Tag Archives: garden birds

A Cumbrian weekend of wanderings and wildlife.

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Chimney Sweeper Moth.

The recent weekend was spent gathered with family at Mums. She didn’t want a big celebration, just time spent together with children and grandchildren on her 70th Birthday. Country walks, playing games, visiting some lovely gardens, and a Birthday Cake. It was a happy couple of days!

Mum lives at the foot of Askham Fell near Penrith in Cumbria. Its a comparitively little explored part of The Lake District, but well worth a visit. On Saturday morning before my sister and niece and nephew arrived, Wil and I armed ourselves with a Askham Fell Marsh Kelpie Tale Trail Map, and headed for a walk up the fell.

There are various Tale Trail maps of different places in The Lake District, aimed at younger walkers ….and the young at heart. 😁 The Marsh Kelpie is a fictional character that lives on the fell. We didn’t find him of course, but we did see lots of wildlife and a stone circle.

Skylark, Askham Fell.
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Small Heath Butterfly.
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A herd of ‘Wild’ Fell Ponies live on the Fell. This one with Wil is not very wild and shaped like a barrel. πŸ™‚
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Cockpit Stone Circle ~ once used by villagers for cock fighting.
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Linnet. πŸ™‚
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Pied Wagtail.
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Common Bistort on the road side. Mum knows this as ‘Sweaty Feet’ and if you smell it…..it does whiff a bit. : b

Its a good job my family are all wildlife lovers , as we also spent a lot of the weekend pouring over Mum’s Bird book, trying to identify the birds we saw. πŸ™‚ My sister and I forgot our phone chargers ( there’s not much of a signal or wifi anyway) , so it was nice to Id what we saw , the old-fashioned way.

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Siskin on Mum’s Bird feeders.
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Greater Spotted Woodpecker.
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Wil’s photo of a rather dapper Dipper on the River Lowther.

On Saturday afternoon we took Mum to Holehird Gardens near Windermere. She loves gardens and this one which is run by volunteers, is home to the Lakeland Horticultural Society. June is a good time to visit for the rhododendrons and blue Himalayan poppies.

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Blue Himalayan Poppies and Alliums.

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I’m not very well up on my garden flowers, but as you can see the beds were abundant with colour. πŸ™‚

On Sunday we visited somewhere closer to Askham. Acorn Bank gardens and Water Mill at nearby Temple Sowerby. The National Trust looks after the property and the manor house dates back to 1228, its first owners were the Knights Templar.

There is plenty to see at Acorn Bank. We walked along a forest trail to the working water mill, looked for frogs in the lily pond, found fairy doors, enjoyed the gardens, had a lovely brew and cake, browsed the second hand book shop and found Newtopia. πŸ™‚

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Fairy Door.
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A freaky green spider on Bistort…or Sweaty feet. Is this a Cucumber Spider?
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Imogen and Woody Woodpecker.
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Acorn Bank.
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Impressive Coat of Arms.
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Hop It !
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Looking for Newts!

There’s a pond full of Great Crested Newts in the Sunken Garden at Acorn Bank. We had plenty of fun trying to spot them!

Thanks for joining me on a fun family weekend…with lots of wildlife thrown in for good measure. x

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Birdies in the back yard.

This weekend was the Big Garden Birdwatch in the UK and because my little back yard has been quite busy with bird visitors recently, I decided to join in. Apparently the Big Garden Birdwatch, organized by the rspb is the world’s largest wildlife survey! From previous years results the data collected has shown which birdlife is thriving and which breeds are not doing so well. Once common garden visitors such as the starling are now on the decline, though numbers of the tiny wren are happilly……on the up. Through January both of these birdie breeds have frequented my yard. Of course when you only have one hour to record the species that visit, its pot luck which , if any , will turn up. πŸ˜‰

Female sparrow.

The survey was short and sweet…..and quite relaxing too. The idea being that you took one hour out of your time on Friday, Saturday or Sunday to sit and watch which birds appear. I chose an hour on Friday morning, settling down with a brew, cereal bar and my Big Garden Birdwatch Pack.

For what seemed like ages, I sat there wondering if anyone would arrive. 😐 But then luckilly a sparrow and a dunnock turned up. Dunnocks are shy brown and grey birds that mostly forage on the ground ,as they like to nibble what has dropped from the feeders.

Male Blackbird.

My next visitor was a male blackbird. He and his mate are frequently seen feeding on the fat balls, swinging on the feeder. I was pleased to see him.

Bluetit.

