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



Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Two pairs of Kingfishers, and a dawn chorus.


The birds were in fine voice this morning. Singing bursting from every bush and tree top. And the sun shone.



 Dunnock


I spent a good hour watching and filming the birds around the car park area; so much activity going on. I think a seat and a flask wouldn't go amiss here, so much to see.

I eventually made my way up to where the Kingfishers are, and spent more time just watching the activity and antics of this pair. The added bonus of sunlight certainly helped the cropped pictures.






The Grey Heron was in his usual spot, by the footpath;




but that means he constantly gets disturbed by the passing people and dogs.




A group of Goosander were swimming up at the top end of the lake, and as I passed the weir, another pair of Kingfishers, sitting in a tree, at the edge of the lake.
One had a fish and was bashing it on the branch, before eating it.


At the pub, a few Starlings, a couple of Pied Wagtails, and a group of grazing geese.





On towards the south lake, and a couple of singing Chiffchaff kept me company till I reached the far end.
A pair of Little Grebe, swimming in the usual spot, and a pair of Mute Swans were just enjoying the sun.




Down past the rowing club, around the houses, and then a quick look over on Cormorant island I found the Great Black-backed Gull, the nesting pair of Mute Swans, and the Oystercatchers.

Back at the car park, calling Chiffchaff, and an elusive Blackcap.
But a fly past from a Mallard, against the blue sky.





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








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)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
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)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
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  38


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

Last post for now, until I get back from Wales.



Monday, 26 March 2012

Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Goosander and sun

Once the fog cleared, a sunny morning again.


Plenty of Chiffchaff calling all round the lake today.



 Lovely to hear them.


A Song Thrush was quite bold, briefly,




before getting down to the business of searching for worms.


Up at the island, I got some good views of the Kingfishers for a change, as the mist slowly cleared.




At the top end of the north lake, a group of Goosander were chasing around on the water.




A pair of Mute Swans have decided to build a nest in a very precarious place.
Right at the edge of the lake, and in potential danger from any dogs that are left to run around.


The daffodils near the pub, were looking lovely in the sunlight,




and the Crow seems contented in his nest, on top of the pub.



The south lake was pretty quiet, until I reached the far end.
More Chiffchaff were calling along the way, and after stopping to feed the Robin, a pair of Blackcap were busily foraging through the branches of the trees.




Past the rowing club, a few geese flying around,




and then back at the car park, more Chiffchaff and Blackcap calling.


Out on the water, a pair of Great Crested Grebes were performing the weed dance; unfortunately it meant trying to capture it through the reeds, and into the sun.




Another good 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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
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

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Crows nesting and a Blackcap


Foggy start again, but sun later.

The squirrel continues to wreak havoc on one of the new 'squirrel proof' bird feeders.
I think the holes for the seed are too big, and he's scooping it out.

A Blackbird was singing his morning song from the treetops, and a Chiffchaff was calling from around the car park. Plenty of Magpies enjoying the bread and biscuit too.

After feeding the Mallards under the road bridge, I carried on up towards the island.
Far too foggy to see if the Kingfishers were about, but I did spot a Little Grebe.



 A nice surprise, because I only usually see these on the south lake.


The Canada Geese were quieter this morning, and a Green Woodpecker was digging away at one of the trees. I could hear some Wigeon out on the water, but too foggy to see them. Another Chiffchaff calling round here too, but equally invisible.

At the top end, a couple of Goosander swam off into the fog, and soon disappeared from view.

Once I was up by the pub, the sun was starting to burn through the fog making it easier to see out on the water. A Kingfisher flew past, and settled in the bushes by the boat jetty; until a jogger ran past. A couple of boats were now out on the water, and the Daffodils were looking radiant, as the sun tried to skip over them.




