Saturday, 11 June 2016

Away Days...Cumbria

Over the last few weeks taking advantage of the warm and settled weather,I have made a few trips into Cumbria.It was a nice change from my usual Lancashire haunts.I have been to Hay Nature Reseve,Foulney Island,Esthwaite Water and St.Bees Head.Hay Nature Reserve is a secluded reserve in the Rusland Valley and is home to a very rich fauna and flora.The four first images below show some of the diversity to be found at this very special place.The mute swan family were enjoying one of the tarns at Hay.The pied flycatcher was nesting in a nest box close to the boardwalk and close by were a number of the very rare coralroot orchid.This is the tiniest orchid I have seen and I didn't have the right lenses for an image.The male broad bodied chaser dragonfly was also spotted nearby.The red deer herd of hinds and young deer were relaxing in the warm afternoon sun.

Foulney Island is next and is home to many eider duck.A few little terns also nest on the island and I was pleased to grab an image as one flew close by in it's quest for small fish on the receding tide.This tern and sandwich and arctic terns also breed on Foulney .During the breeding season access is restricted and a warden is present to protect the terns.I have shown a little tern and eider duck in flight in the images below.

Ospreys have been doing well in the southern Lakes over the past few years and a nice population is now building up.I visited a well known location at Esthwaite Water where the ospreys are using a platform nest on the shore of the lake.It is not possible to approach the area and it has to be viewed from across the lake.Shown below is a record shot of the platform atop a prominent scots pine tree.On my visit it was nice to see the birds feeding two,possibly three,tiny chicks.I have also shown record shots from a previous visit when the male osprey flew across the lake towards me.

Finally below are images from my visit to St. Bees Head in west Cumbria. This part of the Cumbria coast has some splendid sandstone cliffs which are home to many seabirds.It is quite a walk to reach the cliffs but well worth it for the stunning views of the birds and the many flowers which adorn the cliffs.The RSPB provide viewing areas where one can look down at the thousands of birds on the sandstone ledges.These are mostly guillemots but a few kittiwakes and fulmars are also present.Hope you have enjoyed this week's account from my travels into Cumbria and I will be back soon.Thanks for looking in.

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