Sunday, 21 June 2009

Bassenthwaite Ospreys etc

View From Osprey Viewing
View From Osprey Viewing


Fox-and Cubs

Ladybird on Thistle

20th June. It was a trip to Bassenthwaite, Cumbria with the group today. Having family who live in western Cumbria I have visited the area since a babe in arms and retain many memories of holidays in the rain sodden fells. Today wasn’t going to let me down, so yes it rained, but thankfully only in short bursts. The group was there of course to see the Ospreys and I must say the top viewing point does provide excellent views of these birds and the nest, as well as the surrounding fells. Most members were able to watch the male Osprey return to the nest with a fish and watch the chicks being fed by the female bird as the male perched sentinel like on top of the nearby tree. Then the clouds burst overhead! The Lake District can look good under dark cloud and mist and it did today.

At the lower viewing point we had had excellent views of Jay, Siskin, tits and Red Squirrel. Common Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel were also seen and one or two of us heard the screeching of Tawny Owl from within the woods. Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were about. There was a large flock of Greylag Geese on the lake below us.

I wasn’t expecting a large bird list today and so it proved, and the later visit to the Whinlatter Forest Visitor Centre brought very little in the way of birding interest although did provide good sightings of Siskin at the feeding station. The name of the cafĂ©, i.e. Siskin, gives a clue as to what will be seen! We did have a good forest walk, but the only birds I remember seeing and hearing were Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Wren and Chaffinch. I did find a few Common Spotted Orchids Dactylorhiza fuchsii and a large patch of vividly coloured Fox-and-Cubs Pilosella aurantiaca.

Everyone except me missed the Black Rabbit on the journey, but everyone seemed to have a good day. I think the Ospreys had guaranteed that everyone would be happy.
21st June I have spent the afternoon on the Waggonway. There are still numbers of Painted Lady Butterflies about, although some are very faded now. Other butterflies seen were Small and Large White, Small Tortoiseshell and my first fleeting sighting of Meadow Brown this year. The usual birds were about and I had great views of the Grey Partridges in the open fields. These were really closeby, but seemed to busy keeping an eye on the Magpies to take to much notice of me! I watched for sometime what I initially thought were a pair of Lesser Whitethroat deep in the hedge, but found that they were in fact simply Whitethroat. I managed to photograph a Ladybird on Marsh Thistle Cirsium palustre. In stark contrast to the previous day, the sun was out!

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