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, 31 December 2012

Out like a wet fart




After yesterday's sun, the last day of the year goes out like a wet fart; wet and windy.



Still can't reach the feeders, although the water is going down slowly. Probably a couple of days before I can get to them.


The footpath under the road bridge still needs a boat to navigate it, so I fed the Mallards, and their two bigger friends, and then set off over the road bridge to the south lake.

Very disappointing; not many birds about at all.
The usual Crows came for their apple, (they had seed instead), the mixed flock of Crows were in the field, but no sign of the Robin.
I left his breakfast anyway, and carried on.


By the rowing club, Tufted Duck and Pochard, and overhead a Grey Heron making it look easy flying against the wind.


No sign of any Goosander today, and that was about it.




A poor end to what has been in general, a great year.











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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 Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)

Total species  26



Sunday, 30 December 2012

Sun for a change




After yesterdays rain and strong winds, this morning was clear, cold, a bit windy; and sunny.



Still can't reach the feeders, but the water level does seem to be receding slowly. No chance of doing the north lake though.
After feeding the Mallards who were waiting under the road bridge, I made my way round the south lake.

The Crows were on form, and had some seed. At the far end, still a lot of mixed Crows and Wood Pigeons in the field, and down by the bird hide, the Robin appeared for his breakfast. A lone Little Grebe shot across the water, paddling like mad. I'm sure these little birds have radar, or eyes in the backs of their heads. They seem to spot people from a great distance.

Along by the rowing club, quite a few Tufted Duck and Pochard, and as I reached the houses, a pair of Goosander, shining in the sunlight.



A good end to an almost normal walk.










Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Total species  30


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Rain, with the added bonus of wind




Another crappy day ahead.



I got to the lake a bit later than usual. I was trying to salvage my garden fence from the brink of extinction this morning, after its battering from the strong winds in the night.


The rain was getting heavier as I began to feed the Crows and Magpies. The wind didn't help much either, driving into every available and exposed orifice.
The feeders still have water under them, although not so much now. Probably waist deep, instead of chest deep.


I left the Mallards to it, as they swam underneath, and began to make my way to the road bridge. Curiosity more than anything. 
I came over yesterday; yes it rained, but I didn't do a post; too many expletives on the soundtrack.

The water level has gone down slightly, but the footpath both sides from the road bridge to the north, are still flooded. I decided on just the south.


I soon changed my mind though, when I reached the car park. The wind was making the rain seem worse.



Time to head home, and search for the Bells.










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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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)

Total species  18



Thursday, 27 December 2012

It rained; for a change




This rain is seriously getting on my nerves.


The poor buggers that have been flooded, must be losing their faith by now; if they had any.



Still can't get to the feeders without a boat, but the water is slowly going down.
However, if this rain continues, we'll be back where we started.


The south lake only this morning, and as the steady drizzle fell, there was no sign of the Crows.
Looking out across the lake, I could see a few Great Black-backed Gulls splashing around, and beyond them, over by the rowing club, amongst a few Tufted Duck, was a male Goosander.

At the far end, I checked through a soggy railway arch, and the field beyond. Hundreds of mixed Crows and Wood Pigeons.

Back at the bird hide, the little Robin was patiently waiting for breakfast, and by now the rain had stopped, and the skies were beginning to clear.

Half a dozen Lapwing flew over the lake by the rowing club, and a couple of Herons were staking their claims to which part of the lake was theirs.

No sign of the Goosander though. Maybe he was round by the houses.
Just after I had that thought, five began circling overhead. Four males and one female.
Around they went, and then disappeared from view.


A couple of Mallards were mating, and by now the sky was black again.
And it was raining.



Hard.












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)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)

Total species  29




Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Day 2012



I'll be short on words today; I'll let the video clip speak for itself.


The lake is still flooded. I just walked the south. It rained.


I was fed up.


I stopped off at the Hilton Hotel; about mid way between home and the lake.



About 50 plus Waxwings.








HAPPY CHRISTMAS











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common 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)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)


Total species  27



Sunday, 23 December 2012

Flooded again




Well, for a change it wasn't raining; that stopped last night about 10:30, but I guessed the lake would be flooded.



First I drove to the pub, to try and get round the north lake; or some of it.
The footpath under the road bridge is flooded both sides, and in front of the pub too. The only way round is on very soggy grass, until the top end, where the footpath is a little higher, and clear.

Not many birds around this morning. I guess the wet weather has taken a bit of a toll on some of them. They must find it hard to trey and keep dry when it's like this.
Not many ducks around either.

