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, 29 October 2013

Tuesday



The day after the threatened big storm that missed us.



A sunny start, once the sun dragged itself from its slumbers, and a quick look at Cormorant island gave up a departing Little Egret, followed by a couple of Magpies in hot pursuit.
A lot of gulls had roosted on the south lake, and it was this part I started at for a change.

As always, they are too distant for decent pictures, but there's certainly good numbers at the moment. An early morning with a scope I think.

At the far end of the south lake, a male Shoveler still in his breeding plumage was a nice sight. A group of Tufted Duck, and some Gadwall made up the rest.

By now the sun was rising in the sky, as an orange orb.

By the footbridge, over the river, a group of Long Tailed Tits were noisily working their way through the trees in search of insects. A couple of Grey Herons stood along the lake edge, and another large group of Tufted Ducks were slowly swimming past.

At the north lake, a quick look to see how the pub extension is coming along, before making my way towards the far end, and the arm that goes behind the pub.

A noisy Green Woodpecker flew into the trees on the far side, and the whistling sound of a group of Wigeon cut through the still air.




A couple of Mute Swans were circling the lake, looking for somewhere to settle, and a couple more Grey Herons were over on the far bank.



Up towards the wall of the dam, and half a dozen Black-headed Gulls were stood on the wall, like a gang of teenagers on a street corner.

Round towards the island, and a blue flash of a Kingfisher gliding over the water.
A group of Cormorants were fishing out in the sun,




which was drawing the attention of a few pirates, in the guise of Black-headed Gulls.
Always chancers, and seeking easy meals.



One advantage of going round the lake this way, I was able to surprise the Grey Heron that fishes under the footbridge near the bandstand.



He seemed quite put out that I'd managed to get a close picture, but soon noisily departed towards the privacy of the island.



Finally I was back at the car park, and by the footbridge, in the bushes, a male Chaffinch was busily preening in the morning sunlight.






And of course, as I stood there on the bridge, one of the Crows came down to see if I had food.




Of course.


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











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)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
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 Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)


Total species  35


Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Dry for a change



A lot of rain recently, and a big thunderstorm last night, so it was good to get out round the lake at last.

A few spots of rain to begin with, but it cleared pretty quickly.
Rain, sun, cloud and some wind; quite a mixture. Anyway, enough of the weather forecast, what about the birds.
A Little Egret over on Cormorant island this morning, and a very distant Pochard on the south lake, got things off to a good start.

Walking round to the north lake, the building work over at the pub is coming along.



An extension, which is taking up some of the parking area for the rowing/sailing club on the north lake.


While I was busily scrutinising the workers painting the board that hides them from the public, (Why do they do that? Surely not to hide them while they skive?), a group of Mallards appeared noisily calling for some food.
A few handfuls of seed, and I could make my getaway.


A couple of Grey Herons about, and by now the sun was beginning to shine too.



Up at the dam, a Grey Wagtail was foraging amongst the gravel,




and a large group of Black-headed Gulls standing along the wall.




Some of the trees around the lake are looking rather special now, as they don their Autumn coats.






Round by the pub I managed to get a closer look at the work in progress.





and the 'hide behind fence' had been painted.






Onto the south lake, and the sun quickly disappeared behind the rapidly growing cloud.
A group of Tufted Duck and a few Coots were about the only birds about.
I'm sure the Goosander won't be long in turning up; but sadly, not today.



Down towards the rowing club, and there was a line of Black-headed Gulls along the edge of the path.



Down in the water was a Grey Heron, and standing amongst the gulls, was a Little Egret



Of course, as I got closer, they both flew off towards the island.






Past the houses, and lots of Coots, and I was soon heading back to the car park, with a stiff breeze pushing me along.











Full list of today's sightings


Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
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)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)


Total species  24


Saturday, 12 October 2013

After the wind.



Almost didn't bother with this post today.



Yesterday was very windy, and during the night, heavy rain.
Heavier than a Black Sabbath concert.
Ideal for some migrant action maybe? Nah, not here. It's the weekend, and that means boats and joggers.


The rain had stopped by the time I started walking round, so that was a small bonus.
Lots of Cormorants around today; lots. I don't do counting very often, and I didn't today, but there were a few about.
Still quite a few Jay's too.


Two Kingfishers were a good highlight this morning. I managed some distant pictures of one of them.





Pretty poor, but a long way off.




Up on the wall of the dam, a pair of Grey Wagtails, and for contrast, round by the pub, a few Pied Wagtails.


Some Tufted Duck on the south lake, and the Shoveler had re-located to the safety of the far end of the south lake, along with a Gadwall.



