Personal musings, wanderings and sightings from around the lake.
A little history, and about the lake, at the bottom of the page.

quote

Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me



Saturday, 20 September 2014

Muggy Saturday 20th September 2014




Quite a miserable start to the day; and spots of rain too.


Days like this should be spent doing something more productive; or maybe my heart just wasn't in it this morning. I just walked the north lake, which wasn't very inspiring.


Chiffchaff are still calling from around the car park, and the Crows and Magpies made short work of the leftover bread I brought along.
A lot of leaves have fallen from the trees, and the island on the south lake, seemed very quiet. Mallards and Canada Geese mostly, and a few Cormorants flying in.

Back under the road bridge the usual gang of Mallards appeared, and a few Black-headed Gulls flying around overhead. No sign of any Common Terns though. About a week ago there were lots.

Towards the bandstand, and a Grey Heron flew out from under the footbridge.
As he flew out, a Kingfisher flew in, settling in the low branches somewhere.


Carrying on towards the wall of the dam, and the assembled gulls posing on the wall, a Green Woodpecker flew past, and settled on the trunk of a tree behind me.

Still spitting rain occasionally, and still very murky, I carried on towards the arm that goes behind the pub. Coots, a Little Grebe, Gadwall and increasing numbers of Wigeon.
Tufted Duck were circling around overhead. A sign the boats are out.


As I got near the pub, I could see the small armada, as it passed under the road bridge.


Quite an uneventful morning so far, so along with the crap weather too, I decided to head home. Always another day.

Crossing over the road bridge, to go back to the car, a Little Egret caught my eye, wading in the shallows, beside the bushes that run up towards the island.



Even he didn't stay long though, and was soon airborne, heading somewhere else.











Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)


Total species  21


Friday, 12 September 2014

Autumn marches on



A cloudy, misty start to the morning, which eventually cleared to let in some sunshine.



A very autumnal feel to the morning, as I set of round the north lake.
I came over here a couple of days ago, and noticed how many Common Terns were flying around the north and south lake; today, just a few, and they were keeping to the south lake.



The blue/green algae seems to be slowly clearing. Perhaps the floating zappers have been fixed.
Lots of Black-headed Gulls loafing around on the north lake, and the high pitched sound of Kingfisher, as it flew across to the bushes in front of the pub.




The small, very small, orange blob, just off center in the tree. One day I will get a half decent picture.



Quite a few Great Crested Grebes around on the lake, with their young.









Seems they've had a good breeding year.




Up at the top end, and the arm that goes round the back of the pub, a few more Wigeon have arrived, with some Gadwall. A lot of Coots up this end too, and the usual group of Cormorants relaxing on the boat.


Another blue flash over the water, as a second Kingfisher flew past.
A favourite spot of theirs up this end.



Past the pub, and under the road bridge, and over on the other side, two Grey Wagtails, searching for food along the waters edge.





Walking along the path down to the far end of the south lake, and a few of the Common Terns were visible as they dive bombed into the water for fish.
A Chiffchaff was calling from the bushes, and plenty of Cormorants flying overhead.
A couple of Grey Herons were noisily chasing each other across the water.


By now the sun was making a valiant effort to break through the cloud.
I left some seed for the Robin, who was keeping a watchful eye on me,





and out on the water, a small group of Shoveler,




along with Coots, Mallards, Gadwall, Wigeon and Tufted Duck.
Won't be long before the Pochard start to join them all.


Common Tern and Black-headed Gull were all flying around by the rowing club, searching for some fish.






Past the rowing club, and round by the houses, a couple of juvenile Grey Herons were stood on the edge of the path staring down into the water.





Might be easier to actually get in the water?



A few more Great Crested Grebes out on the water with their families, and then I was back at the car park; in sunshine.



A shame it didn't appear earlier in the morning.


  


Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  33



Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September already



A cloudy start to the morning, but it soon brightened up.


A quick look at the south lake first, and I could see the remnants of a small gull roost as it slowly dispersed. Mostly Black-headed Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls could be seen, but I'm guessing a few other types in there too. Have to make an early visit one day to get a better look.


Water levels are still low, and as I made my way to the north lake, a lot of activity from the Canada Geese. Plenty of them, but strangely no Greylags around; yet.


The green water of the lake looks pretty disgusting in places. I thought the two floating raft things, (one north and one south), were controlling it at one time. Maybe they've been switched off for some reason.


Up by the weir, a pair of Kingfishers again. A shame they don't stay still long enough for a picture or two.
Walking past the pub, a Chiffchaff was calling from one of the bushes along the edge of the lake, and a large flock of Starlings were swirling around the grass.


On towards the south lake, and a couple of Whitethroat were in some bushes, and what I thought was a Garden Warbler. Certainly looked like one, but couldn't be 100% certain on it.


Past the rowing club, and plenty of Common Terns diving into the water for fish.
As I made my way round the big houses at the lake side, I could see the Great Crested Grebes with two young.




Pretty certain these are the pair that had so much trouble with their nesting site earlier.
If it is them, it's good to see they were finally successful.
One of the adults came back with a small fish,




but neither of the young ones seemed that bothered.




Maybe too early for breakfast for them.



Back at the car park, and the sun was now shining.








Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)


Total species  29




Sunday, 31 August 2014

Shades of Autumn



My second visit here since coming back from Wales, but my first post.





