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

quote

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



Saturday, 31 December 2011

Last day of 2011

The weather was dull, and drizzly rain for a while; but the birds were bright.

I walked the south lake first, to have a look at the sizeable gull roost. And very noisy it was too.

Once it got lighter, I scanned through the remaining birds, but they were mostly Black-headed Gulls, and Lesser Black-backed.

A very distant glimpse of the Smew just off the island, and three female Goosander down by the rowing club. A couple of Little Grebe diving around there too.

Onto the north lake, and the Great Northern Diver was out in the middle of the lake.
Plenty of Tufted Duck, and a Grey Wagtail flying along the edge.

Up by the weir end, all the usual Wigeon, Coots and geese; and in the distance, a couple of boats heading their way. I watched as they got closer, sending all the birds skyward.


The occupants dragged their boats up the grassy slope, and I thanked Captain Ahab for clearing the water of birds.
He told me that's what the lake was for.......kayaks. He knew this, he told me, because he was part of the council.
Aaaaa, that must be a spare part  for the council then.


I made my way back towards the car park, and caught a glimpse of the 'diver', heading up towards the south lake.


I guess he was keeping out of the spare parts way.










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)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  37

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


A sort of double post today.


I've cobbled a few of the video highlights from this year, together, and come up with the following video. It's a bit long; around 14 minutes.

Some of the other highs from the year, that didn't make it, for various reasons, (mainly I couldn't find them on my hard drive), and in no particular order, were,

The Black Swan. Always a favourite of mine, when they turn up. He appeared for 3 days in January, and once in March.
The Bittern; two appearances in January.
The Great Crested Grebe weed dance. Fantastic to watch, and so glad I managed to capture it on video. Buggered if I know where it is though.
The Water Rail, January and November, just the two appearances for me.
Black Tailed Godwit. He stayed for all of ten minutes on the 6th January, before disappearing.
The injured Common Gull. I first spotted him at the far end of the south lake, on the 22nd February. He looked as though he'd broken his wing, and I though he'd never survive the winter. To my amazement, he swam down to Cormorant island, where he stayed, and seemed to make good progress; and then after about 6 months, he just vanished.
The Black Terns. They were here for a few days in May, on the south lake.
The Lesser Whitethroat, that turned up on one day, at the end of April.
and finally the Brambling, that enjoyed the feeders by the footbridge, and stayed until almost the end of April.


Probably just as well that I didn't include them, the video would have lasted forever!







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



Oh yea, and the last video.
A sort of outtakes thing.
Doing a running commentary, I sometimes slip up, and the odd word slips in. Usually an expletive of some sort.
Most got sent to the bin, and a cleaner version got posted.
Some I kept for some reason. I had this idea of doing this video, mainly for myself, so if you don't like the odd word; it's usually bollocks, then don't watch it.









Anyway, have a great New Year.

Friday, 30 December 2011

Smew 1 Goosander 3

and the Great Northern Diver still here too.

A few spots of rain greeted the morning,




but it soon stopped, for most of the morning.


Coots were fighting, like they usually do; Wigeons were whistling, like they usually do; and there was plenty of flying activity too, from the Canada Geese, Greylag Geese, and the Mute Swans.

Still some Ragwort out in flower, Red Clover, and Yarrow. Amazing, considering the year is nearly out.

The Great Northern Diver is still around his usual haunt, at the north lake, and two Kingfishers sped by the reeds, up near the pub.
A Green Woodpecker was busily pummelling the grass, in his search for ants, and as I began to make my way to the south lake, the Mallards began massing, expecting food.
They got some, as did the Black-headed Gulls that arrived too.

At the south lake I was welcomed by the Crows, waiting for their apple core, and quite a few Great Crested Grebes, were swimming along the edge. A couple of Little Grebes were about too, but very shy, and constantly diving.

At the far end, another Kingfisher flashed past the reeds, and over by the island, a group of Greylag Geese in the water, and a female Goosander, preening on the shore.

The male Smew was diving off the island too. Good to still see him here; they don't usually stay more than a day when they do come.

Redwings up in the trees, and quite a group of Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and Siskin.

