Monday, 6 February 2012

Scots Side Solway and Snowy National Park...

On Saturday 28th I decided to head over the border and cover a few well known birding sites on the Scots Solway. Decided to head to the furthest a field site first and work back from there so Rockcliffe was the first port of call. On the A710 road I got a Red Fox crossing the road which was a great start! 

I arrived at Rockcliffe and used the public car park before heading up the National Trust coastal path that took me to Castle Point and the impressive coastal cliffs. When I arrived at castle point I stopped and scanned for a good half hour in fantastic calm conditions and flat sea state. A brief view of a female peregrine flying behind some gorse continued the great start. Seeing a Peregrine makes most birding days complete for me! 2 Ravens followed and upto 50 RT Divers counted out in the bay and a single GN Diver. Large rafts of Common Scoter and Goldeneye were seen further out and a few GC Grebes and Mergansers thrown in. 

Barnacle Geese at RSPBs Mersehead reserve in D & G...

Male Yellowhammer at Mersehead....

I moved onto Mersehead RSPB reserve which I had visited once in the past with dad. Nice views of Barnies, Pintail and a single Pink-Foot. Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting in the hedgerows and plenty of Teal and Wigeon on the wetlands. Had a little walk to the shore and the exposed beach on low tide. very impressed with the whole set up, excellent.


I spent the evening session at Southerness where I managed Purple Sandpiper, 5 Porpoise including a juvenile, Turnstone, Dunlin, GC Grebe. I waited for the sunset and met Sandy there doing the same. He is an excellent local photographer and I would recommend having a look at his Flickr page. The low cloud dampened the sunset a bit but still nice colours and cloud formation. 

Southerness sunset...
Gdale with the dogs, sunny afternoon...










Up Carrock Fell with Andy Mcgreevy leading the way...
On Sunday 29th myself Greevy and Danny decided on a hill climb in the afternoon after the usual game of Sunday league football. we picked Carrock Fell in the northern lakes as it was not too far to drive. A nice bit of snow higher up. A few Ravens were seen during the walk and I was scanning hard for Snowbuntings but no joy. Danny was being a jessie and resting every 2 min as we made the climb as he was twining about having sore legs from football! He was fricking goal keeper and he hardest thing he did was pick the ball out of the net 6 times! As me and Greevy played full games on the wing! man up danny the fanny! The light dropped on the way down and chief guide greevy sent us the wrong way and we ended up having to clamber through a few farmers fields to get us back on track. 

Red Squirrel in Dodd wood...

A sunny afternoon in the lakes was in order on Wed 1st Feb. As there is no fell walking video game available to buy right now Tommy Milo my brother came along for the walk and we had a great trek up Dodd summit. We got 3 ravens and 2 Red Squirrels which added to a lovely walk. Fish and Chips afterwards from the Keswickian which I was very disappointed with, it has been good in the past but I asked for large and got a really small portion. The chips were ok but a slimy moist fish slapped on top was not very impressive. I recommend the Kingfisher chip shop just down the street, better name as well!

Snowy Skiddaw summit...

Dodd summit with impressive clear views...

dodd Summit with Tom looking south over Bass lake...

Raven in flight....love this bird!

On the way down...No sign of Peregrine today but I will keep looking...



On the 3rd I headed to Bass lake to cover all the wildlife in the superb surrounding area. Nice sunshine and snow on the higher ground would make for great photo opportunities as well. Whilst driving down I was cursing to myself as I forgot my DSLR camera to use for night shots after dark and just had my compact for landscapes and digiscoping. When I got down there I got out my bag to get the camera and take a landscape shot but after ratching for a while I realized I had left it on charge in the kitchen!! So I managed to forget both cameras!....what a pillock! 

Had a great few hours sat by Bass lake covering the lake along with Powter How wood and the surrounding  higher ground looking for Ravens and raptors. I managed female Scaup, 2-3 Otters, 6 Pintail, 3 GC Grebes, 50 plus Goldeneye, 25 Tufted Duck, 2 Ravens, 3 Little Grebes, 20 odd Wigeon, 8 Teal, 50 plus Cormoronts (need WT Eagle in to control them!) and 4 Goosander. When I got back home I listened out for Long eared Owls for a good half hour but no joy yet, they will be back! 

Thanks for looking :-)

Looking from Latrick with Keswick and Derwent water on the left...

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