Friday, 27 May 2016

Larch Raspberries

Developing cones on a larch tree in the Serpentine Walk. At first glance they look rather like ripening raspberries. Some of last years cones can also be seen.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

A Miscellany of Birds

Going on holiday to different parts of the country gives an opportunity to see different birds.  These were kittiwakes at Staithes on the North Yorkshire Coast.

Cowbar Nab at Staithes where the kittiwakes were nesting.  Herring gulls nest on the top of the rock and lower down house martins were also present whizzing in and out of their mud nests.
A red-legged partridge (Alectoris rufa). Partridges nest on Spaunton Moor but this one had strayed into a garden in Lastingham.
 Near the lake Studley Royal a pair of Swedish Blue Ducks.

There are plenty of pheasants around Largo but not usually as willing as these at Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal to have their photos taken.
 A handsome male pheasant.
Two female pheasants. Less brightly coloured than the male but still attractive birds.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Return to Pooley Bridge

Last October took the ferry from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge then walked over this lovely old bridge into the village. Sadly in December the bridge collapsed when Storm Desmond hit Cumbria cutting off the access to the village.
Repeated the trip last week and glad to say that a new temporary bridge has now been built - not as attractive as the old one but very serviceable with access for pedestrians and vehicles.

From the notice board at the damaged pier house describing the aftermath of the storm.

The Lady Wakefield high and dry on the banks of Ullswater.

Major reconstruction also still going on at Glenridding which was devastated by Storm Desmond.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Snow in Late April

Quite heavy snow overnight but by mid-morning most of it had melted from lower altitudes, leaving only Largo Law standing out with its white covering.

The snow melt left pools of water in the fields at the foot of Largo Law.

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Swans Nesting

For some years now mute swans have nested amongst the rushes on the small island in Birnie Loch and it looks as if they are going to do the same again this year.

Normally only one pair of swans nest on one stretch of water and the male defends the territory.

There were also a number of black-headed gulls, tufted ducks, pink-footed geese and the ever present mallards.

A pair of tufted ducks.

A pink-footed goose

Saturday, 19 March 2016

A Pair of Siskins

A pair of siskins (Carduelis spinus) tucking into the nyger seeds in the garden. The male is on the right, female on the left. They are fairly rare visitors to our garden, not spotted them for several years. The nyger seed feeder primarily attracts goldfinches but the siskins here also seem to be enjoying them. They have a liking for conifer woodland but will also visit mixed woodland if alder and birch are present.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Long-tailed Duck

A male long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis) swimming off the pier at Lower Largo. This is the first time that I had seen this duck but it is quite unmistakable with its black and white colouring and long pointed tail which is 10 to 15 cm (4 to 6 in) long . The bill is dark grey crossed by a deep pink band.

The long-tailed duck in the foreground with a black-headed gull above.

Long-tailed duck, two black-headed gulls and on the rocks opposite the pier oyster-catchers and two herring gulls.