|The view from the osprey watchpoint at Dodd Wood|
So, we decided to head to the hills and drove the paltry hour and a bit to Keswick in the Lake District.
Jenny was keen to reacquaint herself with Catbells, a place she had walked frequently as a child, and I wanted to visit the Osprey Watchpoint at Dodd Wood.
Add to these obvious and wonderful attractions the lure of some excellent Cumbrian ales and food and voilà! - we have the perfect mini-break.
|Jenny on the ascent|
Having failed to spot any migrant ospreys at Aldcliffe this spring - there were very few seen locally on passage this year - I was delighted to finally catch up with an English osprey.
For some reason I had never visited this site before despite the fact that ospreys first bred here in 2001.
One of the greatest conservation stories of recent times, the Bassenthwaite birds were the first wild ospreys to breed in the Lake District for over 150 years.
Nice to hear good news concerning birds of prey for a change...
After a plate full of excellent stodge at our B&B on Tuesday morning we got the boat across Derwent Water to Hawes End from where we proceeded to Catbells.
Blessed with glorious weather it was an enjoyable and easy walk up and along the ridge to 451 metres (1,480 ft).
On the lower slopes a male yellowhammer was singing away, and as we climbed meadow pipits became increasingly conspicuous. We came across a pair of wheatear on the western slopes and a raven 'cronked' overhead but otherwise it was pretty quiet bird wise.
|Me on the first peak|
I kept my ears and eyes out for redstart, pied flyctacher and wood warbler but I didn't have any luck locating any.
We made it back to the boat launch and caught the ferry back to Keswick in time for a late lunch, after which we headed back home having had a great time re-familiarising ourselves with this beautiful part of the world.