I made my way under the road bridge, and the walk round the south lake was bathed in sunlight. Lots of geese and swans taking to the air, as more boats powered their way through the water, in their relentless journey up and down the length of the lake.
At the far end a Chiffchaff calling by the railway, a couple of Little Grebe swimming around, and five Goosander swimming briefly by the island, until they took off, and flew further down the lake, away from the boats.


I watched a Crow snapping branches from the trees to build his nest, and then watched amazed as another Crow attacked him, while he was on his nest.
A brief skirmish, and then it was all over. One flew one way, and the other flew in the opposite direction.

Walking past the offices, I could hear a sound I haven't heard yet this year. A calling Blackcap.



 I eventually managed to find him. A lovely male, flitting through the branches of a tree, and calling as he went.


I carried on to where the Robin is usually waiting, left him some seed, and then spotted a Wren.



 A couple of quick shots before he disappeared into the bushes.


Past the rowing club, and up towards Cormorant island.
The Mute Swan was doing some adjustments to her nest, the Great Black-backed Gull was busily staring into space, and the pair of Oystercatchers were just chilling in the now warm sunshine.




At the car park I could hear the Chiffchaff in the trees, another Blackcap, and a Goldfinch, posing against the now blue sky.




And to round off an enjoyable morning, a clump of Lesser Celandine, shining in the sunlight.




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








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)
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 Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British 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  37

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

Don't forget to put your clocks forward.

Friday, 23 March 2012

More Fog, and some vocal geese.

But still managed to see some great birds.

The feeders; or one of them, is taking a real hammering from the squirrel. He seems to be sucking the seed out, almost as fast as I can fill them up.

While I was there, I spotted a Treecreeper, working his way up a couple of trees.




Passing under the road bridge, the fog was so thick, it was impossible to see the pub over on the other side.

I did manage to see one Kingfisher though; and a group of very noisy Canada Geese.
I think there was some argument going on, as to who is going to nest on the island.

Through the fog, I managed to pick out the pair of Oystercatchers; and further along, a small group of Wigeon.
At the top end of the lake, were five Goosander; four males, and a female.

Very little else could be seen until I was at the south lake.
My usual Robin, along with a couple of Chiffchaff calling, but impossible to see in the fog.
There was a Long-tailed Tit though, with a large feather in his beak, flying from tree to tree. My guess is he's building a nest, so I stepped back, and waited. Once I was a comfortable distance away, he made his way to where I think the nest is.

Back at the car park, I rearranged a couple of the feeders, in the hope that it might deter the squirrel; and then I finally caught sight of the elusive Chiffchaff, singing high up in a tree.






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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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 Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris britannica)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
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  38


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Back with the regulars

A visit yesterday; but no post. Went to visit my mum instead.

And just a quick visit this morning.

Quickly made my way round to where the Kingfishers are, and it seems as though another hole is being excavated.

Very few birds at the top end of the lake, apart from a vocal Chiffchaff, and once I'd reached the pub, over on the side I'd just come from, were the pair of Oystercatchers.

Crossing over the lake on the noisy road bridge, I could see four Goosanders swimming close to the edge, by the reeds; and back at the feeders, just a couple of Mallard collecting the fallen seed.

Short post today; lots to catch up on.






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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
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 Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  31


Monday, 19 March 2012

Goosanders mating, Kingfishers and Blackcap.


A frosty start to the morning, but it soon gave way to some glorious sunshine, in a clear blue sky.

After topping up the feeders, which seem to be going down very quickly now, (I think the squirrel has perfected the art of sucking it out from the holes), and  feeding the Mallards under the road bridge, I mad my way round the north lake.

I spent a long time watching the activity of the Kingfishers, which seemed very busy getting on with things. At one point there were three. Maybe another male trying to muscle in on territory?




 These are very heavily cropped images.


A Grey Heron stood on the bank, sunning himself.


 Or maybe he was 'flashing' to two very disinterested Canada Geese, that happened to be swimming past.


There's a female Mallard, that is gradually getting used to me, as I walk past her every morning. A shame to see her struggle to get into the water usually.



