It seems like a good time to do my Wildlife Moments Round-Up post of 2022. Currently wrapped up in my duvet with snotty tissues and a snoring cat, the ideal conditions, you might say. 😚
Anyway this year hasn’t seen me discover any new to me wildlife, but I have managed to photograph some of my favourite mammals and birds. Red Squirrels especially, have been very obliging. Most of the wildlife I have seen in 2022 has been either near my home in Clitheroe, Lancashire or local to my caravan in the Eden Valley of Cumbria.
My favourite wildlife moments have included watching the beautiful courtship dance of a pair of Great Crested Grebes and feeding Fallow Deer apples. ☺️
What have been your own favourite wildlife moments of 2022?
Over the Easter Weekend we spent quite a bit of time walking the dog around Melmerby. We are still discovering new footpaths there, it’s a lovely place for a wander, especially at this time of year.
I still love my original What To Look For In The Seasons Ladybird Nature Books , which were first published in the fifties and sixties. Ladybird brought out a new set last year, they are also quite charming. The Spring book accompanied me on my recent walks.
Melmerby is the kind of village , where I often find myself doing double-takes! This Easter I have seen 2 children walking their pet ferrets, a Grandmother taking the little ones bare back riding on a sturdy horse, a man whizzing round a field in a pony and trap and several llamas being led along the Village Green.
Here are a few photos from Melmerby in the Spring.
Just a quick and hopefully cute post for you today, featuring some very laid back longhorns. I’ve had a fair few hair raising run ins with coos this year, there have been some frisky heifers and bullish young bulls on summer walks, I can tell you. But these guys, well they are just in full on relaxed mode. Though maybe a little curious about why I’m peering at them from behind a big tree…..
Luckily on my second attempt at capturing this native cattle breed on camera, I got slightly better photos. My first attempt a few weeks earlier was on my camera phone. I quite like that you can see lovely Lowther Castle on these ones though. 😊
The English Longhorns roam freely on the Lowther Castle estate near Penrith in Cumbria. They are a new introduction at the castle, and another introduction may well be on its way. Back in January the Lowther estate was given the go ahead to reintroduce beavers to the river Lowther. Due to coronavirus this has been put on hold at the moment though.
I was quite happy to see these snoozy beasts anyway. English Longhorns are a hardy breed , they will be able to stay outdoors during the cold winter months. I am looking forward to seeing more of them through the seasons. 🐮
Recently I spent a few days with family. The pretty village of Askham in Cumbria has been my Mum’s home now for over 25 years. It’s attractive white washed cottages surround two village greens. The top end of Askham climbs up into the fells whilst the bottom end is all about the river Lowther and the surrounding woodland. Some of the village is still owned by the land owning Lonsdale family, who now live in Askham Hall and once resided in Lowther Castle. There are two pubs in Askham, a lovely village shop, an open air swimming pool and lots of walking trails round the Lowther estate. Here are a few pictures from my ambles round Askham.
I spent a good couple of hours in the woods, just enjoying the sights and sounds of nature. There were so many flowers, giving the woodland floor a magical fairy land appearance. And I didn’t spy a single other human being! I did see two jays, several woodpeckers, two buzzards and a weasel. 😊
If your visiting the Askham area, here are some useful websites.
A perfect Winter break for Wil, Hugo and I definitely involves somewhere with a toasty log burner, a dog friendly pub in close proximity and lots of walks, straight from the door. We chose pretty well I think when we headed for the Lake District village of Torver at the weekend. We had found on Airbnb a quirky little cottage called ‘The Old Dairy’ , one of three holiday Letts at Brocklebank Ground. We arrived in driving sleet and rain so immediately set about getting cosy in our ‘home’ for the weekend.
Fortunately the next day dawned fine so we decided to get our water proofs on and head out and about. Torver itself is not to far from Coniston Water ( the third largest Lake in the Lake District) so our plan was to walk down to the lake, via a disused railway route. Unfortunately there had been so much rain that the paths we found to the shore were pretty water logged, so we only got as far as Torver Common, which was still a beautiful place to explore.
