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



Thursday, 1 January 2015

New day, new year



Compared to the last few days, it was quite mild; almost tropical.


No frost, but no sun. Dull and cloudy, a bit windy; not the best of mornings. Some good birds to start the year though.


A group of Redwing were leaving the roost by the car park, and a gathering of Magpies, waiting for some seed.


A walk round the north lake to begin. No sign of the Mallards, but a small group of Crows appeared. Very clever; they've worked out I have food.
After feeding them, I found the Mallards further along. I must get a bigger bag of food.


The Grey Heron was in his regular spot, under the footbridge, and so too was a Little Egret. Must be good fishing here, especially when the Cormorants are pushing the fish their way.

The two little channels of water nearby, are still a bit frozen, and up by the bandstand, the screaming call of a Water Rail again. No sign of him yet, but just a matter of time.


In the channel by the wall of the dam, a Grey Wagtail was searching for food, and on the arm that goes behind the pub, the usual Coot, Gadwall, Wigeon and a pair of Goosander.


Past the pub, and on the grass a couple of Pied Wagtails; and the Mallards again. Cheeky.


The south lake was very quiet; a few gulls, Tufted Duck, and a group of Canada Geese that flew in.


I fed the Robin, by the hide, and carried on past the rowing club. More gulls expecting food, some Coot in the bays in front of the houses, and a couple of Herring Gulls near Cormorant island.



Not a bad first days visit. A shame the weather wasn't better for pictures though.



Compared to the last few days, it was quite mild.

No frost, but no sun. Dull and cloudy, a bit windy; not the best of mornings. Some good birds to start the year though.


A group of Redwing were leaving the roost by the car park, and a gathering of Magpies, waiting for some seed.


A walk round the north lake to begin. No sign of the Mallards, but a small group of Crows appeared. Very clever; they've worked out I have food.
After feeding them, I found the Mallards further along. I must get a bigger bag of food.


The Grey Heron was in his regular spot, under the footbridge, and so too was a Little Egret. Must be good fishing here, especially when the Cormorants are pushing the fish their way.

The two little channels of water nearby, are still a bit frozen, and up by the bandstand, the screaming call of a Water Rail again. No sign of him yet, but just a matter of time.


In the channel by the wall of the dam, a Grey Wagtail was searching for food, and on the arm that goes behind the pub, the usual Coot, Gadwall, Wigeon and a pair of Goosander.


Past the pub, and on the grass a couple of Pied Wagtails; and the Mallards again. Cheeky.


The south lake was very quiet; a few gulls, Tufted Duck, and a group of Canada Geese that flew in.


I fed the Robin, by the hide, and carried on past the rowing club. More gulls expecting food, some Coot in the bays in front of the houses, and a couple of Herring Gulls near Cormorant island.



Not a bad first days visit. A shame the weather wasn't better for pictures though.








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)
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)
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 Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
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)
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)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)


Total species  36




Sunday, 28 December 2014

Goosander, frost and shooters




Quite a hard frost this morning. Even the car door was frozen shut, but I got in eventually.



I decided to walk round the south lake first, and try to get a decent position for the sunrise. It had the makings of a half decent one.




Once I'd got there, I found a small group of shooters, shooting at Crows, Wood Pigeons or anything else that seemed to come into range. Sad.




I left there and continued round the south lake.



Stopped off to feed the Robin, and then made my way past the rowing club. A few boats out on the lake, but not so many as usual.

A few Canada Geese were flying around.



Hopefully they kept clear of the twats with guns.



Onto the north lake, and a couple of Mallards caught up with me as I passed under the road bridge.
A good number of Grey Herons around today too.


Towards the bandstand, and the arm that runs from the footbridge, has iced over. I guess a few more cold nights, and lots more will begin to freeze over.


A Moorhen was idly walking by,





and I could hear the sound of a Water Rail coming from the nearby reeds. No sign of it though.



Up towards the wall of the dam, and the arm that goes behind the pub.


Nothing much to begin with ........... a few Wigeon, Gadwall and Coot, but as I made my way round with the sun behind me, I spotted a Shoveler. And behind him, a pair of Goosander.





In the sunlight they looked pretty good.
Good enough to take way too many pictures.






Eventually I left them to it, but not till I got a group picture with the Shoveler.





Round past the pub, and the Mallards spotted me.





A few handfuls of seed, and they were happy.



Back over the road bridge, and a quick shot of a Song Thrush, before a cyclist came down the path.







A cold, but enjoyable visit.









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)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)


Total species  35



Thursday, 18 December 2014

4 Goosander



A dull, windy walk round the lake today, and very mild too.


No chance of a decent sunrise this morning, far too cloudy. It was difficult to pick out much from the gull roost either. Could do with a searchlight on mornings like this.



A few Redwings left their roost, 'tseeping' as they flew overhead.


No sign of the Mallards under the road bridge, so I soon made my way to the footbridge favoured by the Heron. He was sharing this morning, with a Little Egret.
It must be a good spot for fish, because a group of Cormorants frequently fish there, which in turn stirs up the fish near the footbridge, which then makes easy pickings for the waiting Heron. Clever these birds.


Not much up by the wall of the dam, save for a few gulls, so I quickly made my way towards the arm that goes at the back of the pub.
Usually a few birds here, and yesterday there were 3 Goosanders reported.
(Sunday there were seven flying around, but with the disruption from the weekend boats, they didn't land.)
Not been so many, so far this year. I think it's because it has been so mild, maybe they're staying on the rivers; anyway, what do I know.


