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



Friday, 31 December 2010

Last day of the year

A very, very quick visit this morning, the same as all this week; the main purpose being to top up the car park bridge with seed. It’s good to see some left each morning; that means with the thaw, the birds are finding natural food again, but the seed helps out.

It’s been very foggy each morning this week, and today was no exception. The ice slowly continues to melt, and the south lake water area gets bigger each day.

Work calls very soon, but before I go I’d like to say thanks to everyone who stops by, and comments. This will be 104th post since I started this blog, back in August, 21st.

A new day and year tomorrow, and no work, so I can really spend some time at the lake tomorrow.
For now, though, thank you to all the wonderful people I’ve met at the lake, through the year, and thank you to everyone who stops by here, at the blog.


I wish you all a very healthy and happy New Year.



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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  26

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Tropical

That's how it feels this morning. After all the snow of a few days ago,


a thaw is well under way. And rain. Till the next lot of snow, I suppose.
I paid a very quick visit this morning, just to put some seed on the car park bridge,


and feed the Mallards under the road bridge. A quick scan of part of the north lake with the binoculars, and some of the lake is looking more like a lake, rather than an ice rink. Not many birds there though, and the rain was falling on top of the ice, so it won't be long before more melts.

Back at the car park, a Robin was already enjoying some seed, and a few Blackbirds were poking around in the grass that was gradually getting exposed. I'm sure the birds are happy that it's warming up a bit, and they can get on with the job of looking for more 'natural' food.

I'll still continue with the seed supplement for a while though; it helps. They won't become reliant on it either, if they are hungry, they will search for natural food. They're not about to keel over, and perish, just because I suddenly stop feeding after a while. Birds are smarter than that.

Got work later, and a few things to sort out, so no video, or list. Today was just to see how the thaw is kicking in.

Through the binoculars I could see the unfrozen area at the south lake was getting much bigger, and plenty of geese and ducks in there.

Maybe a longer visit tomorrow.

Monday, 27 December 2010

Thaw is on

It seemed almost tropical this morning, after the last few days. The icicles hanging from my roof, have almost disappeared; but unfortunately, a long way to go yet to thaw the lake. The north still remains almost totally frozen, but the south has an increasing unfrozen area in front of the houses.

I topped up the car park bridge, and added another fat ball to the feeder; walked to the road bridge, and fed the Mallards, and then quickly checked where yesterdays gull was frozen to the ice. No sign of him, so hopefully he managed to get free.
Back at the road bridge, I watched a Water Rail for a while, until the Mallards spotted me, and waddled over for some more food. 
They eat more than I do!

I made my way round the north lake, but so much is frozen, there isn’t much there at all. A Grey Wagtail was up by the weir, and a few Blackbirds in the bushes, but that was about it. I did spot a Green Woodpecker, clinging to one of the trees, but he soon saw me, and made a quick exit.

A Swan carcass lay in the field, the other side of the river. When I first saw it, a Moorhen was picking over it, and then a Magpie flew down, and began to take some. A sad sight, but the death of one animal, means a few more survive a little longer.

Back at the road bridge, the Mallards spotted me again, so more food, before I made my way round the south lake.
I made my way to the bottom of the south lake, and found the tree that the Siskin favour. No sign of them; but then suddenly a huge flock flew in, and settled in the trees.
Easily a hundred or more. A fantastic sight to see.



Eventually I left there, and headed to the area of water by the houses. Canada, and Greylag Geese, Tufted Duck, Coots, Mallard, a couple of Goldeneye, Wigeon; a fantastic mix. And they got fed too.

Then back to the car park bridge, and top up the seed again. While I was there, another Water Rail was foraging under the bridge.



I watched him for a while, and then home.

A great 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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  43

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Golden sun, Goldeneye

Decided to get the car out this morning, and drive to the lake. Little roads still icy, but the main roads not too bad.
Topped up the car park bridge with seed, and then walked round to the next two bridges on the north lake. Left some seed on these, and then decided to just walk the south lake, since that is where most of the birds are at the moment.