A few overhead Fieldfares, and that was today.









Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  33


Thursday, 10 October 2013

The north wind doth blow ........



.....and we shall have migrants.



Clear skies, and a stiff, cool breeze from the north this morning, and with it a few birds.
I'm beginning to sound like a grown up birder here; almost as though I know what I'm talking about.
Lots of Redwings around this morning, and even more Fieldfares.
The arrivals are coming.
Still quite a few Jays and dark billed Blackbirds too, and by the footbridge at the car park, lots of Goldfinches. They're ours though, with lots of noisy juveniles amongst them.


A few other song birds in the bushes by the footbridge too.




Blue Tit



A few Grey Herons dotted around the lake; and one was taking a break on one of the benches, enjoying the autumn sunshine.




Grey Heron



I watched a couple of male Mute Swans squaring up to each other for some time; circling around each other and posturing; but nothing came of it while I was there.
There's still a few cygnets on the lake, and one group flew around the north lake a couple of times, following an adult bird.




Mute Swan



The Wigeon seem to have been replaced by Tufted Duck at the moment, and I'm sure the fishermen are not too pleased about the large numbers of Cormorants around.




Cormorant


The foundations of the winter gull roost are beginning to form on the south lake.
This morning, a lot of Herring Gulls, big numbers of Black-headed Gulls, and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls. I suspect the Common Gulls and a few others will be joining them all soon, as the days wear on.




An enjoyable walk this morning; but no video again. I must make more effort in future.







Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
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)


Total species  28


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

No video



It's not broken, it's just a very quick post, and a brief visit today; off to see my mum later.



A few reports of Redwings in the country, but none here, that I saw, yet.
There are a lot of Blackbirds about though, many with dark beaks, so probably winter arrivals from the continent.
Lots of local Magpies; they've had a really good breeding year, and plenty of Jays about this morning. More than usual, so maybe these are foreigners.


The pub is getting some outside repairs done at the moment. Two workmen were assessing the problem this morning, and one, in true British style gave the area a couple of kicks with his right boot. I must get some of these boots. My guess is they have sensors in the toe cap, to highlight problems.
Later in the morning, the boot had solved the problem, and they busy at work.




Who needs H&S.



A couple of highlights birdwise this morning, was a lone Sparrowhawk, soaring over the tree tops, and later, a Hobby, being noisily escorted from the lake by a Black-headed Gull.

A small group of Wigeon at the top end of the north lake, (a sign of winter coming, I always think), and a lone Shoveler.





A quick flash of a Kingfisher skimming over the water, rounded off the visit nicely.



Quick, but enjoyable.



Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
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)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  26

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Back again



Well, I did visit yesterday, got a quarter way round, and got soaked; so I turned back. Needless to say, once I'd got home, the rain stopped, and the sun came out.


This morning though, it managed to keep dry.
I took the feeders down before I left for Wales last month. Two had been stolen earlier, and two more just before I went. So whoever was nicking them, you'll have to buy your own bloody feeders now.


Under the road bridge, and the group of Mallards hadn't forgotten me. They were straight there for some seed. I had a little in my pocket, so a couple of handfuls, and I had to make a quick exit before they wanted more.
Nice to be remembered though.


Along the footpath a Migrant Hawker was hawking for insects, and then finally settled so I could snatch a picture.



I've seen quite a few of these this year; far more than any other dragon.



Round towards the bandstand, and quite a group of Cormorants were fishing by the footbridge. They had attracted the attention of a large number of pirates, in the shape of Black-headed Gulls, ready to steal any fish they might catch. A juvenile Grey Heron was sat in the trees watching it all; until I arrived with the camera, and then they all took flight.


Heading towards the dam, and the first of the boat people were slicing through the water, and a few joggers were pounding past on the footpath. Going to be a busy Saturday. Such a contrast to where I've just left.


Round by the pub I counted six Pied Wagtails. Not sure if they were all from the same family or not, and further round, another group. They seem to have done well this year.


Onto the south lake, and a couple of Grey Herons along the bank,



 trying to fish, whilst the boats were noisily going by.


Yea, the little bloke in the back of the boat shouting out his instructions, has an amplified voice now, so we can all hear what he has to say.


No sign of the Robin at the bird hide, but I did hear one singing his little song.
I left him some seed anyway.

Round past the rowing club, and more boats; past the houses and along towards the car park.

A couple of Cormorants flew past,




and a Great Crested Grebe had caught what looked like a Perch.





He had his breakfast, so it was time for mine.










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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
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)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)


Total species  22