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



Sunday, 29 December 2013

10 Goosander and a Barnacle Goose



A sunny, and frosty morning; perfect.



I fed the Crows and Magpies with their digestive biscuits, and then headed off to the north lake.
Passing under the road bridge, I saw the electric blue flash of a Kingfisher, as he swept past towards the reeds.
A small group of Mallards soon turned up, and after feeding them, I carried on up towards the footbridge.
No sign of the Grey Heron there this morning, but in the cut of water that runs into the lake, 3 Goosander were happily swimming around.


Along the wall of the dam, quite a large number of Black-headed Gulls, and one or two Common Gulls in the water. Behind the wall, a Grey Wagtail was seeking out any insects that were around.



On the arm of the lake behind the pub, 7 more Goosander were amongst the Coots and Wigeon.




Four of them




The gully had no prisoners today, so I carried on round, so the sun was behind me, to get a better look at the Goosander.




Seven of the 10




Plenty of Greylags and Canada Geese were taking to the air by now, and I began searching through them for another goose.


 Canada Goose






 Greylag Geese



A couple of days ago I walked behind the lake, and by some fields, A group of Greylags were feeding, and amongst them was a Barnacle Goose.
Would he be here with these?
Yes!




Barnacle Goose



After a few more pictures, he left to join the rest of the gaggle.




I rather like this one. Not pin sharp, but it has a few of the Goosanders in the frame too.




I carried on round past the pub; some more Mallard feeding, and then onto the south lake.



At the far end, a small group of mixed gulls, and then on to where the Robin hangs out.
After feeding him, I set off towards the boat club.
Another Kingfisher swept past, and a Little Grebe quickly dived and disappeared.
Oh well, pictures another time maybe.

Past the houses, and the group of Coots, and a small number of Pochard.



A good morning.







Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
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)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  37


Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Goosander and some flooding



A cold start to the morning, but the sun soon had it looking like summer; almost.



I could hear the gulls over on the south lake, as they began leaving the roost; but I headed off to the north first. A small population of gulls were out on the water there too, mostly Black-headed Gulls.
The Mallards soon spotted me, and flew over.
This time they had bread and seed. Well, it's Christmas ain't it.


Under the footbridge, the Grey Heron was patiently waiting for unsuspecting fish to come near enough for a snack, and a Little Grebe hastily scurried across the water to the safety of the reeds.
No sign of any Little Egrets this morning though.


As I crossed the bridge, and carried on, another Heron flew over to the bank, and began eyeing up another, that was perched near the edge.
I thought maybe a conflict would happen, but in the end, one just flew to another part of the lake. The sensible thing to do.


Past the wall of the dam, and a few Black-headed Gulls, and then on towards the weir.
The river has burst over its banks, and started to flood the surrounding fields.





I made my way down towards the gully, but it is a gully no more.
The water has filled it in, and is level with the lake. At least no birds will be stuck there for a while.


A quick scan of the water, found plenty of Coots, a couple of Gadwall, and surprisingly, no Wigeon.
Then, over in the distance I saw three Goosander. The male was still with the two females.
I hung around for a while, hoping they would move a bit closer, and into the sunlight.
Eventually, they did.




Inevitably though, as soon as they saw me, they began heading to the far side.
I did manage to see a fleeting glimpse of a Kingfisher though, while I was waiting.



Past the pub, and then on towards the south lake.


The river that runs alongside the lake had flooded over its banks here too, and at the far end, where the footbridge is, I got a better view of the flooding.




No gulls on the far end, so I made my way to where the Robin is.
He found me before I found him.
A few handfuls of seed, and some bread, and I was soon passing the rowing club.


Up in the trees were a few Redwing, and as I started to throw some more bread out on the water, a gang of gulls soon appeared.





Past the houses, and some more bread, which attracted a few bigger gulls.



I think maybe a juvenile Herring Gull; but I could be wrong.

I think next year I will make a bigger effort to ID these birds, and try to increase my knowledge.



A quick look at the footbridge by the car park, before heading home, and a parting shot of a seasonal bird ........... sans snow.





Enjoy the rest of your day.






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)
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)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
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)


Total species 31


Monday, 23 December 2013

3 Goosander, 3 Little Egret and escape from the bird trap.



A quick visit just round the north lake today; the weather guessers are saying we have a lot of rain coming and strong winds. Bye bye fence then.


I wasn't greeted by the usual gang of Mallards at first, and I was beginning to wonder where they were. They soon turned up eventually though, so after feeding them I could happily go on my way.


Spots of rain were beginning to fall as I made my way towards the footbridge up by the bandstand. The Grey Heron was in his usual place, fishing successfully, but three Little Egrets were more interested in chasing each other around. They finally settled over in the reeds.


The work on the pub seems to have stopped for the holiday period, so I guess they'll be back in the new year.





Another Heron stood alongside one of the new fishing signs.

The right side.



(a screen grab from the video; he wouldn't stay long enough for a picture by camera)

Seems his understanding of the language is better than some of the Eastern European  poachers that visit here.



