Brianpen Birds - Keswick, Lake District, UK Bird List from 17-19 June, 2010


Bird Sightings, Keswick, Lake District, UK, 17-19 June 2010

Free-range sheep in bracken
Small farm in Threlkeld
Pasture edge
Keswick public garden
Derwent Water below Latrigg
Keswick is one of the larger towns in the mountains of the Lake District National Park which is in northwestern England, in the west-central part of Great Britain. The landscape is green and appealing, its gentle valleys a patchwork quilt of pastures, meadows and small woodlots stitched together with stone walls, its steep-sided fells (hills) carpeted with heather, bracken and grass with numerous talus slopes and rough rock outcrops higher up. The larger valleys host lakes with stands of mature hardwoods among the meadows and marshes along their shores. The area is popular with walkers the towns are full of B&B's and numerous trails link the villages, valleys and fells.
We spent two full days and a morning there in mid-June, hiking in the hills and staying in the Pitcairn House bed and breakfast on Blencathra Street. I also went out birding briefly before breakfast all three mornings. Our first day I just explored a church yard and public garden near Pitcairn House in the morning then the boys and I hiked up Blencathra from Threlkeld via the sharp-edged ridge in the afternoon. The second day I walked down towards the Walla Crags trailhead and back along Ambleside and Borrowdale roads and a trail across pastures and a wooded hillside between the two roads. That afternoon Sarah, David and I drove up the Borrowdale valley to Seathwaite and hiked up Styhead Pass via Graines Gill, then up Great Gable. On our final day Sarah and I walked down past the public garden and across a sheep pasture to the lake. I continued along the shore to a marshy area with a dense stand of willows, then returned to our B&B via the garden again.
Saw or heard 45 species altogether, including a couple that Susan saw or heard. The weather was fair, with overcast on a couple of mornings but cumulus clouds and sunshine all three afternoons, temperature ranging from 55-75F.
SpeciesNotes Great Crested Grebe Pair nesting in shallow cove near town Mallard  Occasional flying over town Red-breasted Merganser Pair on the lake near town Buzzard  Over Latrigg, harassed by crows Common Kestrel  One flew over town Oystercatcher  One flushed from lakeshore near town Common Sandpiper  One flushed from lakeshore near town Black-headed Gull  A few along the lake. Photo at right was taken in Ambleside Lesser Black-backed Gull Large gray-mantled gull flying over Styhead Pass. Id uncertain because I didn't see its lengs; it could have been a Herring Gull. Feral (Rock) Dove  Common in town Woodpigeon  Common near trees Cuckoo  Susan heard one calling on Latrigg Tawny Owl  One in chestnut grove along Borrowdale road about a mile south of Keswick. Common Swift  Common over town. We encountered a flock of 50 or so flying about the ridge SW from Blencathra along with Barn Swallows and House Martins, attracted apparently by clouds of gnats. Great Spotted Woodpecker One heard in woods south of town Skylark  Several over areas of taller grass on lower slopes of Blencathra. Long aerial song, high-pitched, burry and musical with clear notes and trills "teeeteee zeeeur ti zreeezreee zeeeurzeeeur..." Barn Swallow  In town, and high and low on Blencathra House Martin  A pair at Seathwaite, and with swifts and swallows on Blencathra Meadow Pipit  Common in grazed pastures in the mountains Pied Wagtail  Several seen, in meadows with scattered trees including lower slopes of Blencathra, and around Seathwaite Dunnock  Common in hedgerows and lanes near town Wren  Common in wooded areas, even small patches of trees Robin  Woods and trees and shrubs in town Northern Wheatear  Common in rocky pastures and sheepfolds. Juvenile has streaked breast and back and brown tertial edges, typical tail pattern Blackbird  Common in woods, lawns and gardens. Quite tame in town Song Thrush  Common in woods, lawns and gardens. Quite tame in town. Chiffchaff  Woods and gardens. Sings from high in trees but seen foraging near the ground. Song includes a series of loud, distinct "tee ter tee ter tee ter" notes. Drab appearance w/ split eyering more prominent than supercilium, little if any yellow coloring and dark legs. Willow Warbler  Woods and brush, particularly birches and willows. Song is a musical series of descending notes, faster at the beginning and somewhat variable. Not much yellow color, but prominent supercilium and pale legs. Individual pictured below right had pale legs and feet. Goldcrest  Gardens, mixed woods and larches Spotted Flycatcher One in trees in Graines Gill above Seathwaite Blue Tit  Common in gardens and woods Great Tit  Seen with young in public garden Magpie  Woods and pastures along Borrowdale road Jackdaw  Common and vocal in town, even calling after dark Raven  Over fells - Blencathra, Great Gable Rook  Flock of 8 in a pasture in Threlkeld Carrion Crow  Common on lower fell slopes House Sparrow  Common in town around houses and gardens Chaffinch  Common everywhere with trees. Juvenile is gray or buffy-gray below, gray-brown above with white in wings and tail. Siskin  One seen near conifers by public garden Greenfinch  Common, seen in woods, pastures and gardens south of town Goldfinch  Pair at Seathwaite, probably also around town Redpoll  Pair at edge of a patch of birch woods below Blencathra. Male small, brown-streaked with red forecrown and breast. Yellowhammer  Several on lower slopes of Blencathra, in bracken w/ scattered boulders and trees, not far above woods edges.
Great Crested Grebes
Black-headed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Tawny Owl
Meadow Pipit
Pied Wagtail
Song Thrush
Willow Warbler
Juvenile Great Tits