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



Friday, 28 June 2013

Wet morning



A lot of rain yesterday afternoon, and the long grass down to the feeders was a bit wet; I got soaked.


A lot of Canada and Greylag Geese were across the lake at the pub this morning. And a small gang of Mallards soon found me under the road bridge. Fed them, and made my way round the north lake.


Good numbers of Swifts overhead, feasting on the insects that were just above the trees. A couple of Common Terns fishing over the water, and a few juvenile Blue Tits calling from the bushes.


Before I got halfway round the north, the rain started. I only had a T-shirt on, so I made a quick decision to just do the north.

Swallows and a few Sand Martins joined the Swifts round the back of the pub, and a single Black-headed Gull on the boat jetty.
As I made my way towards the road bridge, the rain was getting heavier, the Geese were making a dash for the water, and three Grey Wagtails and a couple of Pied Wagtails were along the edge of the footpath.


Short visit, and my last for a while.











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)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)

Total species  24



Sunday, 16 June 2013

Sunday 16th June 2013



A sunny morning, with a breeze.


It's been a bit of a gap since I last posted, and I've noticed a few changes round the lake. The grass in front of the car park has grown a lot. As tall as me almost, in some places; but that's a good thing. It's a great haunt for Butterflies, Damsels, Dragons, and a host of other insects, as well as the wide range of plants.
Well done to the Parks Trust for leaving areas like this to do its own thing.



Lots of Swifts flying overhead this morning, and further round the lake, even more over the water.

A few Mallards met me under the road bridge, and then I made my way round the north lake.
I've a favourite spot where I stand when the Swifts are in force, and just let them rush past. They really are masters of the air. It amazes me how they manage to pass so close; even hearing the 'whoosh' of their wings as they rush by.


Up towards the top end, I noticed a pair of Crows feasting on a carcass.
When I got closer, I could see it was a headless Canada Goose; a few feathers nearby.
Also the remains of a headless smaller white bird, probably a Mallard.
Would a fox kill a bird like this? Take the head, and then leave the body? I'm guessing yes.


Around past the wall of the dam, and a Common Tern was busily chasing of a couple of gulls. I think they may have finally laid eggs on the boat, and as I got further round, one of the Terns was sitting tight in one spot. Seems a little late to me.



Up by the gully, one of the Mute Swans was proudly showing off her four cygnets.



 They've grown a lot now.




Onto the south lake, and the grass at the edges of the lake, and alongside the river, will soon be a mass of wild flowers, and colour.


At the far end, finally the Orchids are showing.





At least half a dozen, they seem to have appeared in the last few days.




On round to the 'tree'.



Every year a particular pair of trees, (and others), become the attraction of the Bird Cherry Ermine Moth.
It's caterpillars, (and there are thousands), are surrounded in a silk, that covers the whole tree.





When they hatch out, they completely defoliate the tree.






At first look, you could easily think the tree is dead, but by some miracle of nature, it recovers, ready to play host to this amazing phenomenon the next year.
I guess a lot of the caterpillars become victims of hungry birds.



 This Long Tailed Tit seems to have one in its grasp.



The survivors, eventually turn into a small white moth, with black spots.



Down past the rowing club, and a few boats were now out on the water.
Two groups of Mallards were on the water too; one family of eight ducklings, included a yellow one.




He or she, if it survives, will eventually grow into a white Mallard.



A quick look through the long grass by the car park before I left, and clouds of Damselflies were beginning to come to life for the day.




Any Odonata experts could maybe help with ID's here.




For now, they will be Common Blue.




Another great visit.









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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
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)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
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)
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 Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  36


Tuesday, 11 June 2013

An early walk



It's been a while since I walked the lake with the intention of doing a post too. Today was the day; an early 5 a.m. start, and I had the place almost to myself.

A few Mallards met me under the road bridge, and there were a lot of geese and goslings out on the water in front of the pub.

Everywhere is looking lush and green; lets hope the chainsaw crew stay away, and let nature get on with it.

Up at the top end, on the floating boat, a pair of Common Terns look as if they might be nesting. A female Mallard stood on the end of the boat, minding her own business, but was being dived bombed by the Common Terns. She wasn't moving, so they eventually gave up, and settled at the other end.

Across from the gully, the swan family from the weir end, were feeding. The cygnets looking good, and growing fast.

At the pub, quite a large flock of Starlings milling around. All juveniles, so I guess they're on their own now. A few Pied Wagtails, and an Oystercatcher noisily took off, and did a circuit of the lake.

The Mallards met me again as I made my way towards the road bridge, and a big group of Canada and Greylag Geese. A lot of goslings with them, and a few of the adult birds made it clear I wasn't welcome.

At the far end of the south lake, there's still no sign of any Orchids coming through yet. The area where they grew had been under a lot of water for a while earlier in the year, so maybe that's why.
There's a few Ox-eye Dasies growing though.






Down towards the rowing club, and a few spots of rain began falling. A Green Woodpecker was busily hoovering up ants, but as I tried to get closer, he was off.

Past the houses, and a few Swifts overhead, four Pied Wagtails, and a single Sand Martin flew around. All around the lake this morning, it has been good to see a lot of House Sparrows too. Most of them with insects in their beaks, so hopefully all will have plenty of chicks. A bird that is in decline in a lot of areas, so good to know we've got a few here.

Finally back at the car park, and the rain managed to keep off.









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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
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)


Total species  33