Making my way towards the rowing club, I was surprised, and pleased, to see three Goosander, eagerly fishing.




One male, and two female. Naturally, as I got closer, they began to swim further out towards the middle of the lake, making it difficult for pictures.

As I passed the town houses, I met up with another blogger.
It's always good to put faces to the people behind the blogs, and after a quick chat, we carried on; Graemme, and his friend, in search of Smew and Goosander; and me, in search of anything that turns up.

Turn up it did.
Another fellow blogger, I met here a couple of days ago, Scott, of Wildlife, photography and stuff.

A quick chat, and an ID of a bird he'd taken, and then it was  time to go.

Almost. I wanted to see if the diver was still on the north lake, (it was), and I wanted a quick look at the feeders.




A Great Spotted Woodpecker on the nuts, and a group of Goldfinch on the nyger seed.


Another cracking 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)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
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)
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)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39






Thursday, 29 December 2011

Smew still here.

Took ages to get light this morning.

And it was windy, and raining. Not very nice.

There was hardly any light until I'd almost walked round the north lake; just in time to get some video of the female Goosander.

After feeding some of the Mallards by the pub, and a couple of Crows, I made my way round the south lake. By the time I'd reached the far end, the rain was getting heavier, but I managed to get some distant video of the Smew, and a couple of Little Grebes.

Tufted Duck, Pochard and Coot were the main birds, and a few Mute Swans flying around. As I passed the rowing club, another 'birder' was making his way to the far end, presumably to see the Smew. I think the rain put him off though; he soon turned, and began walking back.

A quick look at the feeders, before I left, and they were doing a roaring trade, with Goldfinches, Greenfinches, a few Tits, and a single Siskin.

And a last look under the road bridge, and there was the Great Northern Diver, diving in front of the pub.

Don't let a bit of rain put you off.


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







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)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
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)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  35

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



Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The stars are still here

.......and so are a few 'birders'. A strange lot some of them.

Quite a windy morning, and a bit dull.

Round the north lake first, and the diver was being elusive; although he did show himself eventually. The Herons were fishing their usual spots, and a lot of flying by the geese this morning.

Up at the top end, a big flock of Greylag flew in, and had a conversation with the group of Canada Geese, that were already there. Seven Mute Swans flew in, to join the party, and a Kingfisher skimmed along the edge, by the reeds. Of course, none of this was captured on video; far too busy watching it all.
Wigeon and Gadwall were amongst all this commotion, and a few Coots fighting.
No sign of the female Goosander though.
Six Shoveler made an appearance, but seemed more interested in flying around.

A Heron was standing very tall, up on the grass bank,




but eventually flew off after a few pictures.


Onward, round the south lake, and a few 'birders' began to appear.
I rarely see a soul on my visits usually; just the odd one or two people with a pair of binoculars, or camera, that have an interest in the lake, and its birds.
It's strange how these extras suddenly turn up when a few birds are reported. It all seems a bit fake to me, tick listers; but that's just my opinion.

At the far end, the male Smew was still there, much to my surprise. Very difficult to get any video, or pictures though. A lot of Black-headed Gulls too, with a few Common Gulls mixed in.
Another Kingfisher flew across the lake too.

The Little Grebes were swimming around in their usual place,




and out in the middle of the lake, more Black-headed Gulls, and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A lone Herring Gull sat on one of the buoys too.


As I got to the rowing club, I met Trevor, of Three CountiesHerald fame, and his better half. They'd come for a walk round.
After a quick chat, we went on our way; me back towards the car park, and Trevor in search of avian delights.

By the town houses, I managed a quick bit of video of the male Goosander, before he was spooked, and flew south, by three people with binoculars and a spotting scope.
Oh well.

And as I reached the car park, I bumped into another fellow blogger. Scott, of Wildlife, photography and stuff.
A quick chat, and then time to go, after checking on the feeders.

Good to see a Siskin there.









Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
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 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


Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Smew

An excellent morning.

The Great Northern Diver is still on the north lake, diving in the area of the buoy marked #4. He seems to like it there.

