Monday, 2 April 2012

Grange-over sands holiday day 2

Day 2. It was a lot more overcast than yesterday, and also a lot colder. We decided to go on a steam train journey to Windermere lakeside, and then catch the boat up to Bowness. It sounded like a plan.
The train journey was pretty uninteresting, with a coal tit and a chaffinch at the station. So we arrived at the boat landing spot at lakeside. In terms of birdlife there were quite a few swans, as well as mallards, and black-headed gulls. While I waited for the boat I decided to take some photos of black-headed gulls in flight. My results were not brilliant, but it killed time, whilst birding at the same time.

-Black-Headed Gulls
The boat journey had very little in the way of birdlife. We were shadowed by a lesser black backed gull for about a minuet, which was probably the highlight until we got to Bowness. Here there were more birds, including mute swans, Canada geese, mallards and more unusual species too, such as pair of goosander sleeping on a small rock, as well a cormorant on a buoy.

-Goosander Pair
Bowness was quite pretty, and had some nice features. However, in terms of birdlife, it had nothing. We had lunch at the boatside where we were shadowed by jackaws and black-headed gulls, which readily finished up after we had left for the ferry.

The ferry journey back went along the less inhabited side of the lake, and so had more to offer in the way of birdlife. However, they were not the only things in the sky, as RAF pilots started to fly their planes down the valley, as they do.

Back to the birds and it was proving the case that there were more interesting birds on this side, including a pair of distant goldeneye, a couple of oystercatchers on the rocks and a pair of red-breasted mergansers, which were the only ones close enough to the boat to bother with a photo.

-Red Breasted Mergansers
So that ends our boat journey. I forgot to mention how cold it was on the boat, so I'll mention it now-It was really cold. Maybe that's why there were not many birds, they were trying to stay warm!

Back at the campsite, I sat down to get some stupid past papers homework done and out of the way. However, these are not relevant past papers, these are critical thinking past papers, I mean, what even is critical thinking. Luckily, I had a seat that overlooked our birdfeeder, and so i could watch proceedings there. We were having quite a good turn-up, with great tits, blue tits, great tits, chaffinches and woodpigeons.

More unusual species included nuthatches of which we had two. It was unusual that they didn't try to chase each other away. But, about time too, we had a marsh tit visit. in fact we had two, which was great because they were here last time we were here, and are possibly the most unusual bird in these parts. However, there was a snag in trying to get a photo, In that it involved opening the window. I took a photo through the plastic and then opened the window...

-Marsh Tit
...And failed! The other birds appreciated my stealth in opening possibly the most creaky windows over, by sheltering. But the marsh tits bolted, and sadly didn't return. So far then, the most anticipated bird of the holiday has shown its face, and my only photo is that of a blurred bird through a plastic window. Not great! So I'll leave you with a photo of a coal tit, Because they are a nice bird and it will make up for the lack of marsh tit photo.

-Coal Tit

*N.B: for anyone wondering why the window wasn't open in the first place, the answer would be that it was cold outside, and the heating was on inside.

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