Saturday, 29 May 2010

Lake District and New Hythe

Lake District and New Hythe all in one post! You saw it here first folks!

On the way back from the Isle of Mull we stopped at the Lake District in Cumbria for a few days. This is another of our favourite destinations and we have been walking the fells here for many years. The picture below is of Slaters Bridge in the tiny hamlet of Little Langdale. The bridge was built somewhere between the middle of the 17th & 18th centurys and was originally intended to carry packhorses over the river Brathay, thereby connecting Little Langdale and Elterwater.


The wildlife in the Lake District is not on the scale to be found in Mull but what it may lack here is more than made up for in sheer natural beauty and grandeur. I am looking forward to two weeks walking around the lakes and up and down the fells here in August.

The picture below is a Red Breasted Merganser which was patrolling the shallow margins of Derwent Water and diving for the huge numbers of fry to be found in the warmer water there.


Further on during our walk from Derwent Water to Watendlath Tarn we spotted this Buzzard (below) flying into the trees just off the path and was surprised when it allowed us fairly close views before eventually deciding enough was enough and buzzing off.


Yesterday I found myself back at New Hythe lakes in the hope of adding to my year list there which has pretty much ground to a halt of late. I didn't find anything new but it was nice to be back anyway. The lakes themselves were pretty much deserted just the odd Coot and a few Great Crested Grebes with their stripey headed young in tow staying just far enough away to deny me a picture...........this time! I noticed the Swan was off the nest at Brooklands, presumably they have Cygnets now but I couldn't see them.

I stopped along the Sunken Marsh footpath next to the river and noticed a large bird of prey approaching from the East and heading straight towards me. I was pretty sure it was a Buzzard and hoped it would fly along the river nice and slowly, straight into my waiting lens. And i'm sure it would have done if a couple of Carrion Crows hadn't decided to run it out of town leaving me with just a long distance shot as compensation. I had a feeling this might be an immature bird, any idea anyone?


The young Herons have fledged now from the Heronry and there was a group of them on the mud banks exposed by the low tide and a Little Egret was there also, haven't seen one here for some time before now. The picture's a bit poor because I had to creep up to it behind some reeds, a couple of which insisted on being in the picture too!



The dragonfly below was one of a few seen but the only one who stayed still long enough to snap and then only head on. I think it's a Black Tailed Skimmer, either female or immature male..............?

Across the site there were plenty of singing Blackcaps, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs and the odd burst of Nightingale but all much more difficult to see now due to the leaf growth which seems to have increased tremendously in the short time i've been away.

The Slow Worm below was one of five seen all under one piece of refugia on the East Scrub, it was a good sized specimen and looked in really good condition.


Finally, since getting back I've been getting visits in the garden from a lovely Grey Wagtail, unfortunately I haven't been able to get a picture yet because a female Blackbird has taken a deep dislike to it and sees it off before I can get the camera out!


Ken Browne. said...

Hi Phil.
Nice to see you back on your own patch. The Lake District looks like another one of those places with beautiful scenery. It reminds me of Wales.
Nice to get a Grey Wag on your garden list.
Have a good weekend you two.

Warren Baker said...

Welcome back Phil! Not the time of year to be picking up new year ticks, that will have to wait till autumn. Mind you June does have a habit of throwing in some real rarities sometimes :-)

PS too early for Buzzard young.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Spot on with your Black Tailed Skimmer ID .
Like the Broad Bodied Chasers , all the immatures look the same .
Keep an eye on the area of Hawthorn between the scrub and the diver's bridge . Had Dingy and Grizzled Skipper there while you were away .

ShySongbird said...

Great post and photos again, Phil. I've never been to the Lake District but would definitely like to some time although I was always rather put off by the number of people who said it always rains there!

The Lake District Buzzard looked very impressive.

I have never seen an Egret of any type :(