Further up, by the top end, the female Goosander is still there, and lots of flying action this morning from the Canada Geese. The usual Gadwall, Wigeon and Coots; and a lone Pochard.

To the south lake, and after being escorted by the Crows, and now a few Mallard, I eventually reached the bottom end of the lake.
Coots fighting, Mallards mating, and in the distance, a cracking male Smew.




Not the best of pictures, but they do have a habit of disappearing after a day or so.



Some Little Grebes, and Great Crested Grebes; with a few Herons thrown in, and then I found myself down by the rowing club. Just along from there, a male Goosander, looking very handsome in his salmon pink plumage.





Siskins by the feeders topped off an excellent morning.








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)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
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)
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  40


Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day 2011


Dunno why it's called that.

Dull, cloudy, and spots of rain in the air.
Not good for pictures, but I tried a few.

In the bushes, near the car park, a Song Thrush was singing his song in the half light. Try as I might, I couldn't find him; but lovely to hear his singing.


The north lake had the Great Northern Diver still, and the female Goosander.




Both were up by the pub, although the Goosander decided to move up a bit further after a while.
A Kingfisher flashed by; his usual spot, close by the road bridge.


The south lake had a second Kingfisher, at the far end, and a Heron gave me a slow fly past.




I also had my first sighting of a male Goldeneye this winter, up by the rowing club.


Back at the car park, and the feeders, a single Siskin was with a group of Goldfinches; and in the bushes where I started from this morning, a Robin in fine voice.




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







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)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
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)
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  36

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Day 2011

The stars this morning, were undoubtedly the Black-headed Gulls.

Hundreds of them on the grass in front of the pub; and more swirling in from the roost on the south lake.

As I made my way round the north lake, masses of them were circling in the sky, like Starlings. 
A murmation of gulls, perhaps?
Fantastic to see.

A Grey Heron landed himself a large fish, but flew too far away with it to get any decent pictures; plus the light was still poor. A bit on the video though. 
He certainly had himself a grand Christmas dinner though.

I just walked the north lake this morning; not many people around, but the usual birds.
A flash of blue as a Kingfisher flew along the edge, in his usual spot, and a Grey Wagtail, flying across the lake.


And the Great Northern Diver was still diving.








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 Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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 Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  31

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


Well, the big day today, so have a good one, whatever you're up to.


Jim's got a big bone, and I've a date with a bottle of malt, and a couple of DVD's.


Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

A light frost, with the promise of a good sunrise.


Well, I hastily made my way to the far end of the south lake first, to hopefully catch a good sunrise.




Not as good as I was hoping for, but not bad.


The wader scrape has all but gone, and along with it the gulls that used to sit there preening. A shame, because the future potential was very good. Never mind. Maybe the Parks Trust could be persuaded to construct an artificial one?
Who knows.

As I made my way along the edge of the south lake, towards the north, the female Goosander suddenly made a break from the edge.




She's a real beauty, and I was surprised to see her down this end of the lake.

Surprised to see the boat people out too. Shouldn't they be at home doing Christmas stuff, instead of messing about on boats?

The north lake eventually gave me some good views of the Great Northern Diver; and also with some food.





 The first time I've actually seen it with any food above the water.
Apparently they can catch their food, and eat it under water.


The regular Wigeon and Coot were at the top end of the lake, and it was interesting to watch a female Gadwall seeing off a couple of male suitors.
Definitely a one man girl!

A couple of Mallard were mating, and two pairs of Great Crested Grebe were doing the head waggle courtship routine.

Perhaps they know we're not expecting any bad weather.







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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  34

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I'd like to wish all visitors and followers, a very merry Christmas




Friday, 23 December 2011

Coots fighting

Dull, cloudy, and a few spots of rain this morning.

After topping up the feeders, I noticed that someone had left some seed on one of the picnic tables, by the car park. Not me; I had agreed with Dawn not to leave any there anymore. I'm sure the birds appreciated it though, and I doubt many people will be using the tables at the moment.

A brief glimpse of the Great Northern Diver; but no sign of the Goosander.
A Green Woodpecker sat in a tree, doing his best to look invisible,



 but I still could see him.


