Sunday, 1 April 2012

Grange-Over Sands Holiday Day 1

So, we begin our holiday in very sunny style. There was hardly a cloud in the sky, but it was quite mild, so plenty of warm clothes on. We decided to climb a hill called Gummers How at the southern tip of windermere. It was quite high up, not a fell, but because of the rest of the hills were lower down, then there were spectacular views.
On the way up not much happened until we also reached the summit. It started when i spotted a small brown bird alight in a tree. I recognised the call from when I saw one of these last year at the same time, but unfortunatly I could'nt get a good enough view to check if it really was a tree pipit, as I had suspected.

-Tree Pipit?

And on the other side of the path there was an area of scrubby braken that also had some small grasses. I managed to spot my first none small tortoiseshell butterfly of the year in this area. It took me a while to track it down, as it was quite flighty, but it was well worth it, as it turned out to be a green hairstreak, only my third ever.

-Green Hairstreak
There were plenty more tree pipits in the area, and they were also quite bold, allowing me to get great views of them as they perched on the bracken. However, there was an issue in that I had managed to spot at least one meadow pipit on the summit, so even though there were tree pipits around, there were also a handful of meadow pipits. However, because we were on top, we were level with tree pipits in song flight, which allowed us to get great views of them in flight, as well as them perched.

-Tree Pipit
On the way back down, I spotted the green hairsreak on a blade of grass, but it wouldnt get into a decent position for a photo, so this was the best I managed.

-Green Hairstreak
On the way down, I managed to spot coal tits feeding in the tops of conifer trees, as well as a couple of chaffinches.

-Coal Tits
After we got down from the hill, we decided to have a look at National trust Lakeside at Windermere, to have lunch. We pulled into the car park, but there was no room, so we headed down to the overflow car park. On the way down we spotted a jay in the bushes next to the narrow road.

We walked along the side of the lake to the cafe, with the usual assortments of waterside birds, including canada geese, mute swans, mallards and black-headed gulls. There was, however, an unusual fungi in one area, where the bracket fungus had filled the gaps between roots of the tree.

After lunch I headed into the wood and gardens along the side on the lake to see if there were any woodland birds around. There were some birds, but the best was a lovely goldcrest in the bushes. I was able to get really close, but It was just too quick for me to take a photo, but if I had managed to get the photo it would have been brilliant. Pity it diddnt come off.

Other birds in the woods included a treecreeper, normal tits and finches, as well as my first chiffchaff of the year, which was singing as well.


-Chiffchaff, my first of the year
After we left there, we headed to grange, the local town from our campsite. It is a nice town, but it has a really nice wildfowl collection, which has great wildfowl collection with some very interesting birds, such as lovely wood ducks and some of my favourite birds such as bar-headed geese.

-Wood Duck


-Cape Shellduck

-Paradise Shellduck

-Bar Headed Geese
Because I had time to kill, my family were shopping in town, I decided to walk out over the saltmarsh and have a look at the mudflats. I was surprised by how dry the saltmarsh was, with the only thing there was a dead frog. The mudflatts were not much more interesting, with a collection of gulls on the side of the river. The only other things were a flock of curlew that flew overhead. It was quite dissapointing, with no shellducks at all.

-Black Headed Gulls

Back at the wildfowl collection there were beautiful photos to be had of wood ducks, as their irredscent plumage was showing up nicely in the sunshine.

-Wood Duck

But more interstingly, as I walked around the pool I heard a cheeping noise from a bush,and looking in was surprised to see a nest with blackbird chicks in it. This was very early for chicks, especially three of them. Whats more, I was even able to watch the mother bird sitting on them and father bird feeding them. The only main issue was that to be able to see the chicks, you had to peer through the bush, but I was unable to get a photo because of the bush, so I couldnt show how well developed they were.

-Female Blackbird sitting

-Blackbird chicks
When we got back to the campsite, I went for a walk in the woods nearby, to see if I could see any marsh tits. I couldnt but did find some wild primroses, which was nice.

-Wild Primroses

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