Arnside and beyond

By gladders

99

That was the total number of birds seen by all of our Team of three in a challenge to see as many birds as we could in a day between South Cumbria and North Lancs. It was an early start, I arrived at Mr W's house at 0515, and we were out and on our way to High Dam by 0530.

In previous years, we have spent too much time travelling to get to more distant locations such as St Bees Head. This year we cut our travelling time and carbon footprint, and spent more time on foot exploring.

Days like this always throw up surprises, the hooded crow seen from Foulney was the least expected bird. There are always common birds missed, none of us saw a nuthatch or a treecreeper. One of us missed the great-spotted woodpecker at Foulshaw. I missed the great white egret from the Allen Hide (which given its size was quite an achievement). I would have missed a lot more if it hadn't been for the keen eyes of young Master W. 

Master W insists that all birds must be seen, whereas I'm happy to rely on songs and calls. If we had played to a seen or heard rule, we would have had over a 100. There again, we all individually saw birds that others missed, so we did in fact each see more than a hundred species.

We were flagging and hungry at 1900 hrs, so we knocked off and went for fish and chips at the Arnside Chippy.  

Best birds of the day for me: the wood warblers at High Dam, their song the closest thing we have in the north to a nightingale.

The photo is of the RNLI station at Roa Island, with Piel Castle beyond. The tide was rising rapidly as can be seen by the rough water at the end of the ferry jetty. There is one distant bird in the image, a far-off gull.

Back-blipped on Weds 8th May, 2019

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