Setting Off From Sandwell valley

Friday, 2 July 2010

Friends - Scarfell to Campfield RSPB Reserve

So Scarfell was climbed, well walked up and St Bees was almost reached before camping up for the night.

Next day, the 27th of June, Sunday. Sincere thanks to the girls at the lighthouse atop the cliffs for the tea and mobile recharge. Met at the RSPB viewpoint of the guillemot colony there by friends from Upton Warren; my patch in Worcestershire. Fabulous to see them.

Hundreds of guillemot here, small number of razorbills and 1 puffin. Also some lovely people too:-

Cycled to Whitehaven and got in at the Catholic Men's Society Club on the outskirts to watch the worst England World Cup match and then the Red Arrows. Which did I prefer - not hard really to guess is it?

Phoned a friend from over 28 years ago on the off chance that she and her spouse would be in. paul answered and an hour later sat in the sitting room, chatting as though 28 years was only a couple of weeks ago. Pauline was a fabulous friend when I was at college at Chester. Paul is her husband and what a thrill to see them both together. I can't think of any other couple from that time who are still together. Brilliant.

Monday 28th June

Pauline off to an inspection at her school, Paul off to work and me a cycle to some well known supermarket, after blogging update in Workington.

Was cycling with the wind at my back towards Maryport when I decided to head inland to the Osprey viewpoint at Bassenthwaite. Into the wind and a couple of hours later, 4.30pm, found the cafe there but the viewpoint closed and rain starting. Apple and blackcurrant crumble with a small amount of custard then camped about a mile away.

Tuesday 29th June

Osprey pair seen and osprey chicks likewise. Fabulous people at the viewpoints met and all round great time had.

Cycled to Campfield in the afternoon and met the site manager Norman. Spent the evening walking to the high spot that looks over the reserve, Rogersceugh, seeing quite a few large heath butterflies on the way. Barn owl and 2 roe deer on the return trip to the tent.

Sorry about the lack of detail but my notebook is back at the volunteers house whilst I am currently using the computer in the office at geltsdale RSPB reserve.

Up early on the 30th of June at Campfield and saw 51 bird species before breakfast, including tree sparrows to wake me up, 27 golden plover most with some summer plumage feathers on the beach and a grasshopper warbler reeling some way along the same.

Slept in the hide for a couple of hours due to the early start and the heat; waking to find hazy sunshine caused by some thin cloud cover. Rest of the day spent walking around the reserve, along the long broadwalks finding butterflies and dragonflies including a male emperor and a lot of four-spot libs and more large heath. A cuckoo flew close giving the best views I've had of one this year and then I found 21 lesser butterfly orchids afetr thinking I'd found a quail. The string was averted by a female pheasant leaping out in front of me 10 metres further down the path.

Two lovely people met on returning to the tent; John and Judith, and a very intense Led Zeppelin fan, Dave.

Right, now to watch my favourite Zep track on Youtube - Dazed and Confused. Seems apt. Tired out after a fabulous day at Geltsdale RSPB reserve, Cumbria.

More later.

All the best everyone,


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