Managed to catch the sun rise at the bottom end of the south lake,



and quite impressive it was too. A lone fox was making his way across one of the fields, and then about 9 a.m., the Siskin flock arrived. What great birds these are; I could watch them for hours. Almost did. I had to drag myself away, and made my way to the area in front of the houses, which still has plenty of ducks and geese.

Amongst all the usual waterfowl, at least three Goldeneye,



and a female Goosander, which I watched fly in earlier in the morning. Unfortunately the Black Swans have moved on; probably gone back to Willen Lake.
One unfortunate sighting, was a Common Gull, frozen to the ice, at the edge of the water, and being pecked occasionally by a Cormorant. Such a shame to see, and I hope the sun is strong enough to free him soon.

Back at the car park bridge, I topped up the seed again, and watched the finches and a couple of Reed Buntings. The sun was shining, but it didn’t feel that warm, and a few people were about now, enjoying the morning.

And a surprise visitor; Trevor and his good lady, from Three Counties Herald. Nice to meet you again Trevor.






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)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  40

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Christmas Day

Oooops! I put today's post on the other blog.

I guess I shouldn't drink so much on Christmas.  :(


............................................................



Started cold, and then the sun came out. It didn’t seem any warmer, but it certainly made it a beautiful morning.

I topped up the car park bridge with seed, then fed the ducks under the road bridge, spotted the Water Rail, and then made my way round the north lake.
Most of it is still frozen, save for a small area at the top end, near the weir. This was packed with Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Mallard and Coot. A few Moorhen wandering across the ice, and lots of Crows and Rooks, flying west to east. The gulls were flying east to west; maybe they should swap food locations, and save some energy.

The pub produced the Crows, and Mallards, that wanted feeding, so after doing that, I made my way round the south lake. No sign of the Bittern today, but at the bottom of the lake, by the railway line, over 50 Siskin kept me amused for over half an hour; an added bonus was an appearance by the sun.





Down by the fancy houses, the unfrozen area seems to have grown. Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Mute Swans, Black Swans, Wigeon, Pochard; everything was crammed into the area, and a selection of gulls too. I think everything worth seeing is right here.

Eventually got to the car park bridge, topped up the seed again, and made my way back home.

What a great Christmas, in great company.

I’ll leave you with a Christmas Robin.


.



List of sightings after the video.


Christmas Day from holdingmoments on Vimeo.



Full list of today’s sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
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)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
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)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
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)
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 Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  44

Friday, 24 December 2010

Still cold, but a slow thaw is continuing, although most of the north and south lake remains frozen. I watched a Fox walking on the ice this morning, searching for a breakfast, but the gulls and geese were soon in the air. Heart in mouth moments as he ran across the ice. Must be desperate for food.

I decided to stick with the south lake again, and search for the Bittern; but no luck today.
Plenty of bids at the car park bridge though, once I put some seed down. Good job I ordered another two 12 and half kilo bags yesterday. Getting through it at the moment.
A Water Rail was a nice sighting early this morning, and another large flock of Siskin at the bottom of the lake. The two Black Swans are still here,



with all the other wildfowl crammed into the unfrozen area in front of the houses. This patch of water seems to be getting larger each day, so that’s good news.

The time seemed to race by this morning, and after spending four hours just on the south lake, I started to make my way home, topping up the car park bridge again, and feeding the Mallards and a couple of Swans under the road bridge.




(well YouBoob was being an awkward pain again, not uploading, so I used vimeo)




Christmas Eve at the lake from holdingmoments on Vimeo.



Full list of today’s sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
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)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  42

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Bittern; but are there two?

I walked over to the lake this morning; I wasn’t going to bother with the car after yesterday, and after about 40 minutes, I got to the lake, and topped up the seed on the bridge. It looks like someone else is leaving some seed there now, or else the birds haven’t eaten it all since yesterday.

The Crows were about, as usual, and on the bridge were a lot of Chaffinch and Great Tits. A few Blue Tits, about three Robins, and a Blackbird, that seemed to be picking out his favourites from the mixed seed.

I walked on to the south lake, by the houses, where some of the water hasn’t frozen. It seems a thaw is on, because the area seemed a bit larger. Canada Geese, a few Goldeneye, lots of Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Gadwall, and the two Black Swans made up the bulk of the birds there. A couple of Great Crested Grebes, and a couple of Little Grebes bobbing up and down under one of the boat jetty’s, along with a Shoveler.

