Arrived at Carlisle and met my fabulous daughter, Rebecca, who'd caught a train very early from Hartlepool, for a great day together.
Breakfast and a pair of flip flops [for her!] and then to Carlisle Castle. High road and low road explanations in the dungeon; 30 hung drawn and quartered many years ago.
Shrek Forever After in the afternoon and a real surprise. The 'real' Shrek is back with plenty of heart and soul. I loved Shrek 1, which some may think is sad for a 50 year old plus. Still I didn't feel the same about Shrek 2 and didn't bother with Shrek 3. This Shrek though was back to the first with Shrek's fatherhood issues being close to my own heart. Lovely to share this film with 'Rebs'.
A meal in a pub and then she was gone; taking the long train home via Newcastle. Long that is in time not length.
Cycled to Geltsdale to be met by the wonderful Jen; taken to a small cottage where they were kindly putting me up for the night and met Lee dark there, a monitoring member of RSPB staff. We had just a few things in common and despite the promise of a year tick, namely a short-eared owl, the walk eventually taken rather late only gave us one bird - a buzzard. Come to Geltsdale and see 1 bird. maybe the rumours were correct.
Friday 2nd July
Up early and out to walk the same way as the previous evening. Short-eared owl withing 5 minutes [208 year list] So there are birds here. Male ring ouzel, a pair of whinchat with young, stonechat likewise, plenty of birds and good ones too.
Back to the cottage and a walk down to the offices to meet other RSPB staff. A ride to see merlin, a new moth - wood tiger and orchids; greater butterfly and fragrant. Brilliant people, a lovely friendly group - Steve, Belinda, Jen and Lee.
Saturday 3rd July
Moths included elephant and poplar hawkmoth, garden tiger and a lot of silver ground carpets. Better ones to me were antler moth and flames carpet.