14/03/2011

Grune Point on the Solway

I had a trip across to the English part of the Solway Coast yesterday.
It's an hours drive from Gilsland and has Roman remains, as it's a little known fact that Hadrian's Wall followed the coast down to Maryport
On this occasion I wasn't looking at Roman remains but at birds.
The whole of the Solway is a superb area for wintering wildfowl, I'd been promised masses of Oystercatchers by a friend who regularly walks on that coast and, he sent me beautiful photographs to back up the claim.
Alas, no one had booked the oystercatchers to perform, they were enjoying a Sunday off.
Not to worry there was loads to see, to the north of Silloth is Grune Point with a reserve packed full of geese.
They kept taking off in great flocks with much honking, such an evocative sound, I only had my 18-200mm lens on the camera and my binoculars were in the car, but I looking at the photographs on my computer at home I spotted a Peregrine Falcon sitting on a fence post. I can't imagine a Peregrine would be able to catch a goose but something seemed to be spooking the flock.

Large flocks of Geese at Grune Nature Reserve, taken from Grune Point,
the Lake District mountains in the background.

Although the weather forecast hadn't been promising it was a lovely day, bright with dramatic clouds, the beach around Grune Point reminded me of those you find on Scottish Islands, very fine golden sand and miles of it.
Perfect for a walk with space for an energetic spaniel called Chloe to run.

A walk around Grune Point

We did see Oystercatchers and I was wishing I'd bothered to carry my bigger lens around, there were also Shelducks, Cormorants, Plover, Knot and I'm sure masses of other things like the Peregrine that I missed.
(How could I have forgotten the discipline knocked into every fledgling birdwatcher "Always check the fence posts"?)

Oystercatchers 


Knot with Criffel in the mists behind



Looking across the Solway to Criffel, some amazing skies yesterday.



The incoming tide from the Promenade at Skinburnessbank

It's a beautiful coast, way down to Maryport, which by the way has a Museum recommended to me by a Professor of Roman Archeaology as being well worth a visit.
Lots of dune walks if the weather is blowy and miles of beaches, lots of pebbles to inspect or throw for willing dogs and, a lovely Caramel slice from the Garden Centre at Mawbray, which nicely followed the sandwiches made by Trev.

My thanks to Trev, Ros and Chloe who gave up their Sunday to show me around.

Click on the photographs if you'd like to see a larger version.
All photographs on this Blog are copyright of Joan Thirlaway and cannot be used without written permission.

1 comment:

trevorearthy said...

An excellent account of a great day.Super photos too!