Thursday, 4 June 2015

North by North west

North by Northwest          June 4
It was a good film, a Hitchcock special with a scene where the hero was chased through a cornfield by a duster aeroplane, possibly armed, I should remember.
It has nothing to do with today's walk which is a one off Thursday Osprey Hunting walk up the well constructed cycle/footpath on the south side of Kielder Water. No worries about the unreliable Howard Snaith bus today as we have been offered a lift to the dam by Brian and his wife Margaret who are going to a day's work at Leaplish Lakeside Park, pointing out to visitors where the osprey's nest are and letting them look at the pictures sent from the camera aimed at the self same nest and allowing bthem to use the telescopes. The only condition is that we, Dave and I, arrive at Kielder Castle cafe by 4pm. It is 14.5 miles away and we started walking from the car park at the dam at 9.50 am.
 This walk is really well marked, it is possible to follow it without a map but should you want one choose OS OL42 Kielder Water and forest. The car park is at NY706871
                             This week's extract from the Ian Allan book of car parks, northern region.
We walked the path from the car park and called in at the Tower Knowe visitor centre for leaflets. The helpful lady told us there were now four known nests for ospreys around the lake. She also explained that once a week a truck load of living trout are dumped into the water, mainly for the use of anglers but also fresh food for the birds.
                                                     The dam
                                           The path is well constructed and goes round the lake,
                                           occasionally sharing with a road but no traffic.
                                              Kielder Water
After the first three miles (and there are milestones to help you judge your distance, although they are actually made of wood) we reached Bull Crag Peninsula. It is possible to cut a couple of miles of the walk by taking the short cut across the peninsula but we walked all the way round.

 Between Bull Crag Peninsula and Leaplish we saw these objects, works of art. The lakeside path is dotted with art, as you will know if you read the last blog on Kielder.

This is Freya's cabin, opposite Robin's hut on the other side. Eventually Robin realised he could get to Freya by either rowing across or walking round. A bright little robin.

Shortly before Leaplish Waterside Park and Bird of Prey Centre we stopped in the squirrel hide for lunch. In front of the hide were several feeders mainly used by chaffinches, we never saw a squirrel but as there were only two of us we could only exchange mini apple pies and golf biscuits.
We walked past Leaplish Centre, looking for Brian and Margaret but couldn't spot them. They spotted us though and sent a message by phone but there is no signal here so I didn't get it till I was at home.
The next point of interest is Matthew's Linn, the path goes under the road and crosses the stream by a very attractive footbridge, built rumour has it by Tony Blair, well not personally but he encouraged the construction and could have paid for it for all I know.
                                                      Stone Hedgehog near squirrel corner
                                                    The chaffinches were quite tame at squirrel corner

                                                  Footbridge at Matthew's Linn
From Matthew's Linn we continued along the path to Butteryhaugh with a slight diversion to see the Kielder Column at the Old Bakethin sluice.  and followed a footpath to Kielder Castle. On the way we met Margaret and Brian and we arrived at the cafe at 4pm after 14.8 miles. I enjoyed the tea.

                                                  Kielder Column, a fine piece of stone work

 For the birds watchers we saw: buzzards, chaffinches, goldfinches,nuthatch, treecreeper, blackthroated diver, lesser spotted wood pecker, green woodpecker, goldcrest, siskins, wagtails, reed bunting but we never saw an osprey. And we heard a cuckoo.
The Matrix MMXV  K
                                                             steps                                           miles
LIDL3D                                                 34620                                       16.29
Higear (held together with a rubber band)   33461                                 12.5
OUTDOORGPS                                                                                       14.8

Dave's LIDL3D                                        31713                                     14.9
LIDLUSB                                                  31501                                     14.4 (How does he do it?)

Both maps; Contains OS Data  Copyright. Crown copyright and database right 2015