Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Gorgeous sunny spring day, so decided to have a day out looking at some of our wildlife hotspots. Went to Birk Bank Woods near Caton, which are a mixture of upland habitats and oak woodlands. The golden yellow banks of Gorse contrasted wonderfully with the clear blue sky as we followed the path through the mounds of flowering Bilberry. Cool and quiet amongst the oak trees. Found a large empty nest hanging in a gorse. Then we drove past Calf Hill and Cragg Woods then past Caton Moor windfarm where we spoted a Meadow pipit with a beak full of food. Drove on to Holme wood by Barnacre Reservoir near Oakenclough. Mixed deciduous woodland in a dell, with a streamside footpath leading down to Grizedale reservoir. Oak just finished flowering, Rowan, Hawtorn and Horse Chestnuts flowering and providing shade for the carpets of Bluebells, speckled with the white flowers of Stitchwort. Looked magical in the dappled sunlight with Small White and Large White butterflies dancing amongst the flowers. Lots of Chiff Chaff calls and Barrie saw a Nuthatch slip into a tiny hole in a tree and come out with a faecal sac. Walked down to the reservoir, where Barrie photographed either a Chiffchaff or a Willow Warbler (it didn't utter a tweet) catching caterpillars. On our walk back through the woods, I heard a plop behind us and saw something swimming through the stream and scrabbling over rocks, black, wet and glistening and very, very fast, couldn't get a clear view and didn't want to get so close we scared it, hope it was a Water Vole.
Click Photos below to enlarge

Birk Bank

Meadow Pipit

Nuthatch with faecal sac

Holme Wood

Small White

Chiff chaff or Willow Warbler

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