Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Monday, 28 June 2010

Hodbarrow RSPB Reserve - 25th June 2010

Early rise, packed and the hunt was on for bee orchids, which I eventually found near to the old renovated [thanks to a local Primary School] lighthouse.

Once again, as at Leighton Moss, 50 bird species before breakfast including eider, lesser whitethroat, stonechat and sandwich terns. Also a new butterfly for the year with some graylings seen well.

Off to the local library and then a ride to an excellent Roman Bath House at Ravenglass.

Mid afternoon by now and Wast Water reached. I conned myself to stay at the youth hostel by saying to myself that I would ask about camping but when the receptionist said there was a bed I accepted it quickly.

Talked with a lovely lady, Jayne, who was with a group of 'Fix the Fells' workers and they kindly invited me to their evening BQ. My contribution was all I'd got; a tin of sardines and a pot of cheese spread.

Midges seen off by Avon and then 3 bikers from the Derby area came over saying they'd found a dead bird of prey. It turned out sadly to be an adult osprey. The lads were Bob, Tony and Roy from Swanwick and they were as gutted as I was by this sad demise.

Saturday 26th June [thought it was Friday for most of the day]

Breakfast at it's usual brilliant best at the youth hostel. Tried phoning the RSPB over the osprey but no reply. It may have helped if I'd remembered to say that it was dead!

Now the views of this valley are said to be the best in Britain and it was easy to see why it was voted such. Breathtaking views as I cycled to the end where to start a walk up to the 4th peak - Scarfell Pike. Stunningly beautiful.

Chained up the bike and started walking. Lots of people were doing the 3 peaks challenge for a variety of charities.

RAF Benson, Squadron 78 were carrying stretchers in order to Help The Heroes and UCARES

Met the Fix the Fells people again and joined them until lunch where I carried on up the mountain. These people are beyond amazing and wonderful. To give up so much time to fix the paths, mend dry stone walls, litter pick etc; they deserve so much praise and admiration. So to Jayne, Dave, Heather, Ian, Ivan and Lauren - and especially Alfie, here's to you and thanks so much. It was truly fabulous meeting you all.

Now at Workington Library after having successfully got to the top of Scarfell, having met friends from Upton Warren and having met 2 very dear friends from too long ago; 28 years ago in fact.

More next library time.

All the very best


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