Friday, 30 October 2009

A Lakeland Interlude

This half term we decided that rather than going on a full-blown holiday we would spend a few days up in the Lake District visiting my wife's sister and her family. It was meant to be a chance for the family to explore the area instead of being dragged to the osprey viewpoint every time we are in the area so I didn't even bring my scope with me though of course bins are always de rigeur. The only birding of interest was when one day we went for a visit to St. Bees beach and a walk along the cliffs to a cove to the north of there. I was thinking that it would be an opportunity to put my improving gull skills into practice but it turned out that we saw only a few herring gulls. However there were a few rock pipits and a grey wagtail on the beach area. Up on the cliffs there was a raven calling and flying back and forth. Good numbers of skylarks were flying around in the fields next to the cliff path and a ring-tail hen harrier hunting over the moorland was the highlight. Down on the shingle beach there were more herring gulls loafing around, another pair of rock pipits, quite a few oystercatchers and a single curlew. A peregrine falcon flew over as well, always an impressive sight. On the way back close views of a stonechat were seen. All in all some nice birds to be seen en passant.

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