Saturday, 22 May 2010

From Penrith to West Hartford

On Tuesday night I went over to Penrith with Cain, (Holywell Birder) to help him with his Tetrad squares.
I was given a quick tour of the Penrith University campus by Cain when we arrived.
Being used to studying at an urban city centre campus at Teesside, I was really impressed by the rural campus and the wildlife within it.
Just by walking around the campus and doing the Tetrad squares I noticed some subtle changes between species found in Cumbria and Northumberland. In Cumbria Stock Doves seem to have replaced Wood Pigeon, Yellowhammer replaced Reed Bunting and Red Legged Partridge replaced Grey Partridge.

On Wednesday morning we started the first square at Newton Reigny just outside Penrith with the help of Steve (
As soon as we got out of the car a pair of Dipper flew down stream from a small river in the village.
Although we had good counts of common species on the first Tetrad the highlight was a Spotted Flycatcher at newton Moss.

Later on in the afternoon we went to Bassenthwaite Lake. We stopped at Powter Howe on the opposite side of the lake first and from the car park we could hear a Wood Warbler- Lifer, calling.
Only 300m or so into the woods we heard 3 Wood Warbler and after a few minutes one appeared in the tree tops. 3 Garden Warbler and a female Redstart were also nearby.

From the hide at Bassenthwaite a Cuckoo called briefly.2 Common Sandpipers were bobbing on some rocks and a pair of Red Breasted Merganser were swimming and diving.

On Thursday we completed the other two tetrad squares the highlight this time being a yaffling Green Woodpecker although for Cain I'm sure the highlight was seeing me being chased by a herd of cows.

Last night I had a walk down to West Hartford from 7 until 8:30. With more exposed mud it was no suprise that two Ringed Plover - Patch Tick, were feeding at the back of the main pool. A Greenshank also appeared out of nowhere (probably out of the long grass behind the pool).
The Barn Owl put in a quick appearence and most suprising of all were two Barnacle Geese - Patch Tick, which flew low over the main pool calling.
A great way to end a brilliant week.

99 - Ringed Plover
100- Barnacle Geese

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