Monday, 31 May 2010

Dalton Crags - 31st May 2010

Had a look around Dalton Crags today for a couple of hours.

Birds: Garden Warbler (2 singing), Blackcap (1 singing) Willow Warbler (several singing)

Butterflies: Orange Tip (2), Large White, Green Veined White.
Moths: Cinnabar Moth, Speckled Yellow, plus......
Insects: Rhagium Mordax (a pair mating, the male being about 3/4" size of female).
Flora: prolifics: Bluebell, Tormentil, Herb Robert. Others: Mouse-Ear Hawkweed, Fairy Foxglove etc etc...

Please click over photo once, and then click over again for full size enlargement....

Appleby Horse Fair - Photos from previous years.

APPLEBY HORSE FAIR photos from years past (Click here to see a further 560 - including the 2010 fair, then select and click to enlarge) (Please feel free to use any of these Appleby photos if you so wish)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Grubbins Wood (New Barns, Arnside) and Whitecreek & Gait Barrows

I decided to-day to check out Grubbins Wood at Hale Barnes, Arnside. I immediately checked out Pickles Meadow at the start of the circular walk and did have some interesting species eg: Tormentil, Bluebell, Lords and Ladies, Ramsons, Garlic Mustard, Herb Robert, Ladies Mantle, Crosswort, Speedwell, Dock, Red Clover, Cowslip, Bistort, and one or two others I havnt been able to identify at present.

Birds: Green Woodpecker yaffling nearby, Jays squabbling, Several Bullfinch, Goldcrest party, Song Thrush and Blackbirds feeding off the Woodland floors.

One of the most striking features was the massive carpetting of Ramsons which covered almost one side of the western woodland banking (see photo). Also interesting was this fungi (right photo) which was cream in colour and about 6 or 7" diameter - found at the base of a fallen tree (probably Yew Tree)

After perhaps one hour I left Grubbins and had the short walk through the Caravan site to the Whitecreek Bay. Here I had Salad Burnet and another flower yet to identify ........ (see photos).

On my way back home I decided to have a brief visit to Gait Barrows to see the Ladys Slipper Orchids and to check out the Duke of Burgundys, but none seemed to be flying today, it was a little dull and windy at times, although I did have one or two Whites showing. Some of the Ladys Slippers where absolutely stunning (see photo).

Whilst at the Ladys Slipper Orchids, I was talking to a couple of interesting guys who had travelled up for the day from Lincoln, and they too where having a good time...

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Ladys Slipper and Eaves Wood to Pepperpot.

First of all went and visited the Ladys Slipper Orchid at Silverdale (see photo)...

Then carried on a little further to Eaves Wood and decided to have a walk through the woodland and up to the Pepperpot Monument (Queen Victoria Jubilee 18...)

Started off fine, but before long it was raining quite heavily, but it was no problem because this walk was more or less canopied by mature trees for 90% of the way.

Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Treecreeper, Marsh Tit (2), Bullfinch, Possible Spotted Flycatcher. Also found two separate spent "Song Thrush" egg shells.

Lords and Ladies, Herb Robert, Speedwell, Bluebell, Barren Strawberry, Primrose, Common Dog Violet, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Tormentil, Toothwort, Rock Rose...

Speckled Wood Butterfly and The Cinnabar Moth and Bumblebee.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Grasmere to Ambleside via Loughrigg Terrace 26th May 2010

We had to abandon our first choice and re-arrange our programme, because just has we were about to set off the heavens opened, which meant we had to wait for sometime for the rain to die down so we decided to head off up Loughrigg towards the Caves behind Rydal and then over to Rydal Hall, through the grounds towards Ambleside.
Whilst it was raining we got excellent shelter from under the Yew tree at St. Oswalds, this one was one of the eight planted in the Churchyard by William Wordsworth himself, and this particular yew is the one that overshadows his actual grave (see photo).
Whilst we were there a very bedraggled Jackdaw decided to perch itself on a nearby gravestone (see photo).

Other photos include: Bluebells which where on the slopes of Loughrigg Fell, both behind Grasmere and Rydal. Also a photo of one of the Rydal Caves which are high up behind Rydal Water (not natural caves, they are whats left from the ancient quarry there)....

