Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Birding In England.

Wherever you travel, whatever the weather conditions, there is always an oppertunity to spot wildlife, specifically birds. In the past I have always been too busy to have a good look around me. I was either running, riding or walking flat out to notice. Now it's a little different. I try to take the time to really look. Not just "tick" the destination but really to absorb it.

It can be done anywhere, your backyard, your walk to the shops or your drive to work or on holidays! In a city or in the country. It does not matter.

Our recent trip to the beautiful Duddon Estuary and Lakes District of England would proove again just how magical birding can be, and just how incredible our environment is.

With the help of Jims expert eye we spotted:-

01. Rook 02. Carrion Crow 03. Jackdaw 04. Magpie 05. Bullfinch 06. Robin 07. Black-headed Gull 08. Chaffinch 09. Blackbird 10. Coot 11. Mute Swan 12. Mistle Thrush 13. Mallard 14. Canada Goose 15. Tufted Duck 16. Jay 17. Lapwing 18. Grey Heron 19. Treecreeper 20. Herring Gull 21. Collared Dove 22. Buzzard 23. Wren 24. House Sparrow 25. Starling 26. Curlew 27. Great Tit 28. Snipe 29. Redshank 30. Twite 31. Stonechat 32. Bar-tailed Godwit33. Greylag Goose
34. Great Black-backed Gull 35. Dunlin 36. Goldcrest 37. Meadow Pipit 38. Kestrel 39. Lesser Black-backed Gull 40. Cormorant 41. Knot 42. Woodpigeon 43. Blue Tit 44. Goldfinch 45. Fieldfare 46. Moorehen 47. Dunnock 48. Shelduck 49. Turnstone 50. Grey Plover 51. Golden Plover 52. Skylark 53. Eider 54. Rock Pipit 55. Brent Goose 56. Goosander 57. Red-breasted Merganser 58. Great Crested Grebe 59. Pied Wagtail 60. Pheasant 61. Oystercatcher 62. Common Gull 63. Partridge

YEP!! 63 ... and we were just on holidays....

Of course a stop at the lake where Campbells Blue Bird ran the world speed record thrilled a "rev head like me", and even more birds were seen. The scenery EVERYWHERE is spectacular.

After a day of driving and "spotting" there is nothing better than delicious food in an English pub. An open fire always greeted us as too did an English Ale. I once wrote that English food is bland and stodgey. Well Iam glad I did.... because it seemed as if everyone was going out of their way to proove otherwise.

The King Prawns at the Black Dog pub were some of the best I have had anywhere, (yes I know! They are full of iron etc etc..... but you have gotta live!!). The barman seemed amused by my accent, then he confessed he had a fantastic trip to Aus, and thought all Aussies were wonderful... Of course I bought an extra pint.

So, if you are a traveller, walker, mountain bike rider, whatever your "thrill", buy a book, binoculars, take a deep breath and have a real look around. In the middle of winter, with ice and sleet all around you will be surprised what you will see.

That night I thought of the pheasant we dined on earlier. The best I had ever tasted.

So, my friends get out, take a deep breath and enjoy what exists around you!


  1. Maybe I should look up more often, up from the fallen leaves and rotten apples, left by some .... crow. :-)

  2. Ohhh you have tasted the birdlife there in more ways than one ;) Thanks for giving us a taste of Duddon Estuary and Lakes District with your post! Handsome (swan?) there!

  3. Merisi! ahah! I always try to look up! It avoids looking down ;o)

    Anon:- yes thats a Mute swan!

    The Pheasants were wandering round everywhere. When I ate it I got some lead shot- not from a farmer! In the bird!

  4. HAHAA, nice one ;) Is a 'Mute' Swan silent?

  5. no. they bite too!

    BTW swans are white in UK and black here.. So when the Aussie ballet does swan lake.. they should be in black??

  6. I do believe the swans should be black Down Under when they ballet Simon! Hhehheeee. I have some Aussie swans to post later too ... much later, like in two weeks time. The young ones are a beautiful size for photographing at the moment ;)

  7. Swanlake with Black Swans? I am sure they could carry it off with aplomb, in an "Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly little black dress". Add a Tiffany's strand of pearls, and they are ready for breakfast too. :-)
    Coffee anyone?

  8. Was that the pheasant Maalie found rotting in the field, dead from Bird Flu?


  9. Lorenzo! Didn't Maalie instruct you, not to talk about that dead bird????

  10. Simon, how wonderful, but you just missed out on this beauty:

  11. According to your foodie shot, pub fare as definitely improved since I was there!

    Was that the lake where he and the Blue Bird did a nasty flying tumble? I vaguely remember seeing some horrifying film footage once but perhaps my memory is failing me ... AGAIN!

  12. Bluebird did indeed do a bit of a tumble on Conniston. Did you go to the museum?

  13. i was hoping the pheasant was road kill.. if it was it had plenty of lead shot in it.

    I did not get to the museum. Maalie was turning green when he saw that i was getting excited about it....

    Ellee I will have a look!

  14. Well, thank you both for confirming my thought on the lake and Blue Bird! It's comforting to think that the gearhead trivia part of my brain is not fading as fast as the rest of it!

  15. Swans are black or white here.... does that mean in the ballet we should have a mosaic of black and white?

    Interesting stuff you have written in my absence simon.... will read it properly later!