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



Monday, 21 April 2014

Foggy



A thick fog this morning made it impossible to see anything out on the lake further than about 20 foot.


By the time I'd walked round, the sun had come out; and so had the people. Never mind.
The trees and bushes were alive with birdsong, and every batch of reed around the lake seemed to have the chuntering of Reed or Sedge Warblers.
I managed to spot both in the reeds near the car park, so a good start, despite the weather.


A quick look at Cormorant island revealed nothing but fog. Not even the island, so I set off round the north lake.


A small group of Mute Swans were quite close to the edge, so I managed a few pictures.




Further along the path I saw a Grey Squirrel, munching on what appeared to be the skull of something.





More calling from the reeds, and then I heard the unmistakable sound of the Cetti's Warbler.
A quick snatch of video before he disappeared into the gloom.


Onward towards the top end of the lake, and around to the gully.


A female Mallard has 5 ducklings stuck in the gully, with no way for them to escape.
She calls frantically to them, but they can only swim up and down, squeaking as they go. This noise of course, attracted the attention of one of the Grey Herons.
Ever the opportunist, he sat waiting for the right moment.
I doubt they will last long.


Up round to the pub, and a few of the Mallards spotted me through the fog, and came running for some seed. They do look comical, as they waddle along at full speed.


The south lake, and still gloomy; although the sun was by now visible, (just), through the fog.


A pair of Mallards were sweeping their way through the grass with their bills down by the path.




I think they were collecting the droplets of water, and the male kept an ever watchful eye over his mate.





On towards where the Robin hangs out to leave some seed, and by now the fog had almost cleared.



Past the rowing club, and over the other side of the lake, a Common Tern was swooping and diving over the water.







By the time I'd got back to the car park, the sun was out; and so were lots of people.
Time for me to go.









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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  28


Friday, 18 April 2014

Yellow Wagtail



Today is Good Friday; and it certainly lived up to its name.



It was a chilly start, until the sun got up, and then it was wall to wall sunshine.
By the car park, in the reeds, I could hear a reeling and chuntering going on. At first I thought Reed Warbler, my first here this year, but on playing the video back, I could clearly see the supercilium, (hark at me, I sound like I know what I'm talking about), which told me it was a Sedge Warbler. Still my first for the year, and just a matter of time before his cousin, the Reed Warbler, puts in an appearance.



Lots of bird song this morning, and plenty of calling coming from the reeds.


I made my way to where the Cetti's Warbler is hanging out, and sure enough, there he was.




Still being a bit evasive most of the time, but eventually I did snatch a couple in sunlight before he disappeared again.





I left him to it, and carried on around the lake.



A few Swallows were skimming over the water, (no boats today), and mixed in with them some Sand Martins and House Martins.
Just the Swifts to arrive now.


Up by the arm that goes behind the pub, and just a few Tufted Duck on the water.
In the bushes though, a very songfull Reed Bunting.






Past the pub, and the daisies, and on towards the south lake.



A Cowslip was looking splendid against the blue sky.






At the far end, a group of Coots were doing what Coots do best.




Fighting as usual.




I left some seed for the Robin; but no sign of him.
There was a rather nice Song Thrush though.







Past the rowing club, and more Swallows and Martins over the water.
They must love it when the boats are in dock.


Up ahead, on one of the jetties, I caught sight of a yellow bird, close to a Pied Wagtail.




A Yellow Wagtail.



I edged closer to get a better look.





He looked stunning in the sunlight.





A few more shots, and then he flew off.




I looked across the lake, and a marathon was just under way.

Time for me to be on my way.




A good Friday.









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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
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)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36
 

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Cetti's and first Reed Warbler



A beautiful sunny start to the day.


The birds were all in fine voice this morning as I made my way round the lake.
Spent some time looking at a Blackcap in a tree, and wondered if the song I could hear close by was that of a Garden Warbler. They do sound very similar, and the male Blackcap didn't seem too bothered by the singing.

I did fleetingly see the Cetti's Warbler again, and heard my first Reed Warbler here this year. Very difficult to see today though.


I did get some good views of a Magpie though.




He seemed quite happy sitting in the sun.



We've still got the daisy carpet in front of the pub; but I fear that will all change this coming week, once the Parks Trust send out the mower men.





The female Mallard still has 3 of her ducklings, and a Buzzard was soaring over the car park as I finished my walk.


No video today. I did do one; too long. I re edited it but it was still too long to be able to upload to YouTube within the hour I have at the moment, so that's it. Not cutting it down anymore, can't be arsed.


Quick one today. Computer doctor coming later.






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 Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  30


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Cetti's again



Cloudy start to the day, but two Little Egrets flying overhead brightened it up straight away.


It could only get better ........... and it did.


A pair of Mute Swans were busily adding the finishing touches to their nest in the reeds; same place as last year, when the piping sound of Oystercatchers caught my attention. Two flying overhead, accompanied to the sound of a Cetti's Warbler deep in the bushes.


I had to get some pictures.




This was going to be a challenge



He kept moving from bush to bush, and as I followed and got close, he'd move on again.

I spent about an hour, searching for this noisy little bugger. Every time I thought I had him, he'd disappear. It's easier winning the lottery, than getting pictures of this rascal.

He flew off across the water, and settled in a favoured tree, and began calling again.




I must get something better.



I walked around to where he was.


Finally I did manage a few, before he went off to hide again.



Very under exposed; but then ...............






 ........... at last. Something half decent.





