Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Well had a trip down into Lancashire, or to put it in the modern parlance, Mersyside, and to be more precise St.Helens my old home town. However it was a visit that for once I wished I wasn't making, as I was going to the funeral of an old friend. Someone I use to work with at Victoria park. There was people there I hadn't seen for nearly 40 years, some I no longer recognised and reintroductions were necessary.
     When I arrived in St.Helens I had a bit of time to spare, and close to  where Dave (a lad I am constantly in touch with) lives, is a place called Carr mill dam. I spent many a happy hour playing around the dam when I was a kid, and at about the same period it use to used for hydro plane racing. It has always been a popular place for fishing, and more recently birdwatching. I remember at the age of 14 myself and a mate built a raft sailed it right across the dam, all good fun. At the Northern end of the dam is a place called the 19 arches, the arches now carry a footpath, and as can be seen there are 19 arches-----

The 19 arches Carr Mill, on the other side of the arches the dam continue to a road, then on the other side of the road an area of water called the Dig pit, which also use to be used for fishing.
Going to a funeral I wasn't exactly dressed for birding, and although the weather looked good, it was extremely windy and cold, so I  didn't linger, but it was nice to see the old place after more years than I care to remember.

pic from the top of the arches, not much to be seen apart from a few mallard.

And lastly looking South along a good portion of the dam.
A day of mixed feeling and memories.        More on the history of the dam can be found on various web sights and Wiki.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Westies in the snow

I got an e-mail from John this morning telling me he had found 40 Brambling in the big Hawthorn hedge, unfortunately I didn't go into that area, and on my walk with the Westies I saw very little. The usual Corvids were about, a few gulls and about a dozen Lapwings near the snow covered flood area. One or two blackbirds added to the small tally and that was a bout it.
     So for a change I took pics of snowy scenes and the Westies, hope you enjoy.

The Westies enjoying the snow, the frost had created a thin crust which the Westies took to be solid, but then fall through it, it was funny to watch . Kyfer in front Misty at the back.
One lone Carrion Crow.
Looking across to where the Flood/flash use to be with a few Lapwing in the area,

Misty, I've really got to keep an eye on them as the area is alive with rabbits, and if they see one or get the scent of one they are away. And this is why I don't take them with me if I am doing an serious birding and photography.
Looking down an old track toward the industrial sight.

One of Mr. Bowman's carriage horses.
interested in the lens.
Ho no whats He seen now.
There is something about an isolated tree that I find attractive.

Kyfer, and again something has caught his eye. He is far more fun loving and mischievous than Misty and always ready to play games more than her.
Misty wondering what I'm doing with the camera. 
 Thank you for looking in TTFN.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Fieldfare bonanza

The sun was struggling to get out this morning.
A sunny day had been forecast for today, so I made the effort and got up a bit earlier. There had been another keen frost and all the rooftops and cars were white. I took the Westies out for the morning walk after I had breakfasted, then I went out again with the camera to see if there was anything about the Thacka area.
    I went onto the reserve taking the path by the big Hawthorn hedge, there was quite a number of Chaffinch but no sign of any Brambling with them. Next I wondered along the railway path and had a look at Roy's feeders which were attracting the usual flock of mixed tits.

As I turned back to make my way onto the top track the sun was still struggling to break through.

Looking South from the railway track

And a little later from the top track, Frosties for the sheep this morning ?
One or two Blackbirds flitted along the track in front of me, very nervous so probably winter visitors, as the local birds are usually quite tame.
                Then in the field near the flash quite a large flock of Fieldfare, though they were constantly on the move.

One of many Fieldfares .

There was also a few Redwings mixed in with them, with Lapwings and Starlings further away.

Considering how hard the ground was they were still managing to pull up worms.

The main pond on the reserve had a mixed flock of Common and Black-headed Gulls.

Common Gull, they all looked a bit miserable with the ice.

And a Black-headed Gull almost in full summer plumage, its timing is a bit out.
Thanks for looking in .

Monday, 14 January 2013

A run over to Keswick

View of Blencathra from the A66 this morning as I made my way over to Keswick
Late yesterday afternoon we had a few flurries of snow but not enough to cover roads or pavements thankfully. So this morning I decided on my first outing of 2013 with the camera, and visit my mate Les.

The first thing I found on the lake was these three Swans upending , one adult two juvenile. Then 

A small flock of Tufted Duck flew in, closely followed by these 3

Goldeneye a male displaying to 2 female,

He was really strutting his stuff.

Go on sun , chest out head back wet bum who could resist, juvenile Swan in background, and then,

 one of the Swans decided to spoil his fun and away they went.

Skiddaw Little Man behind Keswick.

Black-headed Gulls in feeding frenzy.

Another view of Blencathra, and St, Johns church Keswick in the foreground.

Quite a smart fella even if he is a Heinz 57

Lastly, looking at Derwent Isle into the sun from the Isthmus