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West Lake District birding (1 Viewer)

Ev4dawin

Always finding a way to go off topic...
United Kingdom
Hey all, in mid February I will be on holiday during my half term and we will be going to St Bees in the Lake District. I know that there is RSPB St Bees very close to us, but is there other places nearby that are good for birding? I have researched places around me for a couple of days but information seems quite limited. Anyone have any suggestions on places that is near St Bees?

Many thanks,
Ev
 

Welsh Peregrine

Well-known member
No expert on this part of the Lakes, but it is unlikely St Bees will be at its best by February; probably worth visiting, but potentially disappointing. I would certainly consider Leighton Moss, on the way there or back if it is too far for a day trip there, and the Solway Firth could well have wild Barnacle Geese.
 

Mono

Hi!
Staff member
Supporter
Europe
St Bees is at its best in the breeding season, it is essentially a seabird cliff. There will be stuff around in Feb, the fields at the back of the cliff can be well worth it.

Ennerdale is a Lake District valley inland of St. Bees (ish) and is subject to a large rewilding project. It's not a turn up and sit in a hide site but is well worth exploring.

As has been said above it is always worth a trip up the coast to the Solway, the geese have suffered from Avian Flu this year but there are still about and it is good for waders.

For sightings there are
Cumbria Bird Club, good for the Solway and North of the County

Cumbria Birding Group on Facebook, lots of pretty pictures but some site reports.

Cumbria Birds on Twitter, a good aggregate of individual postings.

There are various sites en-route if you are driving. RSPB Leighton Moss at M6 jn35 and CWT Foulshaw Moss on the A590.

Hope the weather holds, have fun.
 

SlowLowFlyingTurkey

Well-known member
RSPB Hodbarrow is just south of St Bees on the Cumbrian coast, easily reached by train. I've only visited very briefly a long time ago, so I'm not sure what it's like at this time of year. Leighton Moss also has a railway station right near the entrance.
 

scatcat

Joe boy
Hey all, in mid February I will be on holiday during my half term and we will be going to St Bees in the Lake District. I know that there is RSPB St Bees very close to us, but is there other places nearby that are good for birding? I have researched places around me for a couple of days but information seems quite limited. Anyone have any suggestions on places that is near St Bees?

Many thanks,
Ev
Hello Ev
RSPB Hodbarrow is a good shout, but will be a good 40 minute drive away from St. Bees. Free parking and plenty to see.
Leighton Moss will be too far away - at least 90 minute drive from St. Bees.

Lake District - A 4 mile circular walk of Loweswater will take in the beauty of Holme Wood ( Often Great Crested Grebes and Goosander on Loweswater )
Ennerdale lake is about 5 miles away from St. Bees - Parking at Bowness Knot is free, plenty of woodland walks - this will be the sunnier side of the lake in February.

Solway coast is always worth a visit. Plenty of free parking most of the way up the coast road to Silloth.
Old wagon road ( just behind Tesco in Whitehaven ) Whitehaven to Parton coastal track running parallel to the train line - Easy flat walk with good views of Ravens, Peregrines and Kestrels on the cliff side, Heron, Gulls, Cormorant, Oystercatcher, on the tidal side of the railway. Free parking on the wagon road and 2 hours free in Tesco carpark.
Ravenglass estuary ( 25 minutes from St. Bees ) - Great to visit when the tide is out!

Muncaster Castle: Gardens, woodland walks, toilets and tea room. Hawk and Owl display daily ( usually 10:30 am with little owls and a different show at 2pm with Barn Owls, Red Kites ) Heron happy hour usually at 4pm
 

leonardo_simon

Well-known member
Dippers in the Lake District rivers worth looking out for. Look for fast flowing rocky ones.

WWT Caerlaverock worth a trip as is Solway Firth in general

St Bees best in the breeding season I think- e.g for Black Guillemots nesting

I am in the Lake District at the moment. Lots of wind and rain!
 

Talster

Active member
United Kingdom
Hey all, in mid February I will be on holiday during my half term and we will be going to St Bees in the Lake District. I know that there is RSPB St Bees very close to us, but is there other places nearby that are good for birding? I have researched places around me for a couple of days but information seems quite limited. Anyone have any suggestions on places that is near St Bees?

Many thanks,
Ev

I live around 10 miles away from the West of the Lake District.
A couple of places I would suggest would be Crummock Water. There's a wood on the edge of the carpark for Crummock Water. The wood is called Lanthwaite Wood. Seen plenty of birds and wildlife in there on my numerous visits. The actual Lake as well should give you some birding, as should the surrounding fields, which have paths along them, some to more secluded parts. Here's a link to Lanthwaite Wood, might be useful for you to see if the place will be of interest. Once you get out of the wood and down to Crummock Water, the views are beautiful, gorgeous area.

Lanthwaite Wood and Crummock Water walk


Another place I would recommend which is in my home town is Siddick Ponds Nature Reserve. This place is an SSSI. I'll provide a link to the place, which will give you all the information about the place.

https://siddickponds.co.uk/about-siddick-ponds/


One place I nearly forgot to mention is Loweswater. This is within 1-2 miles from Crummock Water (so they are both very close to each other if you wanted to go to one and then the other). There's a walk around Loweswater of around 3-4 miles approximately. The opposite side of Loweswater to the road is Holme Wood (which the path takes you through) I've seen Nuthatch's in the wood quite often. And Coots, Goosander on the Lake.
 
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