An early-ish start saw us heading north along the A1 and after our usual stop off at Wetherby services,the obligatory Red Kite and Common Buzzards were encountered along the motorway,before we headed across country from Scotch Corner.
As we headed into Teesdale,a pre-planned visit to the fantastic High Force,saw us visiting this very impressive waterfall.A few welcome bird and wildlife sightings here included a lovely Dipper along the Tees,a couple of Chiffies and the amazing sight of my first Western conifer Seed Bug found along one of the paths near to the car park,what a great start to the holiday.
As we carried on the journey we neared some great Black Grouse habitat and it wasn't long before we were enjoying our first ones seen this year,with a bachelor group of 7 males watched feeding on the roadside,not close enough for the camera,but great to see all the same.
Further on and nearer to our destination,Trace spotted a further 3 males,which thankfully were much closer and i managed a few record shots.What cracking birds they are and it was nice to see some again after last years Yorkshire birds.
After arriving at the lovely stone cottage we were staying at along with our hosts Kirst and Kev,we unpacked and straight away went to explore the area.
We walked along the South Tyne Trail up to Lambley Viaduct and back and saw a few nice sightings which included a cracking male Merlin,Willow Warbler,6+ Common Buzzard,2 Grey Heron and the lovely sight and sound of displaying Curlew and Snipe.
Afterwards we walked along the South Tyne at Featherstone Castle,with some lovely riverine scenery and a few notable sightings in the form of at least 20 Oystercatcher,Sand Martin,a couple of Common Buzzard and on the river,2 Common Toads and a shoal of Minnows.
Watching the garden before we all went out for the day today,saw a nice surprise seen in the form of a single Mealie Redpoll found with at least 11 Siskin and 2 Lesser Redpoll visiting the garden feeders along with a female Great-spotted Woodpecker.This little garden proved to be brilliant for birds with at least 21 species being seen in it,incredible stuff and i missed the Nuthatch Kirst saw as well!.
We visited a few places during the day,with the best sighting being a male Red-breasted Merganser on Ullswater and 75 Fieldfare near Eals in some poor weather conditions today unfortunately.
Back at the cottage garden,the Mealies had doubled to two now,amazing stuff and 3 Bullfinch also visited.
After more of watching the garden birds at breakfast,Trace and myself headed out on our own today,visiting the stunning Ullswater and beautiful Grasmere.The weather was still cloudy,with a few sunny breaks,but we couldn't care less about the weather to be fair,with the scenery being breathtaking,particularly as we drove through the Kirkstone Pass.
A few nice bird sightings at Grasmere included 25 beautiful Whooper Swan making their way back north to Iceland and they looked stunning as they positively glowed against the surrounding dark mountain scape.On and over Grasmere itself,sightings included my first Common Sandpiper of the year which Trace spotted,200+ Sand Martin and 3 pairs of Goosander.
At dusk as we returned from a lovely meal out,to see a male Woodcock was roding over the garden,what an amazing place to stay!.
Sadly it was time to say our goodbyes to Kirst and Kev and we reluctantly travelled home back to Lincolnshire after a lovely,relaxed few days away.
|Western Conifer Seed Bug,High Force.|
|Lambs At Eals,Northumberland.|
|Male Siskin,in the cottage garden,Eals,Northumberland.|
|Mealie Redpoll,in the cottage garden,Eals,Northumberland.|
|Mealie Redpoll's,in the cottage garden,Eals,Northumberland.|