Trip reports

Borrowdale Valley (near Tebay)

Borrowdale Valley (near Tebay)
Borrowdale Valley (c) Ken Harrison

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

On a bright but rather chilly day, thirteen members met in a small parking area just off the A685, one mile south of the village of Tebay. It was from here that we once again began another bird watching walk along part of the Borrowdale valley following the course of the Borrow Beck, a tributary of the River Lune. We followed the track above a wooded ravine, which at this time of the year offers bright yellow displays of celandine and primrose. A nuthatch was heard and a small mouse-like treecreeper was seen making its way along the trunk of a nearby tree.

From the valley bottom we could hear in the distance, but not see, a green woodpeckerand the calls of a dipper. As it turned out, later that morning we would once more encounter a dipper. A little further on and beyond the woodland, the landscape widened with high fells on either side of us and we could make out several ponies that were grazing near the fell tops and not far away were a couple of buzzards that had settled in an area of scrub and boulders.

We stopped to have our packed lunches at a point where we could cross onto the opposite side of the valley and it was there that we enjoyed splendid views of a pair of dippers, probably the same birds that we had heard earlier that morning when we were further downstream. It appeared that these two dippers were nesting beneath a bridge that we were about to cross. It was interesting to view them from a respectful distance, as they repeatedly flew to and fro from what must have been their nest site.

Once on the other side of the valley we could see several newly arrived sand martins, a pair of stonechats, a grey heron, meadow pipits and a wheatear, before turning back having covered approximatively half the length of this five mile valley.

Although we were a little too early to see birds such as cuckoo and the majority of the summer warblers we nonetheless achieved this pleasing total of sightings:- great tit, blue tit, treecreeper, dipper, green woodpecker, robin, chaffinch, woodpigeon, jackdaw, wren, buzzard, mallard, coal tit, mistle thrush, carrion crow, sand martin, wheatear, pheasant, blackbird, grey heron, stonechat, raven, nuthatch, and one invertebrate - a peacock butterfly.

Michael Gardner