Wednesday, 18 January 2012

West Cumbria

Today I ventured into Craig's territory, with Ewan and Andrew. We didn't leave Penrith till 12:30, arriving at Siddick Ponds no later than 13:30, Ewan had a brilliant few hours here a couple of days ago when the cold temperatures had frozen the pond. Today its been relatively warm, all the open water was free from ice. A scan of the nearest pond produced Mallard, Black Headed Gull and a single Greylag Goose.

Setting up at the railings overlooking the large pool I noticed the Gulls showing an interest in something in front of the near reed-bed, out of view, I'd seen this behaviour before at Holywell and Big Waters, I was almost certain there was an Otter. A Grey Heron soon joined the Black Headed Gulls, something I've never seen before, slowly moving into view I caught the tail of a large Otter. The dog Otter then showed well for a few minutes before disappearing into the near side reeds once again.

Walking further along the track, to view the main body of water we met Paul, who had been spending the morning filming. 30 Goosesander, 4 Whooper Swans, 1 Drake Pintail, Mallard, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Teal, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, and Goldeneye were all present on the water, a Water Rail gave a great fly by view as it travelled between the gap in the reeds, and a couple of Snipe showed themselves briefly, camouflaged against the reed-bed.

Next was on to 'The Dump' a large area of ex-MOD land left to re-wild, a brilliant area with some great habitat. As Cumbria provided one of its famous sunsets we clocked up 2 Barn Owl, 1-2 Short-Eared Owls, Tawny Owl, Kestrel, Buzzard, 4 Woodcock, 246 Goosesander overhead, 3 Roe Deer, and a few thousand Corvids coming to roost. A great day out.

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