At the weir end, the river has flooded over into the lake like before, so no way of reaching the rest of the north lake. Even the wall of the dam is under water again.
I headed back to the car, and made my way to my usual car park, at the south lake.

A few Redwings were in the trees,




and where the water had flooded onto the grass, a group were busily bathing, along with some Blackbirds.
I fed the Crows, and then made my way towards the feeders.


No chance of topping them up again. Thankfully there is still some food left in them, so all OK for a couple of days at least.

Back at the footbridge, the trickle of water underneath it has flooded out again. It's also flooded out the Rats that nest under it. And the strangest thing I've seen here; a Grey Heron perched on the footbridge.




 I can only assume he's diligently waiting for the Rats to run by, so he can pick them off one by one. Pretty smart.



At the flooded path, the pair of Mallards met me, so they got some seed before I carried on.


I crossed the road bridge to make my way round the south lake.


The Crows soon met me too, so they were rewarding with their apple, and I continued on my way.


The far end of the lake looks as flooded as before, and the railway arch to the field was out of bounds this morning. I would have needed wellington boots to get through it.

No sign of the Robin at the bird hide, but I left him some seed anyway.

Past the flooded rowing club, and they were getting ready to put some sailing boats out this morning.

Eventually I was back at the car park; and the Heron was still on duty at the footbridge.



Happy hunting.












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)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  28



Saturday, 22 December 2012

Wet again.



The lake is beginning to flood again.


Rain all through the night, and this morning; and I'm guessing the river has been diverted to the lake again.
Yesterday I topped up the feeders, before going off to Tiggywinkles with some stuff. They're thought of as a hedgehog rescue place, but they are so much more than that. A complete wildlife hospital. I took a variety of food and cleaning stuff just to help out a bit. An amazing place; and they never turn away a sick or injured animal. Worth all the support you can give them.


But back to today. No chance of doing the feeders this morning. The area is under water, and still rising. After feeding the Crows, I made my way under the road bridge; and the waiting Mallards.
The path round the north lake was flooded here, so I tried going over the road bridge, and round from that side.
Hopeless!! Flooded under the bridge, and round the corner.


I decided to just do the south lake.


The rain and wind was still making it a lousy morning. It wasn't helped by my coat seemingly only being 'shower proof'. A few yards down the path, and I was soaked.
No fun going back to a cold house, and having to change all your clothes, and try to get them dry. I gave up, and turned back.


Surely this bloody rain can't last?












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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Total species  18




Monday, 17 December 2012

Rain, rainbow and sunshine




Another mild morning, with a mixed bag of weather.



Yesterday it  was quite busy here, with a few boats out and a marathon going on around the lake. Today much quieter; and not so many birds either.

The Mallards caught up with me at the road bridge, and one of the females is getting very pushy. Not content with the seed I put down, she now runs after me as I leave. Another handful of seed, and sometimes she'll leave it at that. Other times she can be very persistent. I'm sure if she could, she would follow me home.

As I reached the first footbridge on the north lake, a rainbow heralded the onset of the first light showers. Thankfully they were light; and not lasting.

At the gully a silly swan has got himself in there, but I suspect he'll get out soon enough. The water is still fairly high there, so it shouldn't be a problem.
A few Wigeon out on the water, along with some Coots, and that was about it for the north.

Passing the pub, the Mallards flew over to me again, so more food. Still not enough for Mrs Pushy though, who continued to run along behind me quacking her head off.
I'm not sure what the people in the pub make of all this.
I eventually managed to lose her with some more seed, and I quickly made my escape under the road bridge.

South lake; and there was the Crows. One at first, but soon joined by his two amigos.
Apples for them. Lucky enough I had two with me. I've never eaten so much fruit.

Overhead, quite a large group of Lapwing were flying over, heading north. Probably going to Willen. There's usually quite a gathering there.

As I made my way to the far end, I could see three Goosander swimming by the island. Two males and a female. A large group of mixed gulls on the water too.
Turning the corner for the far end, a Kingfisher sat in the bushes. Good to know that they're still here at the bottom end.

The Robin was waiting at the bird hide for his food. He seems very tame now. Maybe I can get him to  take it from my hand soon.

Along by the rowing club, and out on the water a few Pochard and Tufted Duck. Nothing like the recent numbers though.


And finally, back at the car park.










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 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)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  35



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Another Saturday




A much milder morning than recently, but not so many birds about.



I decided to walk the south lake first, and maybe get the sunrise in the field.
Very few birds about on the lake, and the boats were beginning to set off by now too.
And I missed the sunrise.

