Bird watching and sketching

As you may know, Beatrix Potter was a keen student of nature. A prolific sketcher of wildlife since childhood, she found plentiful inspiration in the Lake District which she described as ‘the most beautiful countryside in the world.’

Although the majority of her beautiful scientific sketches and watercolours concern fungi or entomology (see the Armitt museum in Ambleside for examples), Jemima Puddle-Duck is far from the first bird that Potter drew.

You can follow in the famous writer and artist’s footsteps when you take advantage of these remarkable bird watching opportunities in the Lake District. Enjoy the abundant wildlife and take a pad and pencils for when inspiration strikes!

1. Visit Dodd Wood and Whinlatter for nesting Osprey

Osprey can be seen from viewpoints in Dodd Wood or via a live feed at Whinlatter Visitor Centre from spring every year. Of course, if you’re lucky you might see some red squirrels too!

2. See Whooper Swans at Elterwater in winter

The name of this small and charming lake, ‘Elterwater’, comes from the Old Norse for ‘Lake of the Swans.’ The elegant whooper swans have apparently been migrating here from Scandinavia and Siberia for centuries.

3. Kendal River

If you’re in the mood for a more casual bird encounter, why not take a stroll along the river in Kendal? The riverside walk is more accessible than the upper viewpoint at Dodd Wood, for example, and it gives you a good chance of seeing many birds such as swallows, swifts, warblers, and gulls.