tindale to check out the tarn and the surrounding area.
On the road up towards Foresthead we had 12 plus Bullfinch which was a good sight and as we came into Foresthead we had a good number of Chaffinch and just as Cain asked about Brambling one apeared right in view like magic! We tried it with Golden eagle and the Dodo but it was not happening...just the one wish that day!
When we made it to Tindale Tarn there was no sign of the milf but we got good stuff sitting on the water with the pair of Smew still present and Golden Eye, Tufted Duck and a Black swan on view. it was very cold sitting at the hide so we swiftly moved on to take a different route back towards the real Geltsdale!
I told Cain about Osprey visiting Tindale Tarn in the summer season and that there has been a platform but in place next to the tarn to help encourage the birds to move in. Wouldnt it be simply magic if you got Osprey nesting on the area! thats what dreams are made of!
We found a quarry with owl pelletts just near Foresthead which was a good find. From the small crevis the owl was sitting in we deceided it could of been Barn Owl.
When we got back onto Coal fell we got more Grouse moving around and by the time we made it down to the Birch woodland where we got around 7 Long-Tailed tit and 3-4 Goldcrest in amoungst them.
We made it back to Jockey Shield for lunch then headed back out to make the most of the lovely afternoon. Target bird was Long Eared Owl on a location higher up Geltsdale next to the moorland. I'd been up here a couple of weeks previous and got a superb couple of hours wildlife watching with loads on show! it was magic! you wouldnt of seen this much if you had gone to the zoo. I knew this area was a hotspot and where a lot of different birds came in or passed through to roost. We headed up there for about 3 oclock and after walking a good distance in the morning we thought we would sit and play the waiting game in the afternoon and let the wildlife come to us! Once we were in position perched on the stone wall the first action we got was 3-4 Buzzards circling overhead and a Kestrel hovering patiantly over the moorland. We also got a Sparrowhawk flying past us at pace and two Roe Deer feeding just down from us. Once the light dropped another level we moved on in search for the LEO and as we approached the edge of the connifer woodland I turned my head and noticed a face watching Cain and I from the corner of the woods and as soon as we turned to look it moved further in the plantation. Still a great view of a rare bird! it came out again to the same position as the light dropped again and we admired it for a good 5 minutes. 3 Woodcock and 4 Snipe flew overhead as we were admiring the Owl which added to the excitement.
A great success of a day thanks very much to my new good friend Cain for the great company.
Geltsdale Moorland sunset (click on Image for a large Scale View)
Superb Cloud Colour...
Geltsdale valley with sun on it
A University of Cumbria trip out was on the cards for the first sunday of Feb and we had good crowd attendance of 4 making the journey down to Keswick. I planned the route in advance so we wouldnt get lost so Catbells it was then! The well renowned family walk that runs up the west side of Derwent water.
There is one of my greatest companions Andy Mcgreevy wearing his usual frown and freshly tanned skin! the futures bright the futures orange! we made it onto the route of catbells after an unplanned delay as my built in satnav was broken and we took a detor. My built in Satnav has been broken for bout 22 years so am gonna have to get it fixed sometime.
Not Much on the wildlife front up on Catbells Just a couple of Raven and Carrion Crow hanging about the sandwitch munching view point looking for a few spare crusts to feed on. when we got on lower ground we had a little bit moving on Derwent water with Canada Goose, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck and Coot.
A well positioned picture of Derwent water from Hawesend
Some scenic photos on a sunny day in Glorious Geltsdale....http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/cumbria/hi/front_page/newsid_8508000/8508535.stm
Last of the snow
Scots pine on the peatlands
European Larch on the peatlands