Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Yesterday at Cliburn Moss

This was going to be updated yesterday, but the studentcom internet service in my uni digs decided not to work with my recently purchased Macbook Pro. Fixed now, and I love my Mac, should of got one earlier.

I came back to Penrith early than usual to try and sort my next years accommodation, which isn't going well. After sorting a few bits and pieces out I headed for Cliburn Moss, arriving at 14:30.

As parked up, and put my wellies on a tribe of Long Tailed Tit fed in the silver birch canopy above. I was taken North along the western edge of the reserve, as I entered the mature Scots Pine the need to stop and listen seem apparent, firstly from the silence I picked up the song ofGoldcrests, quite a few, scanning the thick canopy above I found numerous birds feeding. Continuing North a Jay made a brief appearance, flying up off the track. Reaching the Northern-most edge of the reserve again I stopped to listen, I could hear the flack ofWoodpigeons to the North, the sound of Jackdaws and Rooks to the North, as wellCarrion Crow, but the most noise was coming from a presumed flock of Starling, chattering to the North. Naturally I headed north, though the gate off the reserve, up onto the disused railway, with the hawthorn hedgerow. Looking over the field, I could see a winter crop had been left, and large numbers of Woodpigeon, Jackdaw, Rook, and Starling were feeding.Lapwing were also present amongst the Starlings, 4 Fieldfare fed close to the hedgerow and a single Stock Dove fed amongst the Woodpigeon. As I re-entered the reserve a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead.

The track now headed East, it leaves behind the Scots Pines for a small marshy meadow area, with a small pond, 6 Mallard, and 1 Drake Teal were flushed from the pond as I approached. I followed this track it began to head towards the houses, not wanting to walk this way, I went for a bit of wandering, and headed South along the reserve perimeter, which I'm pleased I did. Just as I re-entered the Scots Pine a couple of Woodpigeons flew out of the canopy above, and a scratching noise on the tree in front of me followed. A Red Squirrel was frozen against the orange trunk of a mature Scots Pine, heading downwards. It camouflaged in so well, with that beautiful orange colour it shares with the Scots Pine, if it had not made a sound I may of missed it. Retracing 2 or 3 steps another tree provided me with cover, as I sat down the Squirrel repositioned onto a horizontal branch, it sat, cleaned and scratched for about 5 minutes before it move upwards into the canopy.

Pheasant, Blue Tit, Great Tit, and Common Buzzard were heard throughout my wonder of the reserve.


  1. I enjoyed reading the report Cain. I hope the accomodation gets sorted out.

    I'm tring to re-call how far Penrith is from Kikby Stephen as there ia a decent C W T reserve at a place called Smardale. http://www.cumbriawildlifetrust.org.uk/smardale-gill.html I'm hoping to visit with the group this year.

  2. Hi Cain, I do enjoy your Blog but find the text difficult to read. I notice that you have repeated todays update on Young Birders and it is much more legible. I'm sure the new Mac can produce a better layout.

  3. Hi Swifty, I've change the text to darker colour, it looks easier to read, let me know what you think, oh and thank you for the feedback, I need more of it :)