Monday, 5 December 2011

White Gdale and National Park photography...

The temperature has dropped now and along with some strong westerly's it has being savage in the last few days. A covering of snow on Gdale was a nice change to the landscapes. Strong winds with reported force 12 in the country made for a trip to the Solway to see if anything turned up. Also the usual trips to our national park to see whats happening down that way.

High up the Old water...

The Gairs viewpoint looking west...

I woke up to snow early on in the month and thought it would be a great opportunity to explore Gdale and look for mammal tracks as well as see weather there is any interesting bird behavior regarding the conditions.
I started off with 2 Black Grouse cocks going up the lane and also a pair of Stonechats at the top. I made my way around Simmerson ridge and round the Gairs and had good numbers of congregating Red Grouse on my way.

You can see the Solway in high tide in the back drop...

As I reached the old water I headed further up the valley and flushed a Woodcock and got a 12 strong flock of Bullfinch with the males colours standing out so well in the white back drop. More Stonchats to follow with a total of 7 recorded. As the light dropped I was hoping to hear an Eagle owl call but it wasn't to be so I headed down to the steep crag on the new water to see if anything was heading into roost. On the way over there was a Bunting feeding on the track and at first I thought it was a Lapland Bunting but after closer study and my trusty iphone app I found it to be a 1st winter female Reed Bunting. I got a distant peregrine and 2 Buzzards flew over flushing 15 Black Grouse cocks right next to me. As the light faded away I picked up a bird flying low over the heather and it was a Short Eared Owl! what a finish to a great day.

looking up Gdale valley...

Very strong gales on Thursday 8th so it was a trip to Bowness with my dad to see what turned up. We arrived at the 'bus shelter' at a retreating high tide and things started off fairly quietly but it picked up as we got a Little Gull (crap video below), 2nd year Gannet, Kittiwakes and 8 juvenile Eiders. It was fricking freezing so we moved on to Campfield Marsh where we got 6 Pintail and 20 plus Shoveler.

Keswick, Derwent water, Catbells and Snowy tops beyond...


View from Dodd summit...

A trip to our National Park on Dec 12th. I headed down to Dodd wood, east of Bassenthwaite lake. I got 3 Red Squirrels at the feeders and a female Sparrowhawk flashing in and unsuccessfully snatching a Coal tit from the feeders. I moved onto the higher ground as I wanted to focus more on the landscapes today as the snowy tops to the peaks were very impressive. High up there were the usual Ravens showing well and the views were as stunning as ever...

xmas chaos down in Keswick, much better up here!

I stayed high up for the preferred night time photography. Night time action is what its all about, listening out for wildlife and also the different photos you can capture. I am going to join the owls and turn nocturnal.

Rainbow at full time for Gary Speed...

A visit to Elland Road on Sat 3rd to pay our respects to Gary Speed and the team put on a great tribute with a 2-0 win against Millwall. A rainbow appeared at full time for Speedo. RIP

Speedo tributes...

We had a Red Kite on the A1 as well!...always a pleasure :-)

video
Spot the bird?? Little Gull, Its not the worst video in the world...buts its in the top one! are u watching Gordon Buchanan?

video
Raven in flight over Bass lake, looking from Dodd summit...

John acting normal as usual...Barry Robsons Letter in the Cumberland News a few weeks back regarding value eagles could have in Cumbria...

To finish with here is a plug for Craig Shaws excellent Cumbria birding blog...apart from being a Derby county fan he is a legend and his photos and reports are top draw....

Thanks for looking :-)

6 comments:

  1. For some reason your posts always show up as 'a week ago' on my list Ewan. Anyway another good one with some v good images.

    Good to see that the rainbow came out for Speedo. Great footballer and great gent. Cheers.

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  2. Ah right I was not aware of that thanks for letting me know! so thats why no one looks at my blog haha, cheers :-)

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