As I left to go towards the pub, two Swallows flew overhead, and dropped down towards the water.



Past the pub, and it's looking rather nice in front of it.




The grass is covered in daisies.



Make the most of it though, before the Parks Trust send in the mowers.



At the far end of the south lake, by the bird hide, someone had left a bag of their dogs shit. Why people take the time to bag it up, and then just leave it somewhere, is beyond me. Especially when there is a bin not far; and they're probably going to walk past it anyway.



No sign of the Robin, but I left him seed anyway, and carried on along the path by the rowing club. Being a weekend, a few boats were out, and the Oystercatchers were flying overhead again, piping as they went.


Round past the houses, and a couple of House Martins were circling overhead.
Good to see them back again.


My first ducklings I've seen this year were swimming around with mum, in front of the houses. Three altogether, but someone had told me earlier he'd seen a yellow one with her a couple of days ago.

Not today; dinner for a Pike maybe?



And to round of a great morning, a pair of Great Crested Grebes were performing their weed dance.






It don't get much better than this.












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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  32



Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Cetti's Warbler



I met Trevor at the lake this morning, and we had a stroll in the sun, hoping to see Swallows and Martins.



The usual crowd of birds were out on show, including lots of Chiffchaff and quite a few Blackcaps.





Another bird we managed to see this morning, was the Cetti's Warbler.
It's been a couple of years since I've seen one here, so it was good to see and hear another. In fine voice too.
Just a short video clip unfortunately; too shy for a photo shoot.



As we made our way up round the back of the pub, I thought I heard the sound of an Oystercatcher. A few seconds later two flew past, calling as they went.
Maybe they are nesting again on the island.



Making our way down the south lake, Trevor picked up a bird as it flew into a hedge.
A fine looking Willow Warbler, (my first here for the year), preening and stretching his wings.





Doing his best to hide in the bushes.


We also managed some video footage.



A quick feed for the Robin, and the waiting Crows, and it was then past the rowing club.
Right on cue, for about this time of the year, a Swallow flew across the lake. We got the bins focused, and found a few more, skimming over the water, in the spring sunshine.

As we made our way back to the car park, up above a Buzzard flapped by.



Nice morning.








Full list of today's birds

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 Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
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)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  31



Thursday, 27 March 2014

Oh, what have they done?




First visit for a couple of months, and what a change.



The water levels are now back to normal, but the chainsaw brigade have been out in force.
It goes under the pseudonym of management.





The RSPB have a slogan; 

"If you build it, it will come."


Not to be outdone, the Parks Trust have one now, 

"If they come here, we'll make sure they don't stay."






The sound of Chiffchaffs calling from what trees were left, was everywhere.
The cloudy start slowly gave way to some sunshine later, and the birds were definitely in spring mood.
Nest material gathering, nest building, and even some mating by the Mallards. They never seem to stop anyway.
A few even remembered me, and came over for some food.





Cowslips were out in force.





The pub extension is finished.





I did notice a lack of gulls though. Maybe they've all been sent packing.



As I made my way down to the south lake, the sun was beginning to shine, and three Mute Swans were happily flying aimlessly around.




Backlit by the sun, as was the tree blossom.





At the far end of the south lake, in what is jokingly called a 'conservation area',





the shrubs have been levelled.


I suppose the pending Willow Warblers, Garden Warblers, Blackcaps and others, will have to find somewhere else to build their nests this year.


My first Sand Martins of the year were spotted down by the rowing club, and when I got back to the car park, more Chiffchaff, and my first Blackcap of the year. A stunning male, making his presence known.


Sadly the footbridge area, by the car park, has been cleared of shrubs and brambles.
It was always a good spot to see the birds up close, especially when it was sunny.
There was even a Firecrest amongst the brambles one year, and Spotted Flycatcher.



This year it's ..... er, crap.








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)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  31



Friday, 7 February 2014

Tree fellers and a pair of Goosander



A late visit to the lake today; it was raining this morning for a change.



The water level is up a lot higher now. Probably the highest it's been this year.
The only way to walk over to the north lake was by crossing the road, so off I set.


A group of gulls were on one of the boat jetties. Mostly Black-headed, a couple of Common Gulls, and a Herring Gull.





A Green Woodpecker was searching in the wet grass, and up at the top end, on the arm that goes behind the pub, a pair of Goosander, looking very fetching in the sunlight.





A few Wigeon, Coot and Pochard made up the rest of the numbers.
The gully is still flooded; the water making one big lake with the river at the moment.





I left there, and headed back across the road, and round to the south lake.



A quick glimpse of a Little Grebe along the edge, in the submerged bushes, a small group of Pochard,





and a group of Canada Geese bathing at the far end, were the main highlights.



The grass at the bottom is flooded, and it's like a river under the railway arch.
A Buzzard was flying overhead, but not easy to get pictures through the tree tops.
A party of Long Tailed Tits were equally difficult to get pictures of, so I made my way to where the Robin usually is.
He met me as I walked down the path, and a couple of Crows soon joined him, for some seed.


Past the rowing club, and I couldn't resist taking this picture.




Good to see anarchy isn't dead.



Round by the houses, and the water seems quite high there, lapping around the newly planted trees.
The family of Mute Swans were gathered by the edge of the lake, as someone was feeding them some bread.

By the time I'd reached the car park, the sun was beginning to hide behind the clouds that were quickly gathering.



Not a bad walk.










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)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)


Total species  31