Also had a pair of Tree Pipits, and a calling Cuckoo while we were on Loughrigg Terrace....

also: Yesterday (25th May 2010) Had a short walk through Tithe Barn Woods whilst Sandra was at Capenwray Hall Swimming Baths. Had a Garden Warbler near to far exit.

Monday, 24 May 2010

White Moss & Trowbarrow Quarry.. 24th May 2010

Another super day with sunshine and warm. Started off at White Moss and did the usual circular walk. The Toothwort is still going strong, though well past its best dates. Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers and one Blackcap heard singing, also a Treecreeper. Also: Red Campion and Ramsons and the usuals.... also: Buzzard, Grey Squirrel, 3 Speckled Wood Butterflies, Orange Tip Butterflies and lots of Whites. Large Hawker Dragonflies along the dyke...

An hour or so later and made my way to Trowbarry Quarry, and straight away a Shelduck took off from somewhere where it must have been perched on the Quarry!! also lots of feral pigeons and Jackdaws with the squaking young.. their calls at times sound rather eerie with the strange echoes made from within this old quarry.
Also had a Dingy Skipper which was feeding on the Birdsfoot Trefoil. Had lots of Common Blues, maybe up to about 20, the majority (18) were females, with two lovely blue males..

Found at two separate points Common Twayblade, which still needs to open up yet, probably about two weeks away for best.

Again quite a few Hawker dragonflies, and lots of Common blue damselflies, (see photo of female above right).
(Click over photos once, and then once again for full enlargement)

Pond skaters are skating,
Crows are cawing,
Hover flies are hovering, and,
Humming as well….

The Treecreepers trilling, whilst,
Climbing his tree.
The Rabbit is running,
The Pheasant is shrieking,
Whilst the Squirrel is bounding away….

The Raven is honking,
The Buzzard is mewing whilst,
Circling above.
Large Whites, Small Whites, Orange Tips and
Speckled Woods all flutter disorderly away….

This all went on in the ten minute slot,
At the White Moss plot to-day….
White Moss – May 2010.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Capernwray Hall Open Day - 22nd May 2010

Spent time with the family and really enjoyed the tour of Capernwray. The students had organized it really well with lots and lots of activities, especially for the young people.

We began by having a short talk on the history of the building given by Mark Thomas, who's family purchased the building in 1946 and later opened it up for Spiritual retreat etc. It was a fully packed fun day "open day"....

Tours of the old building, waterslides, tug of war, haystack rides, puppet shows, swimming in the 3/4 size baths, wall climbing in the gymnasium hall, face painting, hair platting, bouncy castles, archery, excellent food hall, bar-b-que, and lots of free games, like chucking balls at pyramid tins, and other ball throwing games, making bubbles etc etc etc.. student musicians, spreading the word of bible study, etc....

"Here below is a little poem I wrote last March about a poor deer, which I presumed had been hit with a car and had succumb to its end at the side of the small copse - just after coming through the East entrance to Capenwray Hall"


Amongst the glistening snowdrops many,
In copse to Capernwray.
There lay a sad one with life no more,
This doe had seen it's day...

For sure you must have crossed that road,
A hundred times before,
That crossing was to be your last,
And never to do no more...

Laid there like that, you sorry sight,
I wish it could have been better,
For now the Buzzard and Crows will fight,
You to, will disappear forever...

Just up the road from here, was Lords Lot,
A wood of pine and bracken.
Suprise was given to a pair of does,
They must be friends of that poor soul....

Sleep well " Deardoro"....

(BJY-Capernwray - March 2010)

Friday, 21 May 2010

Gait Barrows - Friday 21st May 2010

Had a enjoyable morning on Gait Barrows. Thought it would be good today especially for butterflies because of it being such a sunny morning and I was proved to have made a wise choice.