 She's lost most of her left leg; but does seem to be managing quite well.


Up at the top end of the lake, a pair of Goosander were swimming around.
Well, actually the male was swimming; the female was lying prone in the water.




A quick picture, and then some video. I had a feeling there was going to be some mating, and I wasn't wrong. Captured it on video.
Three more males soon appeared, and lots of chasing in the water followed.


Further round the lake I could hear a Chiffchaff calling, and then noticed two birds fly into one of the trees. One left pretty quickly, followed by the other one.
I did manage a brief clip of the second one though........a female Blackcap.

The Crows on the south lake had their apple pieces and core, and at the far end, another Goosander and a couple of Little Grebes.

At the bird hide, I fed the waiting Robin, and then met someone I've got to know from walking round the lake; Graham. (not sure if I've spelt that right)

We stood chatting for a while, and trying to photograph a couple of elusive Little Grebes, when I got a phone call. Someone else I've got to know; Alan.

He told me that up on the north lake, a fox was busily sunning himself on the island.
This must be the same fox that Trevor had photographed a few weeks ago, on the island.

We quickly began to make our way there, stopping briefly to look on Cormorant island for the Oystercatchers.



 Another heavily cropped picture, but it looks like they've found their 'spot'.


Finally we met Alan, but about 10 minutes too late for the basking fox.
I did manage a poor shot of him in some undergrowth though.




He was busily staring at a group of Canada Geese, that were busily staring back at him. I don't think they'll be nesting on there this year; or if they do, I doubt they'll be very successful.

Last picture, for now, of a very obliging Reed Bunting.




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







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)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
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)
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)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  37


Sunday, 18 March 2012

Goosander and Chiffchaff.

Seven Goosander this morning; and at least four Chiffchaff around.

And fog.
The fog began to clear eventually, but then cloud took over.

The Mallards met me under the road bridge, and once fed, I could make my way round the north lake. Spent some time watching the Kingfishers, and managed a bit of video.
A few Goosander were swimming around up by the island, and a group of Wigeon further round.

At the top end, past the dam, up in a tree was a fine looking Sparrowhawk.



 Unfortunately he wouldn't turn round, so I had to make do with a picture from behind.


A brief glimpse of a Little Egret, as he flew further down the river.
Probably spooked by one of the dog walkers that were around by now.

Not so many birds on the water at the top arm, behind the pub, but on the boat jetty, the regular Lesser Black-backed Gull; and briefly in his nest, the Crow, on top of the pub.

A quick look at the car park, before continuing round the south lake, and I found a couple of Dunnock, in the brambles.



 I'm guessing this is maybe a female, doing some wing shaking for the male.


The Crows had a bigger apple core than usual; it wasn't very tasty, and a very aggressive Mute Swan pounced on a young cygnet, and got it trapped in the reeds.
A lot of biting round the head, and back, from the adult; and what I found rather strange, the cygnet was quite still. Apart from a few moans, it made no attempt to escape.
Finally the aggressor left it, as another cygnet foolishly swam past, and was the object of its attention. A chase was on, but the cygnet in the reeds seemed to scared to move.
I watched it for a while, but I guess it was sitting tight, hoping the bully had gone away.
An unfortunate brutal side of nature, but the adults have to make the young swans leave 'their' territory eventually.


Further along, I could hear the sound of a Chiffchaff, and after some searching, finally found him in the bushes.



 Pictures of these will get easier as the spring progresses, and they become more relaxed.



On the grass, I found an egg.




A light blue, in colour, and the size of a hens egg. Not sure what bird, but something fairly big. The only one I can think of, that is anything similar, would be a Grey Heron; but to my knowledge, none breed on the lake.
Any suggestions?


At the far end, a few Tufted Duck, and Black-headed Gulls bobbing in the water, and a couple more Goosanders.



 I've been very lucky to see these birds on a daily basis for some time now, and I never get bored of seeing them.