The arm at the top end had the usual Coots, Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Gadwall, and then I spotted 3 Goosander. Two females, and one male.

Down towards the gully, and I noticed the river was beginning to spill over the bank. A good sign for the gully prisoners maybe?
Yes! No sign of the stranded cygnet, so hopefully he can spend Christmas with his family now.

A small flock of Canada Geese flew overhead, and I was soon making my way to the road bridge.



By now the wind was increasing, and so was the rain.



Time to go.








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)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)


Total species  25



Update on the wind:

As I do this, the first fence panel has left a post.
Bollocks!




Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Bird trap



From a cloudy start, to a sunny finish.



I had a quick look at the massive gull roost first on the south lake.
Despite a large, almost full disc of the moon shining in the sky, it was still quite difficult to see the gulls with any clarity; at least on the video. I'd estimate a few thousand birds though, stretching from Cormorant island, down to the other island and beyond.

 I turned back towards the north lake eventually, and made my way round the usual way. The Mallards caught up with me, and soon had me surrounded, waiting for some food.
Over on the far side, the pub extension continues to make good progress.





Hope my room is finished for crimble.



The Grey Heron was fishing under the footbridge in the gloom, as I reached there; and plenty of Black-headed Gulls screaming and diving in the water behind.
Amongst the reeds, a Little Egret was fishing alongside another Heron.
Good to see them getting along so well, which is more than can be said for some of the members of the local bird e-mail group. A few bruised egos over the last few days, and some of them getting in a right flap.




A Tufted Duck in another type of flap.




As I reached the arm that goes behind the pub, (Coots, Cormorants, Wigeon and Gadwall), and down towards the gully, there were some more trapped birds.


This gully seems to be a magnet for them.
I wonder if Anglian Water and/or The Parks Trust could come up with some way of keeping them out of here.
A couple of days ago, quite a large flock of Coots were stuck in there. Today, down to one individual, who was really struggling to try and get out, and back onto the lake.
Two cygnets were also stuck, and just swimming up and down. One did try and make a break for it, by flapping along the length of the gully, but just couldn't get the lift or turn, to get over the wall. A sorry sight.



Back past the pub, and on to the south lake; but not before the Mallards had me surrounded again.



At the far end, an elusive Little Egret gave me the slip every time I tried to get pictures or video.
Thankfully the Tufted Ducks and Pochard, were more accommodating.





I finally almost caught up with the Egret, as he flew towards the reeds near the car park, and began circling round for a while.





I had much better luck though, with his bigger cousin, the Grey Heron.






At the car park, a quick look round the footbridge, found some Chaffinch, Blue and Great Tits, and some Reed Buntings.






Good to be out, and I can't believe how mild it still is.







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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
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)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
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 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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  32


Sunday, 15 December 2013

Goosander, boats, joggers and bikes.



I should have gone shopping; it wouldn't have been so busy.



The early morning half light saw the usual gang of Crows and Magpies turn up, as I pulled into the car park. They do like their digestive biscuits.


I made my way under the road bridge to the north lake, and was greeted by the gang of Mallards. Fed them, and carried on my way.


Under the footbridge near the bandstand, the Heron was lurking by the edge, waiting to pick off any fish that the group of Cormorants happened to push his way whilst they were fishing. Pretty clever.
Yesterday there were a couple of Little Egrets around here too; but no sign of them this morning.


The sun was rising in the blue sky as I made my way up towards the wall of the dam.
Strange to think that this time last year we had had some snow.
Lazily flying overhead was a very distant Sparrowhawk, probably on the lookout for breakfast.


At the gully, a Pied Wagtail. Yesterday he was joined by a Grey Wagtail, but no sign of him today. A cygnet had been stuck in the gully for about a week, swimming up and down aimlessly. This morning though, he had gone; replaced by a group of Coots.
They flew up and down over the water for a while, whilst one managed to get up and over onto the lake, and one crashed into the wall trying, and fell back down into the water.
No idea what the attraction is for some of the birds here, but it does seem to 'trap' a few for a while.

The usual crowd of Wigeon, Tufted Duck and Gadwall were swimming around on the lake proper.



Past the pub, and the work is really coming along now.





And some more work being done?




Business must be good.




Needless to say, the Mallards caught up with me again, with a few Crows tagging along too.



At the far end of the south lake, a small group of mixed gulls were just off the island, taking refuge no doubt from the boats that were now up and down the lake.
I found the Robin by one of the bird palettes/hides, who posed well whilst feeding.
A couple of Crows have also learnt that food is left here while I'm around.

Down past the rowing club, and over on the far side of the lake, the joggers were assembling, ready for the off.


Past the houses, and now the bikes were flashing past.
I wonder why they don't seem to have bells to ring to alert you of their presence as they rush up behind you?
I thought they had to.
Will be interesting when they meet up with the joggers head on.



Almost at the car park, and a big group of Pochard had taken to the air, fed up with the boats no doubt; and a male Goosander was flying around, probably wondering if it was worth landing here today.









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)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)

Total species  29