Activities 2020

2nd February 2020 February Social  – Bird Race

On an auspiciously palindromic date, nine gathered at the Monument, in Penrith for the inaugural EVMC bird race. 

Names were drawn from a hat and 2 teams departed on foot in opposite directions.  Phil’s team of Ron, Dorothy, Jane and Rona headed for Thacka Beck and Belinda’s team of Rosie, Chris, Robin and Rob aimed for Eamont Bridge.  At Thacka, the highlight was Snipe and later Tree Sparrow at a pre-arranged garden. Good spots!  All the species normally flocking on Phil’s bird feeders were conspicuous by their absence though the team had a nice sighting of a Greenfinch. 

The Eamont was raging so no birds there, that Belinda had been counting on, but the haphazard route the team took unearthed some unexpected bounty like Fieldfare, Nuthatch and a flock of Bullfinch.

Back at the George, Dorothy’s Keith joined us to choose the star species for a bonus point.  He chose Treecreeper as a favourite bird of his so Belinda’s team won with 28 species + 1 to Phil’s team with 23.  The main point was that everyone had a fun morning and discovered that Penrith is not bad for birds.  33 species spotted in total.  Thanks everyone for coming!

The following is a list of bird seen –  Greater Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Carrion Crow, Starling, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Jackdaw, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Dunnock, Rock Dove, House Sparrow, Black-headed Gull, Magpie, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Treecreeper, Rook, Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Song Thrust, Coal Tit, Fieldfare, Redwing, Kestral, Long Tailed Tit, Mallard, Moorhen, Snipe, Teal



…. or “How 5 get lost in the mist”

A car-full left Penrith in the rain and arrived high on the Nateby – Keld road in the mist.  For such a rubbish day – a good turnout! 

Undeterred, we set off on the path to the Nine Standards.  Apart from it wasn’t.  3 maps and 3 compasses bowed the superior knowledge of the GPS which said we were here not there.  Through a combination of experience, technology and bloody mindedness, we bog trotted to the top. Which we found 3 times – the trig point, the viewing point and the nine standards, which are magnificent, unlike the view. 

We saw nothing anywhere but, following the ridge off, experienced the delight of the cloud lifting and the view appearing and as if by magic we knew where we were.  Ending up on the Keld road, we found we were fine at navigation after all and walked our way back into Cumbria.

At Kirkby Stephen we celebrated our reunion with the car at a tea shop with huge slabs of cake and vowed to return when the flagstones are laid and the sun is shining. 

Thanks to Ron, Andy, Gillian and Aki for a good day and keeping good humour.