The lake is slowly changing, as it slips through the year, and heads towards autumn.
A lot of the summer birds have gone, or are starting to head away, although I did hear a couple of Chiffchaffs calling, saw one flitting through the trees, and a single Reed Warbler.


A group of Mallards quickly found me once I was under the road bridge; good job I remembered some seed.


Up by the bandstand, a group of Long Tailed Tits were flitting through the trees, to the background sounds of Canada Geese, getting ready to depart the lake.
A young Heron was oblivious to everything, except hunting for his breakfast.







At the top end of the north lake, and by the weir, a couple of Kingfishers were quickly flashing past along the river, but I did manage to get a couple of shots of a Reed Warbler.





Thought they'd be long gone by now.



A group of Starlings were on the sails of the windmill at the pub, a couple of Pied Wagtails on the grass, and some Cormorants drying their wings on the boat jetty.
And the Mallards caught me again.


On to the south lake, and I noticed quite a few Common Terns flying around. Adults, as well as juveniles. Numbers of Black-headed Gulls are building up too.

A lone Stock Dove was foraging in the grass at the side of the footpath, but soon left before I could get a picture.




A parting shot.




I left some seed for the Robin at the far end of the lake, and made my way towards the rowing club.

A Chiffchaff was hiding amongst the bushes, only occasionally showing himself, and more Common Terns were flying overhead.


A small group of House Martins were circling above the houses as I passed them, and a couple of willy fungus were growing under some bushes.





Back past the island, and the Little Egret was still in the trees.


Not a bad morning.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~









Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  31




Monday, 7 July 2014

Common Sandpiper



A good early start this morning; up before the sun had got dressed properly.



After feeding the waiting Magpies and Crows with some left over bread, digestive biscuit, a few grapes and some seed, I had a quick check on the island, before making my way round the north lake.

An overnight Little Egret was in the trees on the island, and a few geese down below, with some Mallards.

Back towards the north lake, and the birds were singing in fine voice.
Most were a bit camera shy though, and decided to fly off as soon as the camera was pointed in their direction.

Under the road bridge, a Kingfisher flew across the lake, and down towards some trees.
A group of geese were on the grass in front of the pub, and a Heron was at the waters edge.


I carried on towards the bandstand.


Reed Warblers were calling from the reeds, and a small group of Tufted Duck were out on the water.

Past the wall of the dam, and on towards the gully, where a Grey Heron was paddling in the water.




Eventually he hopped up onto the wall, and began searching for insects amongst the ivy clad wall.



Round past the pub, and on towards the south lake.



A small group of juvenile Long Tailed Tits were sweeping through the trees, and as usual, didn't keep still for long. I did manage a couple of pictures though.




By the footbridge, some more, and a couple of juvenile Willow Warblers.
These young birds will soon be heading off to Africa for the winter.
Amazing to think that in their short lives, they'll travel much further than I ever have; and all without the aid of a sat nav, or map.


No sign of the Robin by the bird hide, but I left some food anyway. I did spot a juvenile, so maybe his offspring?


Towards the rowing club, and I spotted a Little Egret preening up in the trees of the other island. Another overnighter I guess.


A Common Tern held my interest for a while, as it was hovering and diving over the water. On one of the jetties, one was preening.




I noticed he had a leg ring, but too far away to see what the numbers were.




Along with him, was a Common Sandpiper.
A bit of video, and then as I was about to take some pictures, he flew across towards the houses; and the shade.




At the next bay, the Great Crested Grebes were having their third attempt at building a nest.





I do hope they are successful this time. They certainly deserve to be, if only for their perseverance.


Back towards the car park, and I caught another brief glimpse of the Common Sandpiper as he flew around the bottom end of the lake, eventually settling on the island.





An excellent morning.










Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)


Total species  32



Saturday, 28 June 2014

Early start for the weekend




An early 5 a.m. start at the lake this morning; sunshine, and not too many people.



A quick look at the island first, and lots of sleeping Mallards and geese. The Mute Swans were swimming around with their seven cygnets, a couple of Great Crested Grebes, and a Kingfisher flew in, and disappeared amongst the bushes.
Good start.


The north lake next, and the sound of birdsong filled the air. Chiffchaff, Reed Warblers, Wrens and lots of Blackbirds foraging under the bushes.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes began some head waggling in the early light; and junior was getting in on the act too.






A few Common Terns were dive bombing the water, searching for small fish, and a couple of Grey Herons were standing at the waters edge, searching for bigger fish.


At the top end, quite a few Canada Geese were busily grazing, until my presence upset them, and they headed off towards the safety of the water.


Towards the pub, and a lot more geese and young ones.
And from the distance came a Mallard, running towards me, with two ducklings running behind. She seems to have lost some since I last saw her.
A few handfuls of seed, and they were quite happily feeding; but she furiously saw off any other Mallards that came too close.


On towards the south lake, and a few clouds were gathering.
The Swifts were flying above, snatching the insects in the air.


At the far end, I stopped to watch a very worn looking Whitethroat.




He was keeping a watchful eye on his three offspring that were much closer, and hiding amongst the bushes.





At the rowing club, a female Mute Swan was busily feeding her cygnets,





and the male wasn't too far away. He was more interested in herding an unfortunate Canada Goose away, that had wandered too far to their breakfast table.


Round past the houses, and a few House Martins had joined the Swifts overhead.

A quick check on the island again, and they all seemed to be asleep still.
A family of Coots swam past,





and then it was back to the car.


An enjoyable walk.








Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  34