Further down, by the offices, a Bittern left the reeds, and flew across the lake, standing briefly on the ice, before hiding himself away. This got me thinking, maybe there are two. A couple of days ago, I was talking to a man walking his dog, who described a Bittern taking off from the reeds by the car park. Possibly two, or just the one, moving around the south lake a bit.

As I began to turn at the bottom, to make my way back up, a large group of Siskin dropped into some trees. Little beauties, and they certainly kept me busy watching them for a while.
Eventually I left them, and decided to make my way through the snow, along the edge of the lake. I was going to check the reeds, for the Bittern; camera primed and ready, and the video camera ready to film too.

I walked slowly, pretty tough going through fresh snow, that grips your legs as you try to make your way through it. No sign of the Bittern. I even checked the snow on the ice, for tracks. Nothing. I’d almost reached the road bridge, and the end of the reeds, and stopped to put the video camera in my pocket. And as I did that, a few yards to my left, I caught a glimpse of him, standing proud. I reached for the video camera, as he took to the air, back across the lake.

Oh well, next time






Full list of today’s sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Great Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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 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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  38

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Snow

A very late post today, because I got snowed in a couple of times, and I had to go to work too.

This morning started Ok. I thought a thaw was on; it seemed milder. I drove to the lake; the main roads were not too bad. Topped up the seed on the car park bridge, and made my way to the north lake. A Water Rail under the road bridge, so a good start.
The Mallards soon saw me, and wanted feeding, along with the Crows.

I carried on round the north lake, after feeding them, but not very much else to see in the gloom. Most of the lake was still frozen, and what started as rain, turned to snow, and then slowed down.

A few Coots, more Mallard, and a few Tufted Duck; and as I turned the top of the north lake, I noticed plenty of Crows and Rooks flying west to east, and lots of Gulls flying east to west.

I reached the pub, and the road bridge, and the Crows joined me, along with lots of Mallards. Feeding time again! I’m going to need a sack of seed, instead of a bag at this rate.

On towards the south lake, and the weather began to take a distinct turn for the worse.
Maybe I should of cut short the visit at this moment.
Nah. I carried on. The snow got thicker, and the visibility got worse. Eventually I couldn’t see the other side of the lake.

Hmmmm. I carried on, curious to see what was the other side of the lake, by the houses. A Shoveler flew overhead; maybe he’d decided the weather was better elsewhere.

As I turned the bottom end of the lake, I found myself in a blizzard. I’ve never seen snow come down so thick, and so fast. Well, 20 minutes walk to the car, so no point worrying about it. I carried on to the small area by the houses, that wasn’t frozen.
Mute Swan, two Black Swan, Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Mallard, Pochard, Wigeon, Gadwall; there was everything there, all packed into this small area.

I fed a few more the last of the bread and seed I had, and decided to call it a day.

Back at the car, which resembled a snow dome, I slowly joined the traffic, to make my home. Slowly being the word. Two hours to move less than a quarter mile.
Eventually I got home, after having to dig the car out of the snow a couple of times, and then it was time to go to work.
I walked in.

The strange thing is, the north of Milton Keynes escaped the snow. It seems it was all dumped where I was.

A long and tiring day today. And now I’m off to bed.






Full list of today’s sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
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)

Total species  30

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

A double

Roads are still bad today, and with a day off work, I decided to walk over to the lake.
It’s hard going in the snow, and certainly gets the heart pumping!

Since most of the north lake is frozen, I concentrated my efforts on the south lake, after putting some seed at the car park bridge. This is becoming a great spot now, for Chaffinch, Dunnock, Robin, Blue Tit and Great Tits. Plenty of Blackbirds in the trees too.

Under the road bridge is almost all frozen now, except for a small area, where two Mute Swans were sleeping. The south lake was covered in ice too, except for one area by the boat sheds, close to the houses. This was packed with a Shoveler, Tufted Ducks, Swans, three Goldeneye, Little Grebes, Great Crested Grebes, Canada and Greylag Geese, and………two Black Swans! What a treat to see them.


Pair of Goldeneye

I spent a while there, watching the geese leave, and more Tufted Duck arriving. It was quite busy, for such a small area.
Eventually I made my way back to the car park bridge, to top up the seed, before I left, to make my walk home.

And down by another footbridge, I stopped off to watch a couple of Water Rails, as they scurried to and fro on the ice.



Since I’ve been coming here, I’ve got to know quite a few people that walk their dogs, and today, as I was talking to one man, he mentioned he’d just seen a long legged bird, like a Heron, fly from the reeds, and across the lake. This one was a bit smaller though, and brown.
Another Bittern!!

Great news, but a shame I didn’t see it.


No video today. I took some, but YouTube is being a twat again, and blogger is taking too long. It's pissing me off. Dunno why I bother.





Full list of today’s sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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 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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  38

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snow on Sunday.

An early start this morning.

I decided to walk to the lake, rather than risk driving in the snow. A steady, slippery walk saw me there about 7 a.m., and most of the lake frozen over. A few small pockets of water here and there, which was crammed with geese and ducks.




I made my way to the car park bridge, and put some seed down; then made my way round the north lake. No super sunrise today; a thick fog was descending, making it difficult to see anything.

The usual ducks were about, a couple of Kingfishers, the Crows, and plenty of Canada and Greylag geese noisily flying around the lake. First they flew to the fields, then back to where they came, then onto another spot………..it was as though they didn’t know what to do. A large flock of Tufted Duck were flying around for a long time too, searching for a spot of water to land in.

Six male Goosander flew over, and disappeared into the mist, and a Kingfisher kept me on my toes, as he flew just ahead of me each time I got closer.

By the time I reached the pub, the fog had come down quite thick. I decided to give the south lake a miss this time, and just refill the seed on the bridge, and then head home.

When I reached the car park bridge, most of the seed had been eaten, but there were a few finches about, and a Blackbird eating some fruit from a tree. More seed put down, and then I decided to make my way home, but not before I spied a Water Rail foraging under the bridge.


A cold morning; but enjoyable.







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)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  31

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Snow Saturday

The morning started cold; very cold. 

I left some seed for the birds at the car park bridge, and made my way slowly round the north lake. Big groups of birds in the unfrozen water; Coots, Mallards, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Pochard, Gadwall, and a male Goldeneye.
The Canada Geese were very vocal, and doing a lot of flying about to the fields to the north.
A couple of Kingfishers, and a couple of Sparrowhawks, and near the top end of the lake, a Grey wagtail.
I hurried along towards the weir, and managed to catch the sunrise, in all its glory.



It really was worth getting out of breath for, to catch it.


I carried on slowly towards the pub, and found the Crows waiting to be fed. I think they know my routine better than I do. As soon as I stopped, the Mallards came over too. I’m going to have to start bringing two bags of seed at this rate.

Birds fed, I made my way across the road bridge, to check on the car park bridge, and top up the seed. I counted 6 Chaffinch amongst the tits and a couple of Robins.



The fat balls I hung up yesterday, had been found by some Great Tits and Blue Tits, so that’s good.



Onward, round the south lake. The idea was to go round, back over the road bridge, and then back to the car park. I had plenty of time today; no work, and no need to rush.
Quite a few Goosander, amongst the rest of the ducks and geese, some Redwing and Fieldfare in the trees by the boat sheds, and then snow. Light flurries at first, but then getting a bit heavier. Well, I was in no rush, so I carried on at my leisurely pace.

More Goosander out on the south lake, and a mix of gulls; Black-headed, Common, Lesser Black-backed, a few Great Black-backed, and a couple of Herring Gulls.
Some good birds seen today, despite the cold and snow.

Back at the car park bridge, I watched the birds eating the seed; and in the bushes nearby, were Goldfinch, Greenfinch, and a pair of Bullfinches. A small group of Blackbirds and Redwings were enjoying the fallen crab apples, and I watched a Song Thrush bashing the life out of a snail on the path.

Apologies for a long video, but the morning was so good, it just had to be shared.




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)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
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)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
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)
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)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  43