A group of Canada Geese were grazing by the pub, and one stood out amongst all the others.




Looking very much like a Canada Goose, apart from his mixed up face markings, different colour bill, and different colour legs. My guess is one of his parents was a Greylag Goose.
I was more convinced when he flew off, sounding just like a Greylag.

Onto the south lake, and after feeding the Crow escort, and a few Mallards, my attention was taken by a couple of Coots, having a real battle.






And as always, a group of other Coots appear, and some can't resist joining in.
Don't they know it's the season of peace and goodwill?


At the far end of the lake, a large flock of birds settled in the trees by the railway line.
Through the binoculars I could make out a mixed flock of Goldfinches and Siskin.
Lovely to watch them as they moved through the branches, searching for food.

On the wader scrape, a large number of Black-headed Gulls, with a few Common Gulls mixed in, and a couple of Herring Gulls.

Back at the car park, more Siskin and Goldfinch in the bushes; a very rewarding 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)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
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)
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

Thursday, 22 December 2011

New toy

I was over the lake a bit earlier than usual this morning.

It was still dark, but I wanted to try out my new torch.




An LED Lenser; made by a German company. An expensive little torch, but it packs a very bright and powerful light. Plus it fits in my pocket without any problem.
I'm hoping that it will help find any owls that may be sitting up in the trees, as it starts to get light; throw some light on some of the strange rustling noises I sometimes hear coming from the bushes..........or just blind any potential early morning muggers.

I tried it out on the south lake first, illuminating the trees, lake edge, and the bushes.
I didn't find any owls, or much of anything else; but it has some great potential.

Once I'd reached the north lake, it was much lighter, and easier to see any birds.

The Great Northern Diver is still around, and the female Goosander. The sun was beginning to shine by now too, but unfortunately the Goosander had the sun behind her, so no pictures.

Back at the car park, a quick check on the feeders, which were busy with Goldfinch and Greenfinch, and some Reed Buntings in the surrounding bushes.








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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
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 Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
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)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  33

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Gulls, gulls, gulls.

With apologies to 80's rockers Mötley Crüe.

Just a very quick visit this morning, as I had to be back for a parcel, that's hopefully coming today.

Dark, and drizzly rain greeted me as I pulled into the car park, and in the car headlights, the eyes of the biggest fox I've seen in ages shining back at me.
Or it could have been a bear.

After topping up the feeders, the sensible thing would have been go back home, but I wanted a quick look at the north lake. Withdrawal symptoms I guess.

Not that I could see much in the gloom. A lot of gulls though, on the grass in front of the pub. Mostly Black-headed Gulls, and a couple of larger ones too. I tried to work my way closer to them, but they kept a good hundred yards in front; lifting up in groups and landing further along.

A couple of Herons, a few Wigeon, lots of Coots, and the Great Northern Diver was about the rest of the sightings.

A quick check on the feeders, and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was enjoying the peanuts.










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)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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 Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  26

Sunday, 18 December 2011

A bit more snow, not a lot, but cold.

Sums up the morning really.

The sun looked good,




and there was even a sun dog in the sky.




The Great Northern Diver put in an early appearance, before the boats sent everything else scattering. A lot of the little areas of the lake, away from the main body of water, had frozen over. It was pretty cold this morning. Even some of the Canada Geese had frost on their backs.

The female Goosander was up at the top end of the north lake, away from the boats, along with a good number of Wigeon and Gadwall.

Two Kingfishers were by the pub, being quite vocal. Maybe one was an intruder.

On towards the south lake, and the snow began getting heavier; but then stopped almost as quickly as it had started. Couldn't make its mind up.

My Crows followed along most of the way towards the bottom end of the lake, enjoying the regular apple core.
A couple of Little Grebe's, diving as soon as they saw any sort of movement, and the Black-headed Gulls hogging what's left of the wader scrape.

In the trees, along the railway line, a large group of Fieldfare, and Redwing; and in some other trees close by, Siskin.

Finally, back at the car park, a quick look at the busy feeders; Goldfinch, Greenfinch, and on one of the nut feeders, a Great Spotted Woodpecker.








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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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 Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  37