At the bird hide, I fed the waiting Robin, and caught sight of a couple of Little Grebes.

Past the rowing club, and some sailing boats were getting ready to take to the water.
Aaah, yes; the weekend.


Over on the island, the pair of Oystercatchers were wandering about,



 and the Mute Swan was sat on her nest.


Another 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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
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)
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 Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41


Saturday, 17 March 2012

Little Egret, Oystercatchers, Chiffchaff, Goosanders and Kingfisher.

And I nearly didn't go out.

Jim had a rough night last night, being constantly sick, so by first light we were both tired. His stomach seemed to have settled by then, so I took a chance and did a quick visit of the north lake.
Some great birds, and Jim seems a bit better now, although not still right.

A quick look on Cormorant island found four Goosander, and the biggest surprise was the pair of Oystercatchers. Good to see them again, after not seeing them for a while.
And a steady drizzle of rain. No pictures today then.

The pair of Mallards met me under the road bridge for breakfast, and a group of Canada Geese are also getting in on the act now.

Making my way up towards Kingfisher island, I soon found one on guard duty, sitting in the trees. By now the rain was getting quite heavy.
A small group of Wigeon grazing on the grass, a few boats going up and down the lake, and in the trees, the unmistakeable sound of a Chiffchaff.
I was determined to see him, and after a bit of searching, managed to find him.

At the top end, two Goosander flew in, and landed on the river, and on the grass, briefly, three Little Egret. They soon flew up into the trees though, but still gave some good views.

Round towards the pub, and the other rowing club were getting ready to take to the water. A few joggers and dog walkers were about by now, and along with steady rain, I decided to head back to the car park.


Short visit, but very rewarding.







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 Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
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)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  31

Friday, 16 March 2012

My first Chiffchaff of the year.

Same date as last year. Two, both calling; one at the north lake, and one at the south lake.

It was to be a morning of firsts, for me.

I started with a quick look at Cormorant island, and found a male Goosander, still sleeping. No sign of any Oystercatchers though.
Across towards the houses, they are planting some new trees. I hope the person responsible has done his homework, and not chosen trees that will be a problem for the houses in the future. They seem to be closer than the ones that got cut down.
Or maybe they will be used for chainsaw practice in about 5 years time?

Under the road bridge, a different pair of Mallards greeted me; no sign of the regular two.
The catkins on the willow are looking lovely at the moment, as they begin to turn golden yellow.




I watched the pair of Kingfishers for a while, and the Great Crested Grebes are still going in for plenty of head waggling.



High up in the trees I heard my first calling Chiffchaff of the year. Exactly a year to the day, when I heard them for the first time last year. Try as I might though, I couldn't see him.

Up past the dam, and round to the top end, and a few Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, and Coots were out on the water.

The Crows nest looks finished now, up on top of the pub, and the Daffodils were busily nodding their heads in the breeze.

Round to the south lake, and one of the Crows had most of my apple. Not a very tasty one this morning; but Mr. Crow enjoyed it.

A pair of Sparrowhawks flew low over the grass ahead of me, and then both rose up, and began performing some aerial ballet, before heading off into the trees.

My first Cowslip of the year, were just ahead, near the far end of the lake.



 A sure sign spring is here.



Over towards the island, I could see five Goosander swimming with some Pochard and Canada Geese.


Round by the offices, two carpets of purple flowers were growing under the trees.



 Dog-violets.



The Robin was at the hide, and close to the island, the five Goosanders began to swim out towards the middle of the lake.


By the houses, a Great Crested Grebe had caught some breakfast,


 and then made short work of it.


A pair of Mute Swans were busily plunging their heads into the water together, so I began to film them. I'm glad I did. I think this was some sort of bonding ritual, because very soon they mated, and then went about the business of preening.
First time I had seen swans mating before.


A last look at the feeders near the car park, and then I heard another Chiffchaff calling from the trees.
This time I managed to find him, and get some pictures.






An excellent 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)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
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)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
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