Even my Robin at the hide wasn't around; but through the archway, under the railway line, the assorted Crows were out in force, along with the Wood Pigeons.
No guns today, thankfully.

I was soon reaching the road bridge, and after feeding the Crows some seed, (I'd forgotten my apples this morning), the Mallards had appeared waiting for their seed.

By now a large troop of runners were leaving the pub car park, and making their way towards the start of the race. Another marathon round the lake; and this time some of the runners were in Santa suits.
Some were very easy on the eye.

Up towards the top end, and a Kingfisher flew past towards the bushes at the bottom.
I slowly began making my way towards where I thought he'd stopped, and found him sitting amongst some bushes. I had to shoot through the branches of another bush to get a couple of pictures.




Quite pleased with the result.



Further along, I tried an arty shot of some bare trees.




By now the runners had spread out quite a bit, and so a steady stream of bodies were pounding the footpath. With the boats on the lake, it wasn't easy to get pictures of anything.
A Pied Wagtail was very obliging though.





And finally back at the car park, and on the footbridge, a Robin posed briefly.






A quieter morning birdwise, than usual.










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 Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)

Total species  32


Thursday, 13 December 2012

Goosander and Goldeneye




Another cold morning, and quite a bit of the lake has frozen over now.



Feeding done, I made my way round the north lake. Much of the north lake is frozen, so very few water birds around. A couple of Grey Herons, a few Mute Swans and the gang of Mallards; and that was about it. There was a lone Kingfisher flying low over the ice; probably looking for somewhere to fish.

I soon made my way to the south lake. The side nearest the houses and the rowing club, has frozen over, but the opposite side, mostly, has so far escaped the freeze.

A large collection of all the waterfowl were congregated down one side.
Gadwall, Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Coots. Scanning through the mass of birds I found a couple of female Goldeneye.




Nice to see these here, and further out were Goosander. At first I counted four, but as I made my way down to the far end, I counted a total of six. Four males, and two females.


Standing around on the ice at the far end was a collection of gulls.




Mostly Black-headed Gulls, but looking through them all with the binoculars, I could pick out Herring, Great Black-backed, Lesser Black-backed, and Common Gulls.
Gulls are not my strong point, so there may have been others amongst them.


A quick look in the field, through the railway arch, and the place was full of Rooks, Crows and Jackdaws. A Buzzard bravely flew over too, and surprisingly wasn't mobbed like they usually are.

Back round the lake, and up in the usual trees were Siskin and Goldfinches busily feeding. As I made my way to one of the hides, just feet away in the bushes was a Goldcrest. I managed a short video clip, before he went.

After feeding the Robin, I caught a quick glimpse of a pair of Bullfinches. Sadly no pictures, but a female Blackbird did pose for a while.




Along the path at the side of the rowing club, the sound of Redwings was coming from the trees.



Finally, back at the car park, and time for a hot coffee.











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
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)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  44


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Men with guns




I attempted to achieve what I couldn't do yesterday; and get a sunrise in the field through the railway arch. This field will now be known as the killing fields.


Quite a large gull roost again, and at least I managed to see most of it.


As I made my way towards the railway line, there was a big flock of mixed crows up in the trees. I soon found out why.
As I got through the archway, out on the field were four people with shotguns. It soon became clear what they were doing. Shooting geese.
An upsetting piece of video after the main video, showing how they dispatch the ones that aren't killed by the gun.


I managed a sunrise shot,





but it was marred by the sight and sound of the so called 'sportsmen'. Because very few geese were flying over, they eventually turned their interest to Wood Pigeons.


I left the bastards to it, and carried on round the lake.


As I left, a Woodcock flew overhead, and headed towards the field.
Silence. 
Thankfully they hadn't seen it, or else that would have been shot too. The first time I have seen one in all the time I've visited here.


I might add, that whilst I walked along the footpath, a hail of 'shot' rained down on me, as they began more killing. Not very good for a Saturday morning walk in a public place.


A large group of Siskin were up in the Alders, or at least I believe they are Alders,




and down by the hide, my friendly Robin was waiting for his seed.





As I left there, something caught my eye in one of the bushes.
A Goldcrest, searching for insects. A job to get pictures he just wouldn't keep still.







Past the rowing club, and no sign of any Goosanders this morning. Considering all the shooting in the background, and the boats out on the lake, hardly surprising really. A shame, especially as they've only recently started to turn up.


Lots of Tufted Ducks out on the lake, and as I got near the car park, a few Pochard over by Cormorant island.


