CUMBRIA (Penrith), (ESE)
National Grid SD 774968 (parking area) 00o00´/00o00´ N/A ha 250 to 709m (High Seat) upland pasture, exposed crags, few trees in river valley
March to September (20.03.08)
Birding Site Guide
The Dale of Mallerstang can be reached from the M6 Junction 38 (Tebay) taking the A685 east to Kirby Stephen, just past the post office before the traffic lights is the badly signed B6259. Follow this road south. Roughly from the ruins of Pendragon Castle south to the county boundary with Richmonshire (North Yorkshire) is the area of the common. There are many small parking areas along the road, with an easy one to find just south of where the road crosses the railway.
There are an exceptional number of public rights of way here, from which to enjoy the spectacular views of the high dramatic mountains. These include Wild Boar Fell (708m) on the west side and the crags of Mallerstang Edge with the marginally highest point of High Seat on the east side. All along the valley runs the very picturesque River Eden and along the side clings the railway. Minor draw backs are that this is an RAF training area, so there are low flying aircraft most days, but also often flying about are a restored Meischersmidt and Hurricane for the enthusiast. Other than these distractions there is the occasional distant noise of quarrying explosions.
Birds are thin about, and comprise of typical upland species with year round Raven, Buzzard, Mistle Thrush, Dipper, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Chaffinch, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldcrest and other common species. As spring comes other species become more frequent with Curlew, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, partridge, Pheasant, Stonechat, Ring Ouzel taking up territories.