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



Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Common Sandpiper and sunshine




An early start, and glorious sunshine; perfect.






One of the bird feeders has disappeared. It may have fallen in the lake, after somehow moving up the branch it hung on. A big bird flew off with it? A mystery.


The water seemed very quiet this morning. A few Great Crested Grebes, Mallards and Mute Swans, but nothing like the numbers of a while ago. There were certainly plenty of warblers though. Chiffchaff were calling from every tree and bush, along with Blackcaps and Willow Warblers.
Robins were in fine voice too. This dawn chorus really is amazing.

I scanned the far shore for any sign of the Common Sandpiper, but nothing. Not even the Heron, who is usually hunched up at the waters edge.


Making my way up the north lake, I stopped to watch a Great Crested Grebe fishing.




 Two dives in the space of a couple of minutes, and both times he was successful.



Nearing the wall of the dam, a flash of white skimming over the water caught my eye.
The Common Sandpiper.




 I managed some video, and a couple of shots before he flew back across the lake, towards the pub.



Up at one of the buoys, a pair of Common Terns were taking a break from fishing.





Walking at the top end, a couple of Whitethroats were calling from the bushes. I wasn't going to be chasing after pictures this morning, like yesterday, and when I reached the weir, up in a tree was the usual one. Visibly singing for all he was worth, and not trying to hide today.



Round past the arm, behind the pub, and a couple of shots of the Cormorant drying his wings on the old boat.






He'd earlier had to endure a dive bombing session from one of the Terns. Clearly not happy that the Cormorant was on his nesting place.



Round the south lake, and more of the same. Warblers warbling, and a couple of Terns flying at the far end.

After feeding the Robin, I made my way past the rowing club.

Thinking how quiet everything was ...... no Swallows skimming over the water, or screaming Swifts, suddenly a Swallow appeared. Skimmed the water, followed by a couple more, and then high in the sky, a dozen or more Swifts, and a single House Martin.


Something else caught my attention too.
At first, I thought it was a Buzzard soaring, but looking through the binoculars, I could see it was black all over. Long 'fingers' at the end of the wings; big tail, and then it disappeared over the tree tops.
A Raven? Possibly, but I'm not 100%, even though I've seen my fair share in Wales.
If it was a Crow, then it was a big bugger.
I'll leave that one as a mystery.


Back at the car park, a couple of Magpies were having a bit of a scrap, but soon stopped as I started to watch.



An interesting morning.












Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
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)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British 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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36


Monday, 29 April 2013

Yellow Wagtail and a run around Whitethroat




A very quick visit today, and just the north lake.



The pair of Common Sandpiper are still here, along with the Oystercatcher, and a new visitor today; Yellow Wagtail. Unfortunately he wouldn't keep still for long enough, to get a picture or video. Much the same with a Whitethroat, who gave me a right run around trying to get some video.



A Grey Heron did keep still though.





Plenty of other warblers around this morning, but they were all being elusive.



A Common Tern was flying around, but even he was not very co-operative.



I finally settled on something else that wouldn't move.




A backlit Daffodil.












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)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Yellow Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla flava)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)

Total species  24




Friday, 26 April 2013

Swifts at Caldecotte




My first of the year, my first here, of the year, and they've arrived a year to the day.
Perfect timing.



A heavy shower first thing this morning, but by the time I'd arrived at the lake, it had stopped. The Reed Warbler was chuntering away, as usual, and as usual the recent sun had brought out the low life of the world. A camp fire and beer cans.
Their usual trade mark.

On round the north lake, and a young looking Mute Swan seemed to have a broken right wing. It hung down at its side, as it was feeding in the water.
A text to the Parks Trust, so hopefully they can sort something out for it.


A couple of Common Terns were flying around the top end, and half a dozen Swallows were skimming the water.

Amongst some brambles, I could hear the sound of a Sedge Warbler; my first for the year. After a lot of waiting and searching, he briefly showed himself, enough for an ID, and then dropped back in the brambles.


A pair of Common Sandpipers were still around, but too distant for any pictures.

A Crow was having great fun harassing a Grey Heron over some reeds.


Up by the weir, I managed to see the Whitethroat.




If you look at the top of its bill, it seems it seems to have a growth.





It certainly didn't hinder his singing though; he was in fine voice.







On round to the south lake, and it seemed to be getting a bit brighter.


Lots of warblers doing their warbling ....... Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers, Blackcaps, and another Whitethroat spotted at the far end.

On round to see the Robin, and then back down past the rowing club.

Another Grey Heron was noisily flying around, squawking at everything for some reason.





As I got to the town houses, the sky was filled with a dozen or more chattering House Martins, and amongst them, the Kings of the air had arrived. Swifts.
Hard to count as they scythed their way through the air, but at least a dozen.


As I got back to the car park, the sun had decided it was time to shine.









Full list of today's sightings

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British 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  38


Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Warblers and Common Sandpipers




First day round the lake, after getting back from Wales, and what a day.



Glorious sunshine, plenty of warblers, Oystercatchers and Common Sandpipers. I was surprised not to see any Swallows or Martins skimming over the water though.


My thanks to Trevor, for keeping an eye on things at home, and here for me.


So, my first Reed Warbler sighting of the year, in his usual spot near the car park. Not so many reeds growing near the edge though, and the chainsaw gang have decimated the willows along the edge too. Going to make life a bit difficult for any nesting birds amongst the reeds, because the cover has now gone.

Lots of green shoots growing from the bushes and trees that have managed to escape the blades though.
Chiffchaff, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers seemed to be calling from every bush and branch, along with all the other regulars. Mix in some sunshine, and you've got a perfect day.


A Long Tailed Tit was busy gathering feathers.




Some nest building?



Up at the wall of the dam, the orange Crocus have now given way to a host of Daffodils, and lots of Cowslip bursting through the grass.


Further along, my first Whitethroat of the year, singing from his usual perch, near the weir.


A flash of a Common Sandpiper, as he kept just in front of me, as I made my way towards the pub.
I finally got a good look at him, but before the camera was ready, he was gone, heading into the sunlight, shimmering on the water. Then I saw another, walking the path near the pub.


On towards the south lake, and halfway along, I spotted a pair of Great Crested Grebes. They'd just finished a head waggling routine, and the both dived. After a few moments, one surfaced, with a beak full of weed, but the second popped up with nothing. I guess they weren't quite ready, because they soon swam off on their separate ways.


One of the Oystercatchers flew overhead, making his 'piping' call as he went,





and more warblers were amongst the bushes.


I went down to see if the Robin was around; (there had been no sign of Doris this morning), and he quickly appeared, waiting for some seed. Not interested in taking it from my hand this morning though.


Past the rowing club, and a lone Common Tern was dive bombing the waters surface; and eventually a Black-headed Gull joined in the fun.


Pink blossom on one of the trees near the car park, a pair of Swans nesting on Cormorant island, a Blue Tit posing,






and then off to the shops, to stock up on some seed for tomorrow.











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
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)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
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