Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cumbria - 30th Nov & 1st Dec 2007.

A two night stay at a property named 'Cannon Close' at Storrs on the outskirts of Bowness-on-Windermere, SD398954, with Pam and my Parents unfortunately coincided with really miserable weather conditions. However some decent birds were had in between the squally showers and the Shops!
30th Nov: Up at first light and around the grounds of 'Cannon Close' which overlooks Windermere. From the bedroom window, c70 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye, 1pr Red-breasted Merganser and 86 Coot were 'offshore'. I was disappointed that no Hawfinch were seen or heard around the grounds as on my previous two stays at the property, but weather conditions were not very conducive. There was also a Grey Squirrel in the grounds. I'm not sure as to the status of Greys in this part of Cumbria, but perhaps it's presence should be reported to someone?
Driving to Grasmere two female Scaup could be seen from the car with the naked eye as they fed close to the nigh-on-impossible to park along stretch of the A591 at Rydal Water. Nontheless I risked the chance of a multi vehicle pile up and managed to obtain a few photos without really being able to enjoy the birds before having to drive on.

Above: Two fem Greater Scaup - Rydal Water, Cumbria - 30th Nov 2007.

Keswick was the next destination after Grasmere. By now the weather was appalling so following another tour of shops I made the decision to drive to the coast in the hope that the weather would improve a little away from the fells. This proved to be the case, so a little birding time was had at both Maryport and Workington Harbours with the highlight being an adult Mediterranean Gull at Workington Harbour.

Above: Ad Med Gull & Turnstone - Workington Harbour, Cumbria - 30th Nov 2007.
Back at 'Cannon Close' before dark and a vigil at the Trees where I had seen Hawfinch perch in a pre-roost manner on previous visits again drew a blank. We had to vacate the premises by 10:00 the next morning and I was hell bent on not dipping on Hawfinch at the site where I had experienced veritable fests of up to 9 birds in the past!
1st Dec: Again up at first light with the aim of seeing a Hawfinch a priority, but despite two hours of scanning there was not a sniff of said Finch in and around the grounds. The weather had improved but was still showery, with some hail. 10:00hrs arrived and my Mum suggested we all take a final stroll to the waters edge at the foot of the garden. Upon arrival I noticed a bird perched prominently atop a tree a few gardens away. Through the 'bins' it was clearly a Hawfinch and I legged it back to the car for my scope and camcorder. Fortunately the Hawfinch was still present when I arrived back and I even managed to force everyone to take a look through the scope without too much resistance! Indeed, I had to forcibly remove my Mum from the eyepiece as she was holding up the queue!
Above: Hawfinch - 'Cannon Close' Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria - 1st Dec 2007.
Elated at having a Hawfinch finally under the belt and with my 100% record of connecting with this species at the site intact I was content for the remainder of the day!
See March and November 2006 archives for previous blog entries from this location.