They spend ages in isolation, looking for things never seen before while their relatives wonder why they do it. That may sound like a description of many academics, but these solitary souls are the bird-watchers lured to the University of Cumbria by its wide range of feathered residents. Cumbria's Newton Rigg campus is one of the best bird-watching sites in the region and has 82 bird species. Birds spotted on the site, which was highly commended in the Green Gown Awards for eco-friendly campuses, include yellowhammer, tree sparrow, song thrush, linnet, reed bunting, spotted flycatcher and curlew. Rarer species recorded include barn owl, waxwing, crossbill and peregrine falcon. Crops for biofuels are grown on campus for research and to power the university's vehicles and provide heating.