Sunday, 8 September 2013

Watching at Watchtree

Shot of the Day

I had arranged to meet Carole and Malcolm take a walk at Watchtree Nature Reserve just to the west of Carlisle then on to The Wellington Inn at Great Orton for Sunday lunch. Carole's friend Pat joined us for the trip. When we arrived at the nature reserve the conditions were perfect for a walk and photography.  Watchtree was originally a burial site for animals that were stricken with foot and mouth disease during the 2001 outbreak. It is now a well established and well run nature reserve despite its dark beginnings. Well worth a visit.

Some of the turbines that dominate the landscape

Watchtree affords some great panoramic views towards the Cumbria Fells

We passed the wetlands area.....

.......on the way to Pow Wood

Carole scans the woodland floor for any signs of fungi

A few years ago Anne and I came on a foraging day with Carole and Malcolm which was great fun and informative but unfortunately my slightly aging brain never retained any of the information that was passed on. So if anyone can identify any of the following I would be grateful. 

The path was host to mating pairs of Ruddy Darter Dragonflies

The grasslands

A well constructed hide but there was little see at the time

On the way to the pond in Pond Wood I made a mental note to ask at the information centre what was the purpose of the plastic that was tied round the tree.

 There was a good variety of Dragonflies flitting about but they were to quick for me to get any decent shots

Brambles were in abundance

Can anyone identify this little fellow?

We eventually arrived back at the visitor centre and  got the chance to inquire about the plastic round the tree. I was told by Ryan Dobbs it was to deter Stoats.
Ryan also told us there was a foraging day on the 16th of October. See the website for more information.

We finished the outing with an excellent meal at the Wellington Inn, Great Orton.


  1. The butterfly seems to me as a Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera) - Btw _ nice price winning photos!

  2. I love the shot of the day and the view of the wetlands. I think the first unknown fungi might be a jelly cup or felly "ear" (Auricularia auricula.) I'm not sure about the rest but that is a shot of a bur reed (Sparganium erectum)
    just ahead the brambles.

    1. Thank you for the information, and thank you for identifying the bur reed.

  3. I've been there before with Mrs Tootlepedal but it wasn't at this time of year. It looks good just now. A really fun(gi) day out.

  4. I concur with Zyriacus I photographed one a few weeks ago.
    Well done with the dragonfly pictures, they are excellent full screen.