The true acrobats at the feeders are the pretty bluetits with their yellow fronts and black eye stripes. Usually I see quite a few enjoying the half coconut shells , but during the hour, only one graced the yard with its presence.

Snowdrops. πŸ™‚

So there you go, I recorded 4 bird species in the hour. Not as good as I hoped, but it was still interesting and I hope my filled in survey helps the RSPB.

Did you take part this year?

What wildlife visits you?

Spring in the Castle Grounds.

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Today was a lovely spring day with warming sunshine and hints of blue sky. Ignoring the stinking cold I seem to have caught, I spent an hour in the grounds of Clitheroe Castle this afternoon. There were birds, there were bees and there were blooms and buds everywhere. Here is what I saw….

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Daffodils.
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Robin peers out from behind Spring blossoms.
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Glory of the Snow.
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Jackdaws.

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Sunshiney Celandines.
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Clitheroe Castle Museum.
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Pink Hyacinth.
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Cheeky Squirrels.

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Pigeon.
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Long tailed Tit.
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The Castle Keep.
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Primroses.

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Hope you enjoyed your weekend.X

Birds that Brunch and Signs of Spring.

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Yesterday I took my camera down the fields in the hope of capturing one of the Barn Owls I frequently see when I’m walking the hound. Yes I know, I am one lucky girl! But the enchanting creatures, who I often see hunting in daylight ( I didn’t know they did that!) proved elusive this time. Just knowing they are around ( possibly due to ground being disturbed because of new housing estates being built in the area ) gives me hope that I will get my shot one day. πŸ™‚

The birds I can depend on not to be too camera shy are the various garden types Β that feed in a gateway to the campsite near the river. Some kind soul puts food out for them every day. These birdies know how to Brunch. πŸ™‚

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Female Blackbird.
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Long tailed Tit.
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Chaffinch.
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Robin.
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Nuthatch.
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Blackbird.

I hung around for a while, until my feet started getting a wee bit cold. If I tell you I also saw two Jays but couldn’t get a picture, you will know how disappointed I was. 😦 Β But the fact that wildlife is thriving down by the river does make me happy. I frequently see Kingfishers, Herons, Dippers and Goosander. Two walkers told me recently that they have spied Otters! And of course the camera shy Barn Owl(s) are possibly the most beautiful and graceful birds I have ever seen in the wild. πŸ™‚

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Catkins or Lambs tails.
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Snowdrops.

And despite the cold weather it does appear that Spring is just round the corner. πŸ™‚

Have you spotted any signs of Spring yet?

Park Life ~ February.

Every month I will be snooping around my local park ( Clitheroe Castle Grounds) with my trusty camera to record the various animal and plant life that reside under the bulk of the ancient Castle Keep. Its safe to say I need more patience. Those pesky goldfinches will not stay still! Oh well, maybe next time. πŸ™‚ Spring is peeking through and the birds are busy building nests. Heres what I spied in February….

colourful crocus.
colourful crocus.

The Castle Keep.
The Castle Keep.
Dunnock.
Dunnock.
Primrose.
Primrose.
Male blackbird.
Male blackbird.
Female blackbird.
Female blackbird.
Hmmm here is what wildlife lived at the castle back in the day.lols.;)
Hmmm here is what wildlife lived at the castle back in the day.lols.;)
Bluetit. I must say I quite like this photo. x
Bluetit. I must say I quite like this photo. x
Snowdrops.
Snowdrops.
Nuthatch.
Nuthatch.

Park Life will be back in a month. Thanks for dropping by. X

Park Life ~ January.

As we recently purchased a new camera ( a Lumix Fz72 ), I thought I would use it to take pictures in my local park of the various animals and birds that reside there. I am lucky enough to live very close to ‘Clitheroe Castle’. Its grounds are where we often take Hugo on his walks. Here are a few recent photos. There are lots of grey squirrels that can often be seen trapezing from tree to tree. And quite a few species of garden birds. Over the year I will try and make a record of what I come across. Yep I am a bird nerd!

Robin red breast.
Robin red breast.
Clitheroe Castle.
Clitheroe Castle.
A Jackdaw  has found a nesting place.
A Jackdaw has found a nesting place.
Pigeons enjoying the view.
Pigeons enjoying the view.
Primroses.
Primroses.
A thrush enjoying a bath.
A thrush enjoying a bath.
View of Pendle Hill.
View of Pendle Hill.
Squirrel Nutkin.
Squirrel Nutkin.
And a close up. :)
And a close up. πŸ™‚
Now he's just showing off!
Now he’s just showing off!
Beautiful Nuthatch.
Beautiful Nuthatch.

Park Life will be back in another month. πŸ™‚