Thursday, 5 August 2010

Haweswater in the Lake District

Haweswater is the most easterly and remote of the Lakes in Cumbria. It was controversially dammed in 1929 to help provide water for the conurbations around the Manchester area. In the process, two villages were flooded and their inhabitants moved elsewhere. When the water is low, remnants of the villages can still be seen. Haweswater is an RSPB Reserve and if you click on the link, you can find out a bit more about this beautiful area.
We had come here to look for particular species of bird. Namely the Ring Ouzel (similar to Blackbird but with a white crescent on the breast) and also England's last remaining Golden Eagle. There is one lone male Golden Eagle which still displays here in the hope of attracting a mate (the female died many years ago). You can see in this photo below that the sun is TRYING to peek out through the overcast sky. Jane is optimistically wearing her t-shirt!
I loved the meteor shower effect that these distant Goosanders made on the water as they made their serene way across the lake.
Here's the whole shot to give perspective.
Another effect on the still waters here was the wonderful reflection of some flying Cormorants. There were five birds in this shot.
All the public rights of way signposts seem to be well kept up here. This one shows three different types of Rights of Way. A Byway is open to walkers, horse riders, cyclists and motor vehicles but isn't maintained to a roadworthy standard. A Bridleway is open to walkers, horse riders and pedal cyclists and a Footpath is open to just walkers. I think I have that right! (-:
On the way up the footpath to look for our target birds, I saw this lone lamb with a fantastic outlook over the lake.
Below are some scenic views along our walk to the Golden Eagle watchpoint.

In the photo below is the valley where the watchpoint is located (close to those small trees in the distance in the upper middle of the shot). From there we set our scopes up to view the end of the valley where the lone Golden Eagle was perched. We had good but distant scope views of this charismatic birds. It was a shame not to see him flying, but it was a bonus to get any sort of view (my last sighting of Golden Eagle was way back in 2004!). The elusive Ring Ouzel managed to elude us on this occasion.

On the way back down to the car and lunch, I took more notice of my immediate surroundings. There are dry stone walls all over Britain, but the ones up here are quite distinctively dark and blocky with the local stone obviously being used.
This shepherds hut had seen better days!
Not so easy to build walls with more rounded stones!

Give me a wall with lichen on it and I can't ever resist! (-:
After a few hours walking and watching, we made it back to the car and found ourselves a wonderful spot for eating lunch. I can't think of many better places to eat!

Many thanks for Andy and Sue for being such great hosts. It was a fun trip!


Mary said...

How interesting about the eagle. Too bad a female can't be brought in for the lone male in an effort to continue the species. I'm glad you saw it at all. That stone wall is so beautiful and I remember seeing them running up the hillsides in Wales.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful scenic shots Jen.
The Goosander effect is brilliant.

Eve said...

Wow Jen this is just a beautiful place. I love your images of the "meteor shower" and reflections! The scenery is stunning and of course I LOVE the rock wall! Thanks so much for taking us along!

Rural Rambler said...

All those stones and rocks Jen! CH would be in heaven. Beautiful area and would never have gotten to know about it without your great posts! The Lake District is just an awesome place and calls to me. Sad about the beautiful Eagle. Jen I answered about the Ooey Gooey back on my blog. Have a great weekend Wren!

Quiet Paths said...

What gorgeous country - so evocative. What a wonderful trip. How far did you walk, do you think?

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, I suggested that to the RSPB volunteers at the watchpoint, but I guess it isn't that easy. There are quite a few Golden Eagles up in Scotland, but just this one in England.

Hi Roy, glad you liked that, it was wonderful to watch them even if they were quite distant!

Hi Evie, glad you liked it. It's definitely a place I want to go back to sometime.

Hi there Pix, does CH have a 'thing' about rocks then? I'd forgotten. (-:

Hi Christine, our Lake District is probably the nearest I can get to your wonderful Mission Mountains for scenery. I guess we walked maybe 5 miles in total, not too much of a yomp! (-:

The Early Birder said...

Stunning location..thanks for sharing these images Jen. As for te dry stone walls..just great.

Rural Rambler said...

Jen yeah he loves to build rock walls around all kinds of things outside :) It's kinda of a joke in the family and here at the house.

TonyC said...

Hi Jen, lovely posts, such a shame that no female goldie has come wandering south.

sebi_2569 said...

beautiful capture; congratulations