Thursday, 29 May 2014

An Away Day

Most of my photography takes place in Lancashire and particularly this year in Bowland.So this week I decided on a change of venue and I traveled up to the Lake District to visit Hay Bridge Nature Reserve.Hay Bridge is situated in the heart of the Rusland Valley between Windermere and Coniston.I had visited previously but had not returned since I fell into a bog there a few years ago.This had been a bad experience and I was lucky to return unscathed but I did manage to write off a camera which never recovered from its soaking in mud and water.Thankfully it was insured and was replaced with a similar model.

So it was this week that I returned on a pleasant day which remained dry and warm during my stay. On arrival I chatted to Keith the warden to catch up on developments at Hay Bridge.I asked him where I could possibly see grass snakes which I knew where present on the reserve. He took me to show me where they lived in a sort of compost heap close to his house.He lifted up a tarpaulin covering the vegetation and there was my first grass snake. I was thrilled and took as many images as I could before he covered it up again. Also hiding there were a couple of slow worms,a legless lizard which I hadn't seen for many years.

This was a great start to my time at Hay Bridge and the rest of the afternoon was spent taking in the wonderful views and watching red and roe deer from the beautifully situated Coppice Wood  and Byron's Hides.All to soon it was time to head back from this remote and very special place but I will certainly return very soon for more wildlife encounters.

On the way back I visited Humphrey Head a limestone outcrop near Grange-over-Sands .This a well known spot to see peregrine falcons which have nested on the cliffs there for a number of years.I understand the falcons haven't nested this year but I managed to find one bird on the rocky headland and managed to grab some images in the lovely evening light.Again another place I will return to at a future date.So all in all I had enjoyed a wonderful day out away from my familiar haunts back home.Some images from the day are shown above .The grass snake,slow worm,red and roe deer and some of the wonderful scenery of the Rusland Valley and the peregrine at Humphrey Head. Thanks for looking in and I will be back soon with more of my travels.


  1. I should visit these reserves but they aren't dog friendly. Great shots and it is four years since I saw a Grass Snake. Slow worms are more common in the drystone walls of the White Peak.

  2. A wonderful day out Brian,I`ve never seen a grass snake and great images of the peregrine falcon in its natural environment.

  3. Glad you didm,t have any mishaps like last time Brian,seems like another wonderful place that you have discovered.Grass snakes and slow worms too,only ever seen one grass snake and that swam in front of me when I was fishing!Nice to see the Peregrine about,usually catch a glimpse of one on the moor.Catch up with you soon for another recce!