I crossed the road bridge, and decided to walk round the opposite way to what I usually do. The Mallards still managed to find me though. They're pretty smart; and hungry!


Down at the top end of the lake, quite a few Wigeon, and the biggest surprise, a pair of Snipe that were feeding at the edge, but soon took to the air.
First time I've seen these here for a couple of years, so I'll have to be careful, and look out for them next time.

The gully was swan free, thankfully, and I was soon almost back at the car park.
Not before two birds caught my eye flying overhead though.
Yup, a pair of Goosander.


Nice one.









Some people may find the following video upsetting. I show it because this is what happens at shoots. 
They call it sport. 
I call it barbaric.













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)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
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)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)
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)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
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)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

Total species  43


Friday, 7 December 2012

Nine Goosander




I was up early this morning, cold but clear skies; the plan was to go down the south lake, see the gull roost, and get the sunrise.


Never mind.


As I got to the lake it was thick cloud, and after crossing the road bridge, to go south, the rain started. Light at first, then heavier, then sleet, then snow, then  .............


I could make out the gull roost in the distance, much too dark for any decent video; although I did try. There were nine Goosander this morning though, swimming about over by the rowing club. Six males, three females. I was hoping to get some pictures once I got round there.

By now, as I reached the railway arch into the field, the rain was getting heavier, and changing from rain, to sleet to snow and then back. An awful morning to be walking around in, and I was getting soaked.


A few Fieldfares were up in the same tree at the edge of the field, but I couldn't see any Redwing with them this morning. The real stars though, were the Crows. Hundreds. Rooks, Jackdaws and Crows, swirling around like a Starling murmaration.
I watched them for a while, and then decided the best plan would be to head home.

As I got to the rowing club, a female Goosander flew off to the far end. I couldn't see any sign of the rest, so I assumed they'd split up from their big group, and spread out on the lake.

Probably right, because as I got near the houses, a male flew off into the distance, and further round, another was making his way towards the centre of the lake.

A very quick look over to Cormorant island as I passed, and there were quite a group of Tufted Duck, along with some Pochard and Coots.


A lousy morning, but great to see so many Goosander.




(and now the sun is shining; bloody typical!)










Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Total species  25



Thursday, 6 December 2012

Six Goosanders, and the lake starts to freeze.





What a morning!




A freezing cold morning, -4C, and after yesterdays little snowfall, most of it has now gone. What's left is frozen; and so to are parts of the lake.


It was another good sunrise;




 just a shame I wasn't at the other end of the lake.




Lots of Tufted Duck on the north lake, and quite a few Coots. The frozen areas had the usual gatherings of Black-headed Gulls standing around, and the Cormorants were doing well fishing. Three Mistle Thrush chattered away as they flew overhead.


Up at the top end, lots of Wigeon; and a daft swan swimming up and down the gully. I'm sure he'll get out eventually. I can't understand why they get in there.


As I stood watching the Wigeon, a male Goosander flew overhead. I was beginning to think I'd never get a picture of these, as I began filming a couple of Mute Swans overhead, when suddenly a small group flew past.
A quick snatch of film before they disappeared from view. Maybe if I was lucky, they would be further round, or on the south lake.


Up past the pub, and I was accosted by the group of Mallards; twice. 
They really are getting cheeky.


Under the road bridge, and on round the south. A few mixed gulls were out in the middle of the lake, and the Crows soon swooped down, hoping for some apple. 
Yea, they were lucky.


As I got to the far end, Goosanders took to the air!


I managed some video as they flew past, and they eventually settled over by the rowing club. Six in all. Maybe I would get some pictures after all.


As I reached the railway arch, a couple of Blackbirds and a Song Thrush were after the remaining berries in the bushes.
A quick look through the arch gave me a field full of Rooks, Crows, Jackdaws and Wood Pigeons. Hundreds. Over in one of the trees, a Buzzard sat hunched up.
And up in some trees behind me, but very difficult to see properly through the twigs and branches, Fieldfare and Redwing. 

Quite a morning; and it got better.


As I made my way back towards the lake, the sound of Siskins.





 High up in one of their favourite trees, furiously feeding on the seed.



And along by the offices, another favourite group of trees had even more.






Making my way to the rowing club, the Goosander were busily fishing close to the edge. They must have found a small shoal of fish, because they were quite successful.





 Eventually they made their way out to the center of the lake, but at long last I'd managed a few pictures.






Past the houses, and parts of the bay were freezing over; and a last look across towards Cormorant island found more Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Pochard and biggest surprise of all, two Teal.


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)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
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)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

Total species  42