A gloriously sunny day and I was in Ambleside, but sadly stuck inside for a course. On the drive up I stopped in the car park of Sizergh Castle because a friend had suggested that I might see hawfinches there. I didn’t, but there were lots of song thrushes and blackbirds catching worms or singing gleefully. And both a kestrel and a pair of jays graced me with fly-pasts.
The course was in a place called Kelsick Hall on the outskirts of Ambleside on the lower slopes of Wansfell Pike, of which we had tantalising views from the windows. When I arrived this morning two roe deer were crossing the field just beyond the perimeter of the car park.
Made the most of the lengthening evenings tonight with a walk in the owl-light. Parked at Woodwell after eight.
And set off for Heald Brow.
From Heald Brow the path drops down a steep bank densely overgrown with hawthorn, gorse, brambles and ash.
This is the view form the top of the bank looking across the saltmarsh to Warton Crag. In the centre of the picture you can just about follow the sinuous curve of Quaker’s Stang a raised bank that protects the fields behind it from the tide.
The Ash flowers have now fully emerged:
A few weeks ago these were red and purple globes that I assumed were emerging leaves. You live and learn.
The saltmarsh is occasionally inundated by the tide, but sheep are still grazed here. The fences have bits of dried grass and seaweed hung from them by the sea:
Towards Jenny Brown’s Point, near to the old copper smelting works chimney, the bank of Quicksand Pool is eroding rapidly.
At this rate this walk will require Wellies soon.
Turning the corner at Jenny Brown’s Point and entering the scrub at Jack Scout, I was suddenly out of the cold easterly wind for a moment. The air was full of small flies and a bat scuttled across the sky before I lost it in the bushes. The light was fading fast now and in this photo the camera seems somehow to have been able to exaggerate the light levels:
I sat and watched the bay for a while and thought about how lonely it would be out there as darkness descended.
As I was heading back to the car a woodcock flew overhead alternately issuing sharp whistles and a strange low noise which is difficult to describe. This is the woodcock’s display or roding flight and it’s the only time I ever see woodcock.
Apparently when it isn’t almost dark they look like this: