Monday, 8 July 2013


Grassmere from Loughrigg
A little time has passed since the last time and the breeding season is slowly ebbing away, with many birds busily feeding young, as the Great Crested Grebes are at Sefton Park (a job that became a little easier after a Lesser Black Backed Gull took a chick), the chick can be seen riding on females back and sometimes the males, hopefully the Little Grebes may successfully raise a brood late in the season as they did last year. The lone adult Great Crested Grebe still shows very well from the South-end of the main lake and the Mute Swan family was reduced to the adults and two chicks at Sefton after a series of dog attacks, on the positive side many pairs of Nuthatch have reared young, as have Stock Doves near to the Palm House. Huge numbers of Common Blue Damselfly can be seen over the surface of the main lake and two male Black-Tailed Skimmers have frequented the lake edges recently, with a pair of Emperor Dragonfly on the first raised lake; proving that the ecological wealth of the parks habitats is certainly increasing. Sparrowhawks and Common Buzzards can be seen spiralling above Sefton Park and surrounding areas, and certainly must be breeding locally. In the Cricket Club wood Foxes are regular and a family of Great Spotted Woodpeckers have been feeding. The river flowing from the large roadside cave has developed into a wonderful habitat; with Reeds, Yellow Flag Iris, and Purple Loosetrife flanking the water edges; last week I was startled when a Lesser Black Backed Gull dived Osprey like into the river and emerged with a Rat, these birds truly are the top avian predators in the area!
Great Crested Grebes - Sefton Park
In Greenbank park a family party of three Ring Necked Parakeets (which had not bred in the park)regularly fed in the park, with the adults successfully nesting in lakeside trees and rearing a second brood, which fledged today; noisily screeching around the North-end of the lake attracting attention off local Magpies. Three Mute Swans still use the lake but will not breed this year and a Cormorant and two Grey Herons feed on the lake during the early mornings. In the evenings Pipistrelles can be seen hunting the area, especially around the Greenbank Lane entrance area. The Honey Garlic clump has increased this year with 15 flower spikes this season.
Great Crested Grebes - Sefton Park
In Clarkes Gardens and Eric Hardy Nature reserve on Friday 3 Common Buzzards could be seen together with 2 Bullfinches, Siskin, 3 Chiff Chaffs, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, and Nuthatch, and in Hope University I could hear a Skylark singing distantly, probably coming from Childwall Fields NR.
Roe Deer - Waterhead Marsh
Recently I was walking in the Lake District near Ambleside and as we approached Ambleside in the car near Ambleside Rugby Club I was lucky enough to glance up as a Golden Eagle was being mobbed by a flock of Crows, my eldest boy Dylan (5) managed to get a better view than me as I had to glance at the road from time to time! Fantastic sighting albeit brief as it drifted off towards Under Loughrig and Rydal. I don't know were the bird originates from as the male bird at Haweswater usually stays close to its territory at this time of year, however I have seen the odd Golden Eagle in various places around the Lakes during the summer, their is still hope of the Haweswater bird finding another mate. In the Loughrigg/Rydall Water areas I found 3 Cuckoos, 5 Redstarts, Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Pied Flycatcher, 3 Wood Warblers, 10+ Tree Pipits, Common Buzzard, and best of all a male Goshawk. Walking along the River Rothay and Brathay leading to Waterhead Marsh a pair of Kingfishers were nesting in the riverside embankment, a female Goosander fed young on the fast flowing river, a Yellow Wagtail flew over, and signs of Otters could be found along the riversides.  fantastic area that I have been visiting for twenty years now and one that I will come back to year upon year.

View of Waterhead Marsh from Loughrigg

Rydal Caves above Rydal Water

No comments: