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, 29 August 2011

New feeders, and drama


I put some new feeders up this morning, so I can take the old ones away, and give them a good clean.



 A few minutes after sighting them, a large bird landed on the branches amongst the feeders.

A Sparrowhawk.

As I tried to get a better view of him, he flew into the bushes, the other side of the footbridge, and a deathly hush descended all around. Not a single chirp from a bird. Even the usual noisy juvenile Goldfinches fell silent.
Suddenly he burst from the bushes pursuing a Chaffinch, twisting over the tops of the trees, and down. A group of Magpies gave chase, and suddenly the bush where moments earlier he was, exploded with small birds making their escape.

A quick search both sides of the bushes, but no sign of him. About 5 minutes later, all returned to normality, and the birds came back to the footbridge.

At the top end of the north lake, a few House Martins were circling above the tree tops, catching the insects as they rose in the air warmed by the sun.
A Heron lazily paddled across part of the lake, and a Chiffchaff was happily chiff-chaffing like it was a spring morning.

A juvenile Robin sat posing on top of a street sign,



as a Green Woodpecker noisily flew past. Further round the lake his cousin, the Great Spotted Woodpecker headed off into some trees.

Some of the trees are really taking on their golden colours now.


 (I'm very pleased with this picture. It was taken using the photo function of the little video camera.)


The south lake had well over 24 Mute Swans, most of them young ones with their white feathers. There's still a couple of adult birds giving them a hard time though.

By the island at the far end of the lake, a couple of Little Grebe's swimming around, and on the Cormorant island; Cormorants, and the Common Gull.
A few more House Martins flying over the water by the apartment blocks, and one Sand Martin spotted amongst them.







Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
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)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  37

Sunday, 28 August 2011

A Bank Holiday weekend

That usually means rain, and crowds.

It started sunny, but soon clouded over. The crowds were represented by the joggers and boat people. Not that many, but enough.

An overhead Sparrowhawk, being chased by a bunch of Magpies was an early sighting. These raptors certainly get a hard time from the Crow family; you gotta feel sorry for them.

A rather sleepy looking juvenile Wood Pigeon sat in the bushes, amongst the red berries, not really bothered by presence.



The brief appearance by the sun picked out some toadstools growing under a group of trees.



Great Crested Grebes were out in force, along with Black-headed Gulls. No sign of any Common Tern this morning though.
A few Swallows were hunting insects over the grass at the top end of the north lake, and I was surprised to see a group of Swifts and House Martins over the south lake. It's been a while since I've seen these.

At the far end of the south lake, along with the Tufted Duck, a new arrival........a lone Gadwall. I think it won't be long before the first Pochard and Wigeon begin to make an appearance. Hello winter/autumn.


The boat people were soon out, along with some joggers and cyclists. To be expected I guess, on a Bank Holiday weekend.







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)
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)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  41

Saturday, 27 August 2011

A dry morning.


In complete contrast to yesterday, the sun shone.

A new visitor to the feeders by the footbridge this morning. Too quick for a picture, but a very handsome, and somewhat noisy Jay.

Around the north lake were plenty of Black-headed Gulls, the Lesser Black-backed enjoying the sun on the boat jetty, along with a Heron and Cormorant, and a few noisy Common Terns squabbling in the air.

A few Mute Swans flying around this morning too. Maybe visitors from another lake, or maybe just disturbed by the boat people out on the water.

A couple of Kingfishers; one by the weir, in the usual place, and another back in the old haunt, by the island, close to the bandstand. Good to see them making a comeback after the harsh winter.

Down at the south lake I spent some time watching the antics of some juvenile Blue Tits,


 Blackcaps and various warblers. 
One particular warbler stood out from the rest. The size of a Willow Warbler, but a rich sulphur yellow body, and olive green back. Not 100% on the ID of this one, but the second time I've seen it here, and it's got me puzzled.

Another Kingfisher flashed along the river, as I stood on the footbridge chatting to a dog walker. That's four now, that I know of around the lake.

The very far end, by the bird pallets, a couple of Little Grebe, and the two Tufted Duck.

On the way to the car park, a quick look on Cormorant island revealed the Common Gull, and a few Mallards.



An enjoyable walk round the lake.

 






Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
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)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  39
 


Friday, 26 August 2011

Rain, and more rain

It was wet. Very wet; but despite that I was determined to go round the lake this morning.

By the footbridge a very obliging Song Thrush was searching for worms in the soggy grass, and was completely unperturbed by my presence. A shame it was too dull for pictures.

North had 2 Kingfishers again, and a few Canada Geese, along with some Black-headed Gulls. The strangest sight though, was a young Moorhen, standing on top of a bulrush, plucking the seed as he swayed in the breeze. Something I've never seen before.




He was at it for some time, until the balancing act got too much, and he flew off.




Not the best pictures I've ever taken, but for me, they capture a strange moment.


By the time I'd reached the road bridge, to go round the south lake, it had stopped raining. But not for long. After watching a Crow enjoying something he'd found to eat, and some sleepy swans the rain returned with a vengeance.
By now I was at the far end of the south lake.
A couple of Tufted Duck swimming around, and then some magic moments watching some Swallows skim over the water, catching insects. Fattening themselves up for the long journey ahead. I could watch them all day.

By the time I reached the footbridge again, the rain was getting heavier.
A quick look for yesterdays Spotted Flycatcher, but no luck.







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)
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')
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
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)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
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 Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  35

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Spotted Flycatcher


 (It's took a while to get this; YouTube was being awkward. Third attempt.)


Rain this morning. Not very good. But some good birds.

I topped up the feeders, and decided to just do the north lake. The rain was quite heavy. Two Little Egrets flew north; I guess they had roosted at Cormorant island.

The 7 cygnets are looking more like young adults now. The white feathers are slowly showing through the grey/brown now, and the adult birds are leaving them more to their own devices.

Some not so lucky younger swans were having a hard time from a couple of adults though. Constantly harassed by two individuals, that kept them on the move. I guess it's time for them to move on, and claim their own territories soon.

Down at the weir, I spent some time watching two Mallards filtering through the rushing water. I was amazed they didn't get washed down the river.



Two Kingfishers flew across the lake close by, and headed for one of the trees that overhang the water. A regular sighting here now.

There seemed to be a lot of flying activity by the Mallards this morning, all heading north, towards the fields. Maybe the rain brings food there.

Almost back by the car park, and a small, plain looking bird caught my eye. One of those moments when the 'plainness' shouts out. Plus the streaks on top of the head.
I had a feeling I knew what it was straight away, and when it flew out from the tree it was in, circled round, and landed back in the same place, it confirmed it to me.

Spotted Flycatcher!




A great find. My first one here, and only the second one I've seen.
I spent a good 30 minutes just watching, as he took off searching for insects on the wing, and then came back to his perch. A few pictures and video too, to record this moment. A few Chaffinch seemed to be harassing him for a while,




and in the end he just left. Moved on somewhere else, and less bothersome.


Despite the rain, a great mornings visit.

This takes my total for the year here, to 93; and since 2008, when I started keeping a check, 106. Not bad for a place that local birders dismiss, and some say, 'Caldecotte? Not a lot there is there'

Wallys!!

 






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)
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)
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)
Spotted Flycatcher [sp] (Muscicapa striata)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  33
 

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Herons a plenty


They seemed to be everywhere this morning.

The sun hid behind thick cloud while I walked round the lake, so not many pictures taken. It's shining now, in a blue sky. Typical!

It was good to see a Kingfisher this morning.


 Crap picture, but one day I'll get a good one.

Actually, I saw three; even better, after their demise after the winter, hopefully their numbers will be back up to the regular half dozen of last year.

A lone Little Egret flew overhead too; always good to see them.

At the far end of the south lake, an amazing moth.


He looks very plain here, with wings closed.


When I first saw it flying I thought it was a Red Admiral, but on checking my moth books later, it's a Red Underwing.



 Best shot of the colours under its wings. A hidden gem.

A real stunner. With nearly a 4" wingspan, a big stunner too.

The footbridge was as busy as ever, with Chaffinch being the most numerous bird. They've had a fantastic breeding season.

The Cormorants were out in force too, so along with the Herons and Kinfishers, there won't be much fishing for the fishermen come the weekend. 
Shame.

 






Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Toal species  32
 


Sunday, 21 August 2011

Happy Birthday Blog


1 year old, and I should have done something special for the occasion.


Never mind, here's the first picture I posted on here.



Kinda fitting I think.


I've met quite a few very nice people over the last year I've walked round here; some I stop to chat to, and others we nod in passing. Dog walkers, joggers, cyclists, other birders and photographers; and even a couple of boat people.

Ok, so today.

It started a bit dull, but the sun gradually struggled to push through the cloud.
The usual birds around today, and the Common Gull still over on the island.
The footbridge soon got busy, and the first visitor I saw there was the Great Spotted Woodpecker, as he flew away from the fat balls.

A brisk walk round the north lake, and quite a few fishermen out today.
I spent quite a bit of time taking some macros of plants, and very little of the birds this morning.
Here's a Blackbird I did manage to get though




The south lake had a few Common Terns flying around, lots of Canada Geese coming in from the fields, and a single Tufted Duck right at the far end. First one I've seen for some time. I guess winter is not far away.

And plenty of plants and flowers, which took up the bulk of the picture taking with the macro.

I'll finish with one of those annoying sticky things, that cling to your clothes in the latter part of the year. Can't for the life of me think what they're called though.




A not a very exciting post or video today. I'll try harder next time; but for now, a celebration drink.
 







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 Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
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 Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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 Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  35


Saturday, 20 August 2011

Freedom


The first day of no more work; and the sun shone.




I got to the lake later than I wanted; I blame the wine. The sun was shining, and the birds seemed happy to feel the warmth. Even a Blackbird was prostrate in a bush, soaking up the suns rays.

Lots of flying activity this morning, and a couple of House Martins over the south lake.

A Sparrowhawk made an early morning sortie and scattered a few birds from the footbridge but he left empty clawed, and they soon returned.

A few dragonflies on the wing this morning, so the macro lens came in handy.



  Southern Hawker 


A number of Migrant Hawkers flying around, but by far the most numerous, was the Brown Hawker. They seldom settle though, so no pictures.

A juvenile Dunnock settled though, so a few pictures taken of him,




and a small group of Long Tailed Tits were happy to pose, while they ate some berries.





And now, time for a rest.

 






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)
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)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
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)
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)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  37

Friday, 19 August 2011

19th August 2011


An inspiring title for such a momentous day.

Just the north lake walked this morning, and it was perfect in the sun.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker was enjoying the fat balls in the feeders; he's quite an early morning regular now.




Black-headed Gulls all around, a few Common Terns, Herons, Cormorants, Coots and Mallard, to name a few. A good variety taking advantage of the better weather than yesterdays rain.

Swallows and House Martins were still flying around at the top end of the lake, and quite a few of the trees are beginning to don their autumn leaves now.

The footbridge and surrounding bushes were as busy as ever,



 A couple of juvenile House Sparrows




 Greenfinch, with a growth on its head.



A quick glance at the Cormorant island, and I could see the Common Gull basking with a few Mallards.


Maybe an earlier visit might have produced the Little Egrets? Well, there's always tomorrow now.


 






Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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 Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  33
 


Thursday, 18 August 2011

A mix


It's the last week at work; last day on Friday, and I've had a mix of shifts too.

I've managed to get over the lake each morning to top up the feeders, before having to sort out other things, and then get to work. It's been hectic, to say the least, and I've not managed to do all I've wanted. I'll deal with it all the best way I can. Patience is a virtue; so they say.

Jim is off to the vet this morning; he's got breathing problems which the vet said last time was due to the heat,  and now he seems to be losing weight. Hope it's nothing too serious.

The video is a collection of some of the things I've filmed on my brief visit around the footbridge, and under the road bridge.
And a list of birds seen this morning, around that small area.
 






Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  31

 

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Wake up with the Little Egrets

The morning started with a full moon, but the cloud quickly came in, and made it darker than I'd hoped for.

I wanted to watch the Little Egrets leave their roosting place this morning, and despite the dark morning, I was successful. Great to watch them leave this morning, and head off to wherever they go to. Three went north, and one headed south.
A separate video for this.

On round the north lake, after watching the Little Egrets leave, and the rising sun cast a wonderful golden glow on the pub, before the cloud moved in, and closed the gap it was peering through.




Coots, Mallards and Black-headed Gulls were all busily going about their business, a couple of Herons flying across the lake, and a Sparrowhawk glided overhead.
Blackbirds foraging in the grass for worms, and a party of Long Tailed Tits, noisily moving through the trees.

A Heron was in his usual haunt, under a footbridge, and noisily left as I got nearer.
Great Crested Grebes swimming with the Mallards, and quite a few Mute Swans swimming with their respective cygnets.

Canada Geese grazing at the top end of the north lake, and as I neared the pub, the Lesser Black-backed Gull was jogging along the grass, in-between the Pied Wagtails.
Crows and Magpies up in the trees, always watchful for a food opportunity, and they made short work of my discarded apple core.

Onto the south lake, and more Canada Geese grazing. A few Reed Buntings calling from the reeds, along with a group of juvenile Reed Warblers.

A few of the adult Mute Swans were posturing, and moving on, some of the younger swans. I guess territory rights are to be fiercely defended now.

A lone Swallow skimmed over the water, and maybe a single House Martin; not 100% sure on the last one though.

As I neared Cormorant island I could see the Common Gull, swimming with some Mallards. His wing flapping seems a lot stronger now, and at times he became airborne, as he fought to get the bread I tossed towards him.
He's looking spectacular, with his white head, and grey wings.




I do hope he makes it through the winter.

And across on the island, in the trees, a few Cormorants, and a Little Egret.




A great morning.

 









An update on the ringed Mute Swan I saw here on the 6th August, her number was 722.
She was seen on Bedford Embankment as a 5 year old, on 1st March 2010.
Next sighting was Wardown Park, Luton, on 3rd May 2010,
and then by myself, here, on 6th August 2011.
She's travelled a total of 23 kilometres.
Fascinating stuff, and thank you to the ringing team for providing me with the information.
 
 
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)
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)
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)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39