There were several Duke of Burgundys feeding up on the primrose and cowslip, the ones I saw where mainly males. Also it was really interesting to see a couple which had just come out of their chrysalis, perhaps 15 minutes earlier and drying out and then being released back into the wild. A very worthwhile exercise, and I do believe will involve at least 30 individuals by the end of the programmed release. They are all individuals actually hatched from eggs which have been collected in the locality. This will help to swell the numbers of the local stock which sadly has depleted in more recent times. See photo below left of fresh chrysalis just before hatching.

Also had a female Common Blue which is quite early. A Pearl Bordered Fritillary, a Dingy Skipper, several Peacock, Orange Tips and Speckled Woods, a couple of Brimstone (males) and lots of Large Whites. Also had a couple of Speckled Yellow Moths.

Another first for me was seeing three "Rose Chafer" beetles at varying points on the limestone pavement. Quite a big beetle with similarity in size to cockroach... they would come flying past with a very loud humming, perhaps louder than the normal bumblebee, and a lovely irridescent greeny colour (see photo). Just by luck one of them decided to land quite close to me (within one metre) and I managed to take a few photos. It made such a thud when it landed!! Also had a couple of damselflies (unable to identify Blackish dark colours not the azure blue type), also had really good views of the Four Spotted Chaser (see photo). Lots of Wood Ants about as usual.

Bird life included: Chiffchaff (5), Garden Warbler, Willow Warbler (7), Long Tailed Tit, Buzzard overhead, Greylag Geese down at Little Haweswater (6) included one which was almost completely white. Goldcrest - several heard (great to hear!), Heron.

Flora included: Lily Of The Valley, Primrose, Cowslip, Bluebell, Red Clover, Daisy, Lesser Trefoil, Wood Anemone, Barron Strawberry, Bugle, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Plaintain, Speedwell (two different sorts), Common Dog Violet, Stitchworts, Stonecrop and Harts Tongue Fern...

Finally got to meet the Warden: Rob Petley-Jones, and some other interesting guys, one chap whom had travelled all the way from Stafford, just to see the Duke of Burgundys, also there where guys from Burnley, and Ilkley and there where others also.. (PLEASE CLICK OVER PHOTO ONCE AND THEN CLICK OVER AGAIN TO GET THE FULL ENLARGEMENT)..

1900-2030hrs. Had a walk around Dalton Woods and Dalton Crags. It was a proper evening chorus with lots of the regular species, singing their little hearts out. Probably the prize for the loudest was by far the Song Thrush, we heard a couple of them at the start of the walk and they where still going at it on our return, over a hour later. Also heard Blackcap, Garden Warbler, and several Willow Warbler.

Found another couple of Early Purple Orchids - both individuals.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Castlehead, Keswick 19th May 2010

Our walk started from Keswick heading to The Heads, and then on passing The Hope park on the right and on the left the Theatre By The Lake and down past the nearby boat landing stages. Almost opposite the landing stage we turned left and followed the footpath through the mixed woodland of Cockshot Wood. Here there where several singing birds but only a Chiffchaff amongst the warblers. There was plenty of bluebells, Ramsons, etc.

After leaving this wood a short footpath up to the main B5289 and crossing over into Castlehead Woods, with mature trees and a moderate climb up to the Castlehead viewpoint which gave you absolutely superb views (see photos) especially over Derwentwater with Cat Bells to our South West, and today Skiddaw was shrouded in mist. We had been strongly recommended about this viewpoint and we certainly had not been dissapointed. You could also see the bottom of Bassenthwaite coming into view from your right (or Northerly side). A pair of Ravens were "honking" and heading in the Castlerigg direction...

Coming down through the woodland (Castlehead Wood), we made our way, and walked through to Ings Wood (National Trust). This is the place where we saw the frogs mating two or three months ago..

On our way back we approached the Lake edge on its shingle shoreline in Strandshag Bay. We then climbed up to the John Ruskin monument and took photos from on Friars Crag, before heading back to the bus station at Keswick.. Click over photos once, and then again for full enlargement...

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Capernwray - Woodland across from Havelock House 18th May 2010

0930hrs - 1100hrs. Ran Sandra to Capernwray Hall for her weekly swim, in the most pleasant of surroundings whilst listening to beautiful piped low volumed classical music. I left the car at Capernwray and walked up the hill, to the woodland (mainly of mature pine) which lies opposite Havelock House.

