Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Leighton Moss

It was very busy with people who thought it would be a quiet day. I coughed a lot.

Blue tit
Coal tit
Great tit
Pheasant
Bullfinch
Dunnock
Blackbird
Wood pigeon
Treecreeper
Mallard
Chaffinch
Robin
Tree Sparrow
Fieldfare
Pintail
Marsh harrier
Water rail
Goldfinch
Redwing
Wigeon
Cormorant
Grey heron
Gadwall
Little grebe
Tufty
Snipe
Siskin
Bittern
Magpie 6
Otter
Shoveller
Coot
Lapwing
Greylag
Moorhen
Curlew
Little egret
Redshank
Dunlin
Shelduck
Crow
Black headed gull
Golden plover
Teal
Mute Swan
Red breasted merganser (unverified)

Monday, 2 January 2017

Around Loughrigg

Distance: 11.3 miles
Ascent: 600m
Weather: cold and clear
1 Splinter
Lots: Robins and buzzards (possibly in cahoots)

We went up Loughrigg by Fox Ghyll as we've not been that way before. It was quite icy and the ground was hard underfoot.
We bimbled around the fringes of the fell, enjoying the peace and quiet and views over to Fairfield and Skiddaw in the distance with snowy tops. Eventually we got nearer the top and into the crowds, stopping for lunch in a sheltered spot just under the summit, where we had a steady update on Molly* the dog's location.

We descended via the bridleway towards Loughrigg Tarn, and then visited our arboretum again. It was dusk as we arrived at the shoreline of Grasmere,  and a thin moon and Venus were clearly visible above the trees. The stones along the River Rothay were quite icy slippy, and led to a lad taking a tumble, he was unhurt just a little embarrassed,  and now I remember I said we saw nothing.  So that didn't happen.

The corpse road was very quiet, as was the lane from Rydal Hall. We met a chap who made the mistake of asking me what star is that?... while pointing at Venus.

We walked back into Ambleside along the road, passing the queue of cars trying to get through town. We are now at the White Lion pub, where they appear to be running out of food.

*names have been changed to protect the innocent


Sunday, 1 January 2017

Bowness to Ambleside

Distance: 8.8 miles
Ascent:
Weather: cold and sunny

After a hearty breakfast at Daisy's Café, we took the steamer down to Bowness.  The speed of the boat cancelled out the wind, so it wasn't as cold as we'd anticipated.

It was still pretty cold walking along the road to Windermere,  although we warmed up going up to Orrest Head.

I got muddy feet in the cow field at the farm at Near Orrest, it was quite squelchy underfoot in many places but mostly good going. The bridge is still out over Trout Beck at Town End,  so we walked along to Troutbeck before following Robin Lane along by High Skelghyll and Jenkin's Crag. There was an impressive sunset and short snow shower.

Saturday, 31 December 2016

Around Ambleside

Distance: 7.2 miles
Ascent: 360m
Weather: overcast
Buzzards, roe deer, goosander

Some last minute route planning took us up Sweden Bridge Road but turned off early up the footpath towards Kirkstone Road and Roundhill Farm. Early promise of no hordes was disappointed, especially around the bottom of the path to Wansfell, but we had some peace and quiet in the woods near Jenkin's Crag. We looked at the champion trees, including the tallest tree in Cumbria,  and saw a roe deer.

Dropping down to the lakeside, we walked around Jenkin's Field to Holme Crag and then around the shore up around the roman fort and through the park.

Friday, 30 December 2016

WWT Caerlaverock

A trip to South West Scotland, where an American Wigeon was much talked of, possibly gazed upon, and some haggis was eaten.

Chaffinch
Mallard
Wigeon
Teal
Shovellers
Barnacle geese
Green winged teal
Little egret
Pintail
Redshank
Shelduck
Godwit
Curlew
Robin
Sparrow
Tufted ducks
Canada geese
Whooper Swan
Mute Swan
Moorhen
Greylag
Lapwing
Oyster catcher
Kestrel (outside reserve)
Hen harrier
Pink footed goose
Little grebe
Pheasant
Crow
Great tit
Blue tit
Blackbird
Starling
Roe deer
Fox
Hebredian sheep

Thursday, 29 December 2016

Loughrigg Terrace and Tarn

Distance: 8 miles
Ascent: 350m
Weather: chilly, misty

Today was cold, with patches of misty clouds in the valleys. Let down by the Co-Op and their lack of cheese ploughman's, lunch was got at the Spar.

We headed out through the park and along the lane to Pelter Bridge, then along the river bank to Rydal Water and along Loughrigg Terrace.

There were fewer people around on the path away from the lakes and at the arboretum at High Close and a few, but not as many as feared, at Loughrigg Tarn.

We returned along the bridleway track under Ivy Crag over the edge of the fell, stopping to take many sheep photos.

Wednesday, 28 December 2016

Claife Heights to Ambleside

Distance: 10 miles
Ascent: 500m
Weather: sunny

The day began with a trip on the ferry from Ambleside to Bowness, calling in at the supermarket for sammiches, chocolate and bizarre antioxidant drink, before (finally) catching the ferry across to the eastern side of Windermere.  The ferry crossing has been modernised and you are now required to buy a ticket from a machine (there is only one and it was causing so much confusion) before boarding. There was a long queue,  but eventually we were underway.

Thankfully the people from the long queue all decided to turn up the lakeside track, leaving us to visit the viewing station in peace. The woodland path was as muddy and steep as ever.

After a couple of brief stops to de-coat and take a photo of a woodpecker, we walked along the path through the trees, taking the higher, longer route towards High Blind Howe. Pausing at the crossroads to take a picture of a friendly robin, two lots of walkers asked us for directions.  We obviously look like we have a clue where we are. Which we did. Fortunately.

Lunch was had at the picnic tables at Wray Castle, where we saw some grey squirrels and jackdaws.

The new path led us back to Ambleside in the setting sun, through Clappersgate and Rothay Park.