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, 22 March 2015

My first Chiffchaff of the year, Oystercatchers and a Weed Dance



Big title .......... big day.


A cloudy start, but the sun began to break through, and now I'm home, it's shining.


A few gulls on the roost, and a couple of Greylag Geese as I passed under the road bridge, to make my way round the north lake.
On the far side I caught a glimpse of one of the Oystercatchers, searching for worms in the grass.


Lots of birdsong, and as I watched a couple of Canada Geese, (I didn't notice until I looked at the video that one appears to be eating a fish), I heard my first Chiffchaff of the year. First of many, hopefully.

Still some Wigeon around, along with some Tufted Duck.
Not much on the arm that goes behind the pub, and as I made my way towards the pub, a quick view of the pair of Oystercatchers before they took to the air, disturbed by the rowing club opening shop for the day.


A few Mallards flew over for some seed before I headed towards the south lake.



Another first for the year ............. Cowslip.





Looking amongst the grass, beside the edge of the lake, I could see masses of them, pushing through. Hopefully it won't get mowed before they have finished flowering.
Lots of Blackthorn in flower now too.





At the far end of the lake, I managed to see in the distance, a pair of Great Crested Grebes performing their weed dance. Another first for the year.


A couple of Redwing in the trees, as I made my way to feed the Robin, but no sign of any Pochard today. Maybe they've left.


Past the rowing club, and they were getting ready for a days boating, as I was getting ready to go home.




 Mallards




A great visit 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)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
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)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  30



Monday, 16 March 2015

Water Rail and Oystercatchers



Despite the crap weather; dull and raining, it wasn't a bad wander round this morning.


After feeding the Crows and Magpies with some seed, a couple of old rolls and a few grapes, I made my way towards the north lake.
As I got to the footbridge, running along the channel underneath, a Water Rail made a quick exit into the undergrowth.
Not the first time I've seen them at this spot, and a good start to the morning.


Chilly morning, and damp. I didn't bother with the usual camera today, so the two pictures I did take later, are not very good, but serve as a record of what I saw.



No sign of any Herons fishing under the footbridge further along, and no Cormorants fishing either. A few flew overhead, and more were on Cormorant island earlier.

Past the houses, and a Coot was spending a lot of time chasing a lone Tufted Duck across the water. I think the Tufted was cruising too near where the Coot was building his nest.

The gulls were slowly streaming overhead, as they were leaving the roost on the south lake, and a small group of Wigeon were grazing further along.


Round the arm, at the back of the pub, just a few Coots, Canada Geese, and a couple of Greylags. A Little Egret flew up from the edge of the river, and flew over the footpath ahead, before dropping back down to the river again.


On towards the pub, and just ahead, probing in the grass, were the pair of Oystercatchers.





 Back once again for another breeding season. Becoming quite regular now.




Before I reached the road bridge, to go to the south lake, a couple of Mallards came waddling over for some seed. Seems they haven't forgotten me. Neither had the Crows and Magpie, that were eagerly waiting for their chance too.


Some Reed Buntings in the reeds that edge the south lake, and a few grazing Canada Geese, one or two Black-headed Gulls flying over, and some Wood Pigeons.

I reached the far end of the lake, and made my way towards the railway arch.
Trevor had hinted that some work had been going on there.


Bloody hell! A channel dug along the edge of the field, a shiny metal fence, and more trees cut down.


I soon left, and made my way to feed the Robin.


A small group of Redwing were foraging under the bushes and a couple were in the trees.


A few Pochard still around, and a Great Crested Grebe was getting very protective of his mate, chasing away ............. eventually, another suitor.


Past the rowing club, (still raining), a Lesser Black-backed Gull was mixing with a group of Black-headed Gulls on one of the jetties.


Finally back at the car park, and half a dozen Moorhen running across the grass.



Not a bad morning.









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)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
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)
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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  31



Saturday, 14 March 2015

Back from Wales, and more pruning done.


After a few weeks in north Wales, it was back to the lake today.


I see the chainsaw brigade have still been busy while I was away. All the willows along the edge of the reeds near the car park have been cut down, leaving it very open for when the Reed and Sedge Warblers arrive and begin nesting.
I suppose there is a very good reason for it though; especially during the nesting season.


A big gull roost on the south lake still, with a good selection of birds there.


Plenty of white blossom showing now on the Blackthorn. Spring is making its presence shown.


Still a few Wigeon around, and Pochard, and the group of Mallards spotted me as I made my way towards the pub on the north lake.


I did take a few pictures, but my computer decided to play up a bit when I got home.
It downloaded the video, but for some reason the picture files could not be accessed. It was the same when I tried to copy and past other pictures and documents.
Strange.
I formatted the memory card, but this still didn't make any difference.
Last resort I ran a chkdisk on my hard drive, and it seems to have done the trick ......... for now.



A couple of fishermen, fishing on the south lake by the rowing club, and when I explained there was no fishing on this part of the lake, their reply was, "can't see any signs"



Maybe the Parks Trust could make some from all the trees and bushes they've hacked down.









