Thursday, September 21, 2006

Haweswater July 06

Hand held shot of the Dipper (to the right of the trunk...)

Dippers have get to be one of my favourite birds, and leaving the lakes without a half decent picture of one of these birds would be rather dissapointing, to say the least. Most of the evenings were spent patrolling the nearby river and looking for the best spots for a picture, with mixed success. Sometimes you would just hit lucky and come accross one sitting on a rock, that refused to move and other times you wouldn't catch sight or sound one one at all. Due to the overhanging branches getting a decent picture was pretty tricky, and the bird needed to be pretty close so that the picture wasn't too dark. The above pics are the cream of the crop, and I was more than happy with the results! Unfortunately I was too late in the year for Wood Warblers, though Spotted Flycatchers were still out in abundance and the odd Redstart could still to be found.

Dark Green Fritillary and Golden-ringed Dragonfly - Both fairly numerous around the area

2 days were spend pulling up Himilayam Balsam... one of the most evil alien bastards you are ever likely to encounter (with the exeption of Perri Perri Bur). The scale of the problem was enormous and the picture shown above only represents a small infestation along what was an insignificant and feeble ditch. As well as growing in ditches we had to remove it from Bracken covered hillsides, not an easy task when you consider the density of the vegetation... The picture shown below was taken at Minsmere last year and shows the ball of Perri Perri Burr that I collected, with my Bins placed along side it for a comparison of size.... This was done by rolling it along the ground and collecting the burs that were clustered together on the end of the stalks. Considereing that one Seed head/Bur is about the size of your thumbnail it doesnt take a genius to work out that there were a hell of a lot of plants...

Having the weekends off I did manage to escape a couple of times and enjoyed close views of Black Grouse and Osprey. The Black Grouse gave an amazing flight view as I watched it come up from the field, cross the road and drop down on the other side of the Wall (after it had crossed 2 fields) whilst the Ospreys put on a fine show at Bassenthwaite. At one point we had 3 birds together calling over the watchpoint.... " Osprey! 3 of them!!" "are you sure they are not Buzzards?" how about you look for yourself... "Oooh yes! 3 Ospreys! Yes... I did mention that

Looking from the road into Eagle Valley

The Eagle...


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