Since the weather was so nice as of late we decided to go into the Lake District for the day as a family. We started by going for a drink at the cafe at the Osprey Watchpoint at Bassenthwaite lake. The Osprey was very, very distant and nothing like the other views I have had this year, but it was nice to see one settled down. Also on site there was Gary the Biking Birder, who it was nice to see again after Spurn.
Post Osprey watching we headed onto a small village overlooking Bassenthwaite to grab a bite to eat. It sort of clouded over while we were there but was still unpleasantly hot. Here there were good numbers of Siskin flying around and calling, and a Lake District tick for me when a Red Kite came soaring over.
Post lunch we headed out on a rowing boat on Derwent Water as per usual. It had really clouded over now but the wind had dropped a little making things a little easier. Out on the lake it was a case of the usual suspects still being around. Numbers of the probably feral Barnacle Goose population seemed to have dropped but it is possible they were within the trees on the islands in molt. We still saw around 10 individuals either flying around or lurking on the shoreline.
Also in molt were the Mergansers, or that's what I would presume since all those we saw today were brown birds, with no males seen at all. Its the first time I have taken my 500 lens to the lake district so I was able to try and take some nice photos of the Mergs. I got decent shots of one that was sat on the bank, and they were great to see as usual.
-Red Breasted Merganser
There had been a change in the dynamics of the bird fauna since last time I was here. This time there was a massive roost of Lesser Black-Backed Gulls on one of the island, and a few nests with developing chicks. I have never seen this many before and I have been here at this time of year previously, so the reason for this gathering is beyond me. There we well over 100 birds roosted on the island, whilst others we blogging about the lake.
-Lesser Black-Backed Gulls
New to my Derwent Water list, as it were, was a Common Sandpiper that was on the shoreline of one of the islands. Its a patch tick for me, but I could not get a good photo as the boat kept rocking and the Sandpiper dipping in and out of the rocks. I did manage a solitary record shot which says more than enough.
After the boat ride we went for a walk around the side of the lake. It was getting dusky and the sun was now quite obscured, rain had started to fall and the Midges had come out in force. There were good numbers of commoner birds. The woodland area looked ideal habitat for lesser pecker but I saw none, only Great Spotted Woodpecker, of which there was an adult and a juvenile. The best bird of the walk was a nice Spotted Flycatcher that was in one of the more open areas of the woodland.
It was a lovely day out, only the heat was the downside but we can't complain given it will soon be back to the British summer we all know and don't love.
Bassenthwaite Osprey Watchpoint: Osprey, Siskin, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Stock Dove, Carrion Crow, Red-Breasted Merganser, Common Buzzard, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Canada Goose, Graylag Goose, Mallard, Robin, Tufted Duck, Chiffchaff, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon,
Derwent Water: Barnacle Goose, Canada Goose, Graylag Goose, Red-Breasted Merganser, Common Sandpiper, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Oystercatcher, Black-Headed Gull, Pied Wagtail, Siskin, Woodpigeon, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Jackdaw, Magpie, Mute Swan, Chaffinch, Blue Tit, Nuthatch,