Monday, 2 August 2010

A weekend in the Lake District

A couple of weekends ago my friend Jane and I drove up to The Lake District in Cumbria for a long weekend with birding friends. Cumbria is the county on the western side of England just below Scotland. It is England's most mountainous region with some of the deepest lakes. The link above will take you to some images of this beautiful area of England. Below is our friend's home where we stayed during our trip.
Under the eaves of his house, there were a couple of House Martin nests. These grotty photos of one of the nests with a young bird in were taken through a window.
Just about to receive some breakfast I think!
The lovely local River Kent allowed Jane to see Dipper for her year list.
Andy took us to one of his local birding spots, the RSPB reserve of Leighton Moss.
There had been sightings of an Osprey reported earlier in the day here, but despite looking for over an hour from the hide, we were out of luck. We did enjoy watching some Greenshank, Common Sandpiper and Green Sandpiper here though.

It was also lovely to watch the always graceful looking Great Crested Grebe from the hide.
The weather while we were up there was what one might expect in this predominantly wet region of the country. A lot of the time we had 'Scotch mist' to contend with so we did quite a lot of sightseeing from the car. Here we're waiting to cross Lake Windermere on the car ferry.
You can see the ferry on the far side of the Lake. The crossing takes less than 10 minutes.
A view of some of the yachts on Windermere. Motorboats are now banned from going more than 10mph on the Lake now I think.
We thought we'd have another stab at seeing Osprey, so we went to Bassenthwaite Lake (the northern most lake) where they are known to breed.

Alas, despite at least 2 hours of searching, we failed to see these charismatic birds again. It was a beautiful and atmospheric place to be though with the low clouds hugging the tops of the mountains. (-:
On the way back south at the end of the day, we drove through some stunning scenery past Ullswater. The overcast weather made for some atmospheric shots, but I'd also love to come back here in better weather conditions and with more time!

The next post will be about our time at Haweswater in the east of the Lake District.


Chris said...

Wow I love these landscape pictures a lot Jen... You probably enjoyed the sight from there!!! Gorgeous! Love the nest of the martin! Coll to be able to see them!

Dog Trot Farm said...

Jenny, what a magical location- the area is just beautiful.Love, love, love your friend's stone manor-did you have tea?

Anonymous said...

Our glorious weather let you down again Jen. What a shame, as the scenery is amazing. Looking forward to the next post.

Rural Rambler said...

Jen what an absolutely beautiful place. All the water and the sailboats! Keeping motorboats to 10mph sounds like the best idea I have heard. Is it as peaceful there as it looks? I love the stone home, CH loves the rock walls that surround the house. If it is as peaceful as it looks I don't think I would want to leave there. I'm ready to see more of the Lake District! My word verification is 'neste'.

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Yow, this is gorgeous, Jenny. I especially love the British names of things. "Haweswater" and "Cumbria" and "Lake Windermere" and "Bassenthwaite Lake" and "Ullswater." Like reading The Hobbit all over again. Good luck spotting that osprey!

Jenny said...

Hi Chris, yes, it's a great area for scenery shots, I just need some better weather next time! Those House Martins were right under the window of my friend Jane's bedroom, I wished I could've swapped rooms with her! (-:

Hi Julie, yes we did have tea, I took my own which I like alot called Lady Grey (similar to Earl Grey). The birds love those stone houses up there with all the perfect nesting sites! (-:

Hi Roy, I shouldn't complain about the weather really. It did make for some atmosphere and we didn't melt in the 'scotch mist'! (-:

Hi Pix, like most beautiful places in a somewhat crowded country, it attracts LOTS of visitors, so I wouldn't call it peaceful at this time of year, but it is possible to still get away from the crowds up there. Chris and I have stayed in a B&B on the banks of Lake Windermere in past years and that was very peaceful!

Hi Debs, yes, there are some great place names up there! Beatrix Potter lived up there as well as the poet Wordsworth. I think it was more peaceful in their time though! (-:

Mary said...

What a lovely area! That house is gorgeous...nice to have friends with such a wonderful place to stay :-) The ferry would be fun. I've read some stuff about Beatrix Potter, so I thought the lake name sounded familiar.

Doreen said...

Oh absolutely gorgeous!


John said...

Brings back happy memories of my recent trip. Wainwright country. Stunningly beautiful. Look forward to the next instalment.

Jenny said...

Hi Mary, yes it was a lovely place to stay with great company. The ferry was fun, but all too brief. If we'd had more time up there we could have had a trip on one of the steam ships that cruise along the length of the lake. Maybe next time.

Hi Doreen, many thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment, I'm glad you enjoyed it! (-:

Hi John, did you blog about your trip up there? I've lost touch a bit these last few weeks! Will have to take a look when I have a moment....

Eve said...

What a lovely place!! The scenery is just breathtaking!

The Early Birder said...

Ahh..memories again Jen. Leighton Moss was the first place I ever heard and saw Bittern.
Beautiful scenery whatever the weather. FAB.

John Gray said...

what a lovely house!