The woodland floor was in part covered in a thick carpet of bluebells -see photo (yet another fabulous - Bluebell Wood - there everywhere around these parts!!! - I love them...). Also the ferns are growing very well. Wood Sorrell is really thick on the ground towards the South West corner of the woodland.

There is a overwhelming buzzing which is there from the moment you enter this woodland, in fact I had the same yesterday whilst at Warton. Its quite pleasant and I think its the sounds of swarms of hoverflies or something like them. And above this sound, I can hear in the distance, a Garden Warbler and also a Willow Warbler.

But for today I am going to call this wood, "The Forever Calling Blackbird Wood", because thats exactly how it was. In that throughout my walk on that well trodden footpath which encircled these woods, I could hear the pleasant call of the Blackbird.

I would not be suprised to learn that Redpolls could breeding here, in these pines woods, or if not here, they will be just up the road in Lords Lot. I heard them and have seen them again today, and have done on many occasions recently....

1300hrs - 1500hrs. Walked along the road by the side of Green Dragon Farm on Tarn Lane, up towards the small wood at Cinderbarrow closeby the Model Railway, then down the lane which leads over Hilderstone Moss, past Hilderstone Farm and eventually joining on at Moss Lane, and then going under the railway, and the aqueduct which carries the canal, into School Lane, and back into Burton.

Whilst going along Hilderstone, we came upon a sign at the side of the Lane indicating that closeby was a ancient Quaker Burial Site (see photo)...

During the walk I had three Garden Warblers singing, one Blackcap singing, one Whitethroat singing, plus several Willow Warblers. Two Ravens past overhead, and three Buzzards where soaring above us, occasionally being mobbed by nearby Rooks seemed to belong to a nearby rookery. I would have thought the Buzzards where of Leighton stock...


Monday, 17 May 2010

WARTON CRAG - A Butterfly day...17th May 2010...

It was a very nice day with lots of activity. I started off from the small quarry car park on the right hand side, just after going up the side of the George Washington Pub. Here I climbed up the rough area and eventually onto the main terraces which run high up along the back of the large quarry below. Going further down to get good views of Jenny Browns point, then retracking back and up onto the higher level before taking a sort of circular walk, eventually bringing me down amongst mature woodland and back....

Straight away it was very pleasing to see so many Early Purple Orchids, probably thousands if the count was known. But beside these there where all the regular stuff for the time of year eg: Lords & Ladies, Bugle, etc; but also a very impressive show of young fresh Birdsfoot Trefoil lining and edging the main sloping terraces. In a small floret of primula, I guess this one thought it should have been a "Birds Eye".

Also on these early slopes I saw two Pearl Bordered Fritallaries in superb condition (see photo) and besides these I also had throughout my walk other butterflies eg: Green Hairstreak (perhaps about four pairs) all chasing after one another as though they where fighting or mating, but now and again they would settle and feed on the bramble which lies to the back of the footpath which is fenced off from the large quarry down below. At this same point I had about ten Small Heaths, also there where Common Blues, Speckled Woods, Small Whites, Orange Tips- males.

There seems to be far more Garden Warblers, than Blackcaps, with maybe at least six singing birds, yet only a couple of singing Blackcaps. Also about three Chiffchaffs and numerous Willow Warblers, and one Lesser Whitethroat....

The views from up here are excellent or should I say superb, I was suprised to see that they are already cutting their fields for early silage (see photo)....

Added: from 2000hrs - 2200hrs. Me and Sandra had walk around Leighton Moss causeway to the Public Hide and then on the back to the Lower Hide. At the Lower Hide we had just missed seeing a Otter which was seen to swim in front of the hide and go to the rear of the mere... As usual the place was swarming with lots of flies, and could be unpleasant walking through them at times. There was again no roding Woodcock to be seen or heard which was a little dissapointing. We heard about 15 different Sedge Warblers singing, throughout our walk which was very nice. Alson we saw, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Geese, Mute Swans, Coots, Moorhens, Pochard, Shoveler (4). Lots of Black Headed Gulls sitting tight on nest on small islets in front of Public Hide.