The morning after my arrival I woke up fairly early and was served a wonderful, large traditional English cooked breakfast. In fact the landlady seemed to relish offering me the challenge of her enormous pile of food. Realizing that I was going to be expending a lot of energy that day, I ate the lot!
I was also supplied with a packed lunch of sandwiches which I was very glad of later in the day. I had also furnished myself with a whole load of snacks purchased from the little store in the nearby village of Eskdale Green as well as a couple of bottles of water.
From Wha House Farm I walked up the road a little to join a footpath which took me towards Hardknott Pass, meandering through some really beautiful, ancient, mossy woodland, the type of which is rich in wildlife.
I walked rather slowly, taking in the birds and plants around me; I was very pleased to discover a family of Spotted Flycatchers in a shady spot, with the young noisily flitting around in an attempt to get the parents to feed them. This seemed like a very good spot for small birds to feed as I also observed a small flock of mixed species including a juvenile Redstart, 2 Song Thrushes, 5 Coal Tits and a family of both Great and Blue Tits all of which looked very beautiful against the lush, green, mossy background.
After the birds I went back to admiring the woodland which further on became even more like something from the movie Lord of the Rings with mossy boulders and twisted trees all around me - a pair of Treecreepers feeding on the tree trunks seemed to appreciate the situation as much as I did.
At about 9.30 am some cloud came in and it began to rain which made me think that I was in for a very wet day - something which is all too common in the Lake District. With the rain was at its hardest I took shelter under some trees and messed around with my camera, taking photos of the mossy trees and craggy bits of bark. Due to the poor light this is about the only photo which was in focus - I pointed the camera up to gather more light.
When the rain eased off a little I strolled along the valley, stopping often to watch the woodland birds; a Garden Warbler, some more Spotted Flycatchers and a European Nuthatch were interesting to watch.
The picturesque, mossy woodland began to thin out and was replaced by bracken and open country, however, just before I reached the bottom of Hardknott Pass I passed through a small plantation of conifers where a beautiful male Siskin briefly came into view before flying across the valley.