Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Bolton Abbey – Fantastic Day!

We had a day out at Bolton Abbey a really beautiful place, especially today with the sun shining. The car park was £8.00 but it was worth every penny.

A walk from the Cavendish  Pavilion upstream on the west side path brought us to the Strid Café and we just had to stop for lunch. Another £7.00 for a Ploughman’s for me (this Ploughman must have been on a diet though) and 10p for a piece of cress for ‘er in doors – she’s eating out tonight at her friends so I was quite happy with this scenario.

While at the cafe a Great Spotted Woodpecker did some clever gymnastics to access the grub on the feeding table.

After lunch we ventured on towards Barden Bridge.

We had already had some early success, with my first Spotted Flycatcher this year, near the Cavendish Pavilion. Also about were a Kestrel and a great number of Grey Wagtail taking advantage of the fly life brought about by some warm sunshine. There was also Pied Wagtail and a Dipper or two on the river.
Then we had another nice surprise when a Kingfisher flew past and landed in a nearby tree. It remained well hidden but I managed a few pics.

Sue spotted 5 Geese over > S Greylag I think and there was a Coal Tit and a good number of very busy Nuthatch (Some were down by the riverbank, collecting moss by the look of it). A Lapwing was calling from the moor and there was Long Tailed Tit in the trees. Also over > N a group of, at least ,5 Oystercatcher.

Near the Pavilion there were c15 Swift and a mixture of Swallow and House Martin. I didn’t spot any Sand Martin but no doubt there would be some there.
At the Strid Café a pr. Swallow were building a nest under the café roof and I managed a pic. through the cafe window.

We crossed Barden Bridge and 200 yds further along bumped into a chap taking photos, with a very impressive piece of equipment, which made my little thing look even smaller! We soon saw that he was photographing a Pr. Pied Flycatcher. The male bird was very obliging, sitting on a branch near a nest box. The female was more elusive disappearing into the nest box and staying there. (We saw 4 Pied Flycatcher in all today).

The cameraman (who turned out to be Tony, a good Middlesbrough bloke and not forgetting his lab. Jack) was very helpful and alerted us to a singing Redstart in a tree nearby. While Sue had a chat I tried to see the Restart but without success. Sue then pointed out another bird nearby, another Spotted Flycatcher and as we watched this, Tony noticed the Redstart land in a tree close by.
Here again we managed a few pics.

Thanks Tony for all the info. for helping me with another memorable tick (I know you don’t do ticks!).

Other birds seen were Greylag Goose in a field nr. Barden Bridge, Mandarin Duck,Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, 1 BHG and Mistle Thrush.

We resumed our walk towards the shelter and I stopped for a drink when Sue shouted “Never mind the B drink , there is an Owl just here – look”.

Sitting quietly in tree, not 20 yds away, was a Tawny Owl a life time first for me. Well done Sue , with my crap eyesight, I would never spotted it.
We continued our journey back towards the Pavilion and I was well chuffed with a small grin breaking out on my face – well a massive grin really.

We celebrated with a Crunchie Chocolate Ice Lolly – not one, but one each!!!!

A really memorable day.


  1. Good woodland birding country, never disappointing.

  2. Cheers Bri.
    I needed some therapy, after my birding drought of late.

  3. Great day out John and glad the bird droughts over for ya, love it at Bolton Abbey when its not too busy.

  4. Cheers Dave,
    We have our weekend during the week , and we are normally doing family dutues at the weekend ( so we tend miss the crowds).
    Thanks again for the comments they are really appreciated.

  5. Great birds John & pictures to go with them, well done to Sue for spotting the Tawny, very much a birding red letter day for you both.

  6. Cheers - yes it was a great day out for us bith.