Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Close encounters

Face to face with a Four-spotted Chaser dragonfly at Foulshaw Moss. I do like her little antennae, and what looks like a little bald pate incongruously in front of that huge pair of eyes.

After Brokenbanjo's sightings and musings at Leighton Moss last night, we decided to check out Foulshaw today. It was a productive visit for close encounters and not so close encounters.

We trekked across the Moss to get a view of the osprey tree. On the way in we saw a large herd of red deer, including two white hinds. We heard a cuckoo calling, the first for me this year. But better, there were two birds, a male and a female. Later as we came into the little birch wood, we had excellent views of what looked like the female being mobbed by a meadow pipit (the most likely host species in this situation). And I managed to get a few passable shots of it.

As for the ospreys, there was no sign of nesting activity, but a bird was there in the dead branches of a pine eating a fish, and attracting the unwelcome attentions of a raven. Meanwhile, high in the sky above, silhouetted against the fluffy clouds, two buzzards were spiralling upwards on the thermals. Then the higher bird did a spectacular stoop, dropping like a stone, and feinting at the second. They continued circling together, dancing in the sky.

We had been checking for adders as we went to the watching point, but in spite of the presence of Westmorland's very own snake magnet, we had no success. On the way back the magnet failed to notice one that was curled up on a tussock, and for the first time ever, I saw it before him. I also saw this dragonfly after he had nearly stepped on it.

A relaxing day, topped off with fish and chips eaten at the insistence of one of our guests, Marion, al fresco on the Arnside pier.

Sign in or get an account to comment.