For lunch we bought a couple of bits from the deli in The Wilson Arms, one of two pubs in the village. We ate in both and they are cosy olde worldy pubs with roaring fires, real ales, good pub grub and are dog-friendly too.
After lunch we decided to revisit Beacon Tarn, a beautiful small lake tucked away in the Blawith Fells, about 5 minutes drive from Torver. We first discovered the tarn ten years earlier on a hot summers day, the surrounding fells were green with bracken, and our Labrador Jake dived straight into the water. Our recent visit was sunny, windy and cold, a different Labrador enjoying a bracing dip in the chilly waters.
What follows are a few views of our journey back to Brown Howe Car Park, the nearest proper car park to Blawith Common, where our circular walk began.
Incredibly only a few minutes after we got back to Brown Howe, the heavens opened and giant Hale stones bounced off the car. We had timed our return just right!
On Sunday the bad weather continued as we packed the car and said our goodbyes to Torver. It had been the perfect little get away from it all. 🙂
On our way home we decided to visit Lakeland Motor Museum near Newby Bridge, which is a dog friendly attraction. There aren’t that many museums that welcome four legged friends, so this was a good find! Plus we got to shelter from the weather. It had started snowing!
Well worth a look if your in the area, the museum also has a Donald Campbell Bluebird exhibition and a good sized cafe.
A wonderful few days weather wise. Enough sunshine to put a spring in everyone’s step.😁 Here are some camera shots.. and a few phone photos of birds and blossom taken over the weekend ,and when out and about late this afternoon. The sun shone, bees buzzed and I even saw my first butterfly of the year flutter by. All this as temperatures hit 20°c in February!
What early signs of Spring have you seen recently?
Its December everyone! Is it to early to do a bit of a round-up post?? 2018 has been a pretty good year for spotting wildlife I’ve never seen before. I glimpsed my first Gannets plunging into the ocean for fish off Skye, my first Stonechats darting between fence posts and gorse bushes in Ravenglass and my first Great Crested Grebes fishing in the lagoon at Hodbarrow Nature Reserve. I witnessed my first Eider Ducks bobbing along an aquamarine blue sea in the Outer Hebrides and watched for the first time, wild otters swimming and playing in a sheltered cove there.
And this year I have tried to identify and record every flower, mammal, bird, butterfly and moth I have come across whilst out and about , in a Nature Diary. Doing this has definitely got me busy looking up everything in my often neglected wildlife guides. My diary has gotten quite full, though I know there are still so many plants and animals, that I haven’t had the pleasure of viewing in our beautiful British Isles.
Here are just a few photos of some of the wildlife I have managed to capture on camera this year. 🙂
Hope you enjoyed the photos.
What are your own favourite wildlife moments of 2018?
Ravenglass is a coastal village in Cumbria that looks over the estuary bringing together the rivers of Esk, Irt and Mite. The scenery is ever changing as the ebbing tides create rock pools and sand banks. A melodic sound of tied up boats, their parts clanging in the breeze , permeates the sea front.
I recently stopped in Ravenglass for four nights with Wil and Hugo. Some friends joined us for a couple of the nights. Luckily even in November we found plenty to keep us all occupied!
The village has two cosy dog friendly pubs as well as a rocky beach ~ home to many wading birds and beach combing treasures, ancient Roman ruins, a nearby Castle with a Hawk & Owl Centre and the Ravenglass to Eskdale Railway, affectionately known as La’l Ratty.
As well as windy walks on the beach , we enjoyed a stroll to Muncaster Castle which is a pleasant walk through the Muncaster Estate, passing the old ruins of a Roman Bath House.
We all loved the Bird of Prey Display and it was good to know that the staff are so enthusiastic about conserving the different species, especially Vultures, who do get a bit of bad press in the bird world. Seeing them as a ‘ Clean up Crew’ definitely helped me realise what a useful breed of bird they are.
Speeking of birds, Wil and I also visited Hodbarrow Nature Reserve, an RSPB reserve on the coast between Haverigg and Millom. It was a day of high winds and squawly showers, but we enjoyed the dramatic scenery.
Most of all just hanging out in Ravenglass itself was a wonderful experience. I am sure we will return. 😊