As I climbed the steps, and reached the top, I could see four. Three males and a female.





A lot of Canada Geese there too, and above the noise of the wind, I could hear them getting ready for take-off.






It wasn't long before the Goosanders had the same idea too.





Past the pub, and the Mallards decided to seek me out. I fed them, and made my way towards the road bridge, and the south lake. Followed by three Crows, so they had a few handfuls of seed too.
At this rate, I'm going to have to bring a sack of bird food with me.


South lake was pretty quiet; but the hedge trimmers have been out in force, laying waste to anything that doesn't move. Brambles and shrubs, sadly no more.


A few Wigeon in the bays in front of the houses, and that was about it.


Dry, but very windy.













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)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
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 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)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Total species  27



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Bullfinch Bonanza



Cold frosty start to the day; and busy.


A big group of gulls on the roost this morning, but too dark to pick out anything special from the noisy throng.


Under the road bridge, and heading round the north lake, I was quickly met by a bunch of noisy Mallards. Feeding time.



Under the footbridge, the Grey Heron was in his usual spot, scooping up the smaller fish that the Cormorant party disperse. A small mixed tit flock was working its way through the bushes, and a distant Song Thrush was singing, as he staked out his winter territory.


A lot of geese on the lake this morning ............... and boats.


Up at the wall of the dam, the sun was beginning its climb up,




and some of the boats looked to be lining up for a race.


The arm at the back of the pub had a few Wigeon, Gadwall and Tufted, and the geese were noisily coming and going.





A marathon race was about to start too.



Towards the pub, and the Mallard gang caught me three times for some food.




They don't give in easily, following me round past the pub, and under the road bridge.
It must look quite a sight.



Down towards the bottom of the south lake, and a couple of Little Grebe were doing their best to avoid the boats; and my camera.





At the footbridge over the river, near the bottom of the south lake, a quick look through the bushes, and I found a couple of Bullfinches.




Always good to see these birds, but they were not co-operating much for pictures.



A small group of Fieldfare were chattering in the trees nearby ..... even more un co-operative.


Down to see the Robin, and leave him some food, and then I was soon making my way past the rowing club.

The marathon was in full swing by now, and plenty of boats up and down the lake.
Even some kayaks in and out of the bays, annoying the few Wigeon that had decided to stay.





It's a wonder there were any birds at all. 


 






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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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 Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)


Total species  34


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Bit cold today.



Tried to get the sunrise this morning, but it was a non event compared to the one I missed yesterday. Oh well.




The video is very short too. It was so windy on the microphone, it wasn't worth saving most of it.


Whilst watching the pathetic sunrise, I did manage to see a couple of Fieldfare, and then later, a group of Redwing.






Quite a large flock of Long Tailed Tits were in the trees,




and a couple of Goldcrests chasing each other through the branches.
Too quick to capture with the camera though.


The Mallard gang caught up with me once I reached the north lake, and still followed me down the path after being fed.

No sign of the Red Breasted Merganser this morning; a shame when there's some sunshine available.

Plenty of Grey Herons about. Some quietly fishing, and others using up energy flying around.




A lot of Cormorants





and Great Crested Grebes on the lake today as well; and a bunch of marathon runners thundering round too.

On a Wednesday?









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)
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)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  32




Saturday, 6 December 2014

Sawbills



Just the one bird featured today ............ and what a bird.


Trevor e-mailed me over a week ago while I was in Wales, to say he'd found a Red Breasted Merganser at the lake.

I've seen plenty of these birds before along the coast in Wales, but never inland. That's usually their close relative the Goosander that pops up this time of the year on lakes and flooded pits inland. (They also appear around the coast too.)
Never seen one inland, and certainly not at Caldecotte Lake.
Yesterday I didn't see it, and so thought maybe it had gone.
This morning was cold and frosty, with the promise of some sun. I had to have a quick visit, just in case, despite it being a weekend, and boats on the lake.
I also had to get back pretty quick for a parcel delivery today too.

Anyway, I made my way to the 'favoured' spot, and there he was.
I took an obscene amount of pictures, sadly not all in glorious sunshine, and while I was there, a male Goosander flew overhead too, hence the plural title.
Great visit.









and the Goosander






and a short bit of video to finish with.












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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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 Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)


Total species 26



Friday, 5 December 2014

5th December 2014



First visit since getting back from Wales; and a chilly one.


Since it is December, I suppose we should expect a bit cooler weather now. The sunrise wasn't too bad.





Quite a big gull roost this morning, with a good mix amongst them.
The Mallards found me under the road bridge as I made my way round the north lake. A Grey Wagtail put in an appearance too, but the light wasn't good enough for pictures.


The Grey Heron was in his usual spot under the footbridge, and plenty of Cormorants out on the water fishing.

Up by the dam, and the arm that goes behind the pub, a big gathering of Canada and Greylag Geese. Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Pochard too.


By the time I made my way to the south lake, the temperature was falling quickly, and it was getting dull, after the early sun.
A few gulls left from the roost, half a dozen Tufted Duck, and a couple of Grey Herons was all that was visible.

Towards the rowing club, and a lone Little Egret was over by the island.

Soon back at the car park, and the weather had worsened, with a light drizzle in the air.


Snow soon?








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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  32