Thursday, 18 March 2010

Derwentwater yesterday

After passing the pleasure cruise boats and perhaps some 100 plus Mallard, Greylags Canada's and other sorts, we headed down to a magnificient spot called Friars Crag, (see photo left), on the way passing the memorial stone to John Ruskin (see photo right, click over photo to enlarge). The inscription on the stone says: "The First thing which I remember as an event in life was being taken by my nurse to the brow of Friar's Crag on Derwentwater".

On into the lovely bay of Strandshag which had fine examples of mature oaks, with their trunks covered on their North West Side with familiar local green lichens, the coverage was so complete that it made them look "green" trees on your approach, not unlike the rock colour around here. Those trees offered even more to the interested, inquisitive eye. Most of the trees were showing off their phenomenal complex root structures which criss-crossed in and out fashioning their beauty in pure arterial maze. It made you wonder what anchorage these trees still bore.

After leaving the bay you entered into "Great Wood", and on the right hand side it was a sort of swamped out habitat. On the left there were two large trees with their hefty root system which had become past victims of a storm and had fallen over almost side by side, and water and weed had now established itself within that very area which once occupied those roots. Making a natural pondlike area.

At this point we were to witness nature again at its very best.... it soon become obvious that this spot was a prime breeding area to the local frogs, we saw scores of them all large mature frogs with much variety in their colour markings, there could have been up to one hundred maybe more, some intermingled in the surface weed, some had climbed their partners in mating stance, heads where constantly popping up all over the place, and they all seemed to be calling at once, making it a very special communial choir.. Many had already spawned, this was obvious by the amounts of spawn you could see.

CLICK HERE if you want to watch a small video clip of the Frogs Breeding Pond...

Friday, 12 March 2010

Great Grey Shrike back at Hutton Roof

The Great Grey Shrike has been back on territory around the Trig Point/Ploverlands area since Wednesday.

I went up today and I was not dissapointed, I managed to get some good views as it moved around the Ploverlands area just South/South East of the Trig Point.

Also coming down I had a pair of Willow Tit at the clearing just before ascending the Hutton Crags.. Also Meadow Pipit and Chaffinch where going over..


8th April 2010: I have checked out on most days since (Fri March 10th 2010) and it was still there until about the 27th March 2010 and its not been recorded since.


On Hutton Roof I search for thee,
Up here you are elusive and free.
Sometimes you leave that hawthorn perch,
For beetle, fly or insect search...

It is so grand to sit and watch,
You stop mid air and flutter,
Whilst prey goes past, for you to catch,
No sound of Joy you utter...

Each time I try to get close to you,
Before long your up and away,
You watch over me, like I over you,
Fair distance is kept at bay...

Will you be here tomorrow, my friend,
Or will you have flown the Roof,
Whichever way, I'll wish you well,
Until the next time, Farewell, Farewell.
Bryan Yorke - 2010