Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Monday, 28 June 2010

Haweswater - Golden Eagles and Golden-ringed dragonflies

So after an evening of enjoying pied and spotted flycatchers and an England victory in the real sport of cricket, a gratefully received cumberland sausage and lovely chat with Rex and Irene; got up the next morning early and after tiying up saw the tree nursery with Dave Shackleton, the warden of Haweswater RSPB reserve. A fabulous tree nursery tended by a superb man. It was great to see the hundreds of juniper and oak trees and know that Dave and his team would be planing them in the area. I remember a book about an old French man who spent his final years sowing acorn seeds and by the end of the book he's changed the local climate from desert to forest. A lovely book and I feel the Dave is the English equivelant.

Cycled down to the south end of Haweswater, after meeting a couple who were editors for a large magazine about the lakes and having my photo taken by them. Chained Sid - the bike up and walked around to the RSPB viewpoint for the golden eagle. A red squirrel came close running along the top of a dry stone wall, a male redpoll did similar after washing in the nearby lake, it preened nearby and a family of wheatear were also very close.

Met 2 lovely police ladies from Essex at the viewpoint and Rex and Irene from the warden's house came and joined me. Together we watched for over an hour before through irene's scope I saw a raven coming over the ridge near to where the golden eagle is known to roost. "Keep on the raven," was the instruction from Irene who knew a lot of the eagle's habits and I did as it dived down the cliff face to join another obviously mobbing something on the cliff. There it was the male golden eagle. It flew, landed and continued to be mobbed for some time. After a while the ravens left and the eagle took aff again and did a superb glide down over behind a stone brick wall to somewhere we could n't see. Brilliant bird and number 207 on the year list.

After a littel difficulty with a gentleman who wanted access to the valley; quite correctly denied to him as this is a schedule 1 bird and the only one in England, Rex, Irene and I walked back to the car park and I cycled back to watch the England match [should I have bothered?]

Oh yes after almost 6 months I've found out how to put photos on the blog!

Met Spike and other volunteers who were on their way to the pub but watched the 1 - 0 win with Rex. I'd intended to join Spike and the rest at the pub but got a bit lost and ended up at a pub where I met a great couple, Graham and his partner [I really must remember to put down names straight away because at my almost senior age I soon forget!] Graham has said about going to Mont Blanc next eyar and I really must keep in touch with this wonderful couple.

Played the game of nail the nail i.e. hit the nail with an axe. Was hopeless at it despite a local boy showing how it should be done then cycled to Ullswater.

Had a fabulous thing happen whilst cycling along a small lane. Some jackdaws were causing a fuss and all of a sudden, in a split second a sparrowhawk almost hit my helmet as it wooshed past. So amazingly close and an absloute thrill. Imaging the headlines "Biking Birder knocked over by a sprog!" Brilliant.

Slept in a field beside Ullswater and a bit of overnight rain was heard.

Next day got to Ambleside, then Coniston via a hilly cycle path where I met Pete, a sustainability scientist and his wife [thanks for the water and the donation].

Yew Tree tarn was totally dried up hence the fishing sign :-

Thanks to Carl and Maxine whom I met there and Jan and Graham for their donations.

So onward to Millom and the lovely sight of watching 4 possibly 18 year olds, 2 girls, 2 boys from my camping position. As the sun went down they played ....... hide and seek using their mobiles. "Where are you?" Sweet!

All the best everyone


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