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" Helen's Final Day and Garden Wildlife "
Date & start time: Tuesday 12th September 2017, pm.
Location of Start : By the red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : The front window sill and a short walk around Flass Wood to close.
Walk details : 1.7 miles, 250 feet of ascent, 45 mins.
Walked with : Helen and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast but kind.
© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.
While Helen was here she spent quite some time looking out of our window
and marvelled at the difference in her surroundings compared to her Australian home.
Her patience was rewarded by the sightings of a whole range of our frequent visitors.
Setting the scene . . . many of the photos here were taken through the glass (hence the reflection)
and are a combination of our photos and her own. The wildlife pictures here span the whole of her three day visit.
Of course helen was born and brought up in the UK, so glances at the bird book were more of a refresher course that an revelation.
The top small bird with the yellow chest and a very black cap is the Great Tit.
The difference between it and the Blue Tit is basically the depth of colour, especially on the head.
The bird table seems to feed a whole flock of Sparrows, the flock having grown with time and can often exceed twenty.
One flies up to the fat ball feeder and another takes a black sunflower seed from the tube.
On the peanuts with the normal blue tit is another regular . . . the more grey-chested Coal Tit.
Often the first to arrive, the Robin.
The close proximity of the hedge seems to be an advantage for the birds, giving them somewhere not only to perch,
but to hide in the event of predators or garden intruders like ourselves. The dogs don't seem to bother them.
Presumably that fluff ball is a juvenile Blue Tit.
- - - o o o - - -
Ann and I haven't seen our red squirrels for a short while.
There's been no great evidence of half hazel nut shells or having to top up the squirrel feeders.
We were just telling Helen of our disappointment when . . .
Up from the bottom garden . . .
Along came one of our Red Squirrels.
He climbs the pole . . . intent on feeding from the table.
Straight in for a hazel nut that I had left on the top . . . the empty shells being thrown to one side.
Searching the menu to check what else is on offer.
Time to hide a nut or two away for later.
One hazel nut was buried in the garden . . . another was carried off out of the side gate.
A scare frightened all the birds away . . . the first to return . . . the Robin again.
A Sparrow returns to the table.
A reasonably mature adult I think.
Our friend returned on several occasions during Helen's visit.
Checking out the goodies at ground level . . . if there are any.
Behind it is an interesting mottled-capped Blackbird.
Taking the smaller table top food as a starter.
Main course . . . hazel surprise.
The surprise is that it has a hard shell . . . still they have the hands to hold it and the teeth to cut their way in.
Alternatively they'll store it away without opening.
Gliding in with an undulating flight . . . a Greater Spotted Woodpecker.
His favourite is the fat balls held in the hollow log feeder screwed onto the side of the main pole.
A different blackbird . . . this one with a fully black head.
Easier to access the peanuts and so he casts the shell aside and eats them immediately.
Something has spooked him.
He and the birds are off.
Leaving a rather large slug the only resident remaining in this part of the garden.
- - - o o o - - -
The wildlife photos were taken by Helen and myself over the last few mornings
but on Helen's last day there's time for one more local walk before she has to get ready for her train.
Looking back as we head off in the direction of the Kirkstile.
It's dry here but there's a rain shower up the valley at Buttermere . . . let's hope we don't get one down here.
The old oak struggles to survive . . . but survive it does.
[ It features as 'Miss December' in our calendar this year by the way ]
A fine view of the Kirkstile Inn where we dined last night.
Chilling out in the shade is a young Swaledale Sheep . . . I didn't think it was that hot ?
Later in the walk Harry was followed by a different one for quite some distance . . . "Are you my mother ?"
The clearing within Flass Woods caused by the 2005 storms.
Helen spots the boathouse on the far side of the lake . . . she was walking there with Ann yesterday.
The houses of High Park.
. . . and those of Low Park as Helen and I make our way home.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic TZ60, my Gx8 Camera or Helen's Cannon DSLR.
[ Thanks to Elaine B for slight assistance in the ornithological department ]
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This site best viewed with . . . photos to re-live a visit at your leisure.
Previous walk - 10th - 11th September 2017 - Helen in Loweswater
Results of last year's Calendar Sales - January 2017 - The 2017 Calendar Results
Next walk - 16th September 2017 - Latrigg with Dee and John