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)
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)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)



Total species  34


Thursday, 1 January 2015

New day, new year



Compared to the last few days, it was quite mild; almost tropical.


No frost, but no sun. Dull and cloudy, a bit windy; not the best of mornings. Some good birds to start the year though.


A group of Redwing were leaving the roost by the car park, and a gathering of Magpies, waiting for some seed.


A walk round the north lake to begin. No sign of the Mallards, but a small group of Crows appeared. Very clever; they've worked out I have food.
After feeding them, I found the Mallards further along. I must get a bigger bag of food.


The Grey Heron was in his regular spot, under the footbridge, and so too was a Little Egret. Must be good fishing here, especially when the Cormorants are pushing the fish their way.

The two little channels of water nearby, are still a bit frozen, and up by the bandstand, the screaming call of a Water Rail again. No sign of him yet, but just a matter of time.


In the channel by the wall of the dam, a Grey Wagtail was searching for food, and on the arm that goes behind the pub, the usual Coot, Gadwall, Wigeon and a pair of Goosander.


Past the pub, and on the grass a couple of Pied Wagtails; and the Mallards again. Cheeky.


The south lake was very quiet; a few gulls, Tufted Duck, and a group of Canada Geese that flew in.


I fed the Robin, by the hide, and carried on past the rowing club. More gulls expecting food, some Coot in the bays in front of the houses, and a couple of Herring Gulls near Cormorant island.



Not a bad first days visit. A shame the weather wasn't better for pictures though.



Compared to the last few days, it was quite mild.

No frost, but no sun. Dull and cloudy, a bit windy; not the best of mornings. Some good birds to start the year though.


A group of Redwing were leaving the roost by the car park, and a gathering of Magpies, waiting for some seed.


A walk round the north lake to begin. No sign of the Mallards, but a small group of Crows appeared. Very clever; they've worked out I have food.
After feeding them, I found the Mallards further along. I must get a bigger bag of food.


The Grey Heron was in his regular spot, under the footbridge, and so too was a Little Egret. Must be good fishing here, especially when the Cormorants are pushing the fish their way.

The two little channels of water nearby, are still a bit frozen, and up by the bandstand, the screaming call of a Water Rail again. No sign of him yet, but just a matter of time.


In the channel by the wall of the dam, a Grey Wagtail was searching for food, and on the arm that goes behind the pub, the usual Coot, Gadwall, Wigeon and a pair of Goosander.


Past the pub, and on the grass a couple of Pied Wagtails; and the Mallards again. Cheeky.


The south lake was very quiet; a few gulls, Tufted Duck, and a group of Canada Geese that flew in.


I fed the Robin, by the hide, and carried on past the rowing club. More gulls expecting food, some Coot in the bays in front of the houses, and a couple of Herring Gulls near Cormorant island.



Not a bad first days visit. A shame the weather wasn't better for pictures though.








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)
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)
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)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
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)
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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)


Total species  36




Sunday, 28 December 2014

Goosander, frost and shooters




Quite a hard frost this morning. Even the car door was frozen shut, but I got in eventually.



I decided to walk round the south lake first, and try to get a decent position for the sunrise. It had the makings of a half decent one.




Once I'd got there, I found a small group of shooters, shooting at Crows, Wood Pigeons or anything else that seemed to come into range. Sad.




I left there and continued round the south lake.



Stopped off to feed the Robin, and then made my way past the rowing club. A few boats out on the lake, but not so many as usual.

A few Canada Geese were flying around.



Hopefully they kept clear of the twats with guns.



Onto the north lake, and a couple of Mallards caught up with me as I passed under the road bridge.
A good number of Grey Herons around today too.


Towards the bandstand, and the arm that runs from the footbridge, has iced over. I guess a few more cold nights, and lots more will begin to freeze over.


A Moorhen was idly walking by,





and I could hear the sound of a Water Rail coming from the nearby reeds. No sign of it though.



Up towards the wall of the dam, and the arm that goes behind the pub.


Nothing much to begin with ........... a few Wigeon, Gadwall and Coot, but as I made my way round with the sun behind me, I spotted a Shoveler. And behind him, a pair of Goosander.





In the sunlight they looked pretty good.
Good enough to take way too many pictures.






Eventually I left them to it, but not till I got a group picture with the Shoveler.





Round past the pub, and the Mallards spotted me.





A few handfuls of seed, and they were happy.



Back over the road bridge, and a quick shot of a Song Thrush, before a cyclist came down the path.







A cold, but enjoyable visit.









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)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
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)


Total species  35



Thursday, 18 December 2014

4 Goosander



A dull, windy walk round the lake today, and very mild too.


No chance of a decent sunrise this morning, far too cloudy. It was difficult to pick out much from the gull roost either. Could do with a searchlight on mornings like this.



A few Redwings left their roost, 'tseeping' as they flew overhead.


No sign of the Mallards under the road bridge, so I soon made my way to the footbridge favoured by the Heron. He was sharing this morning, with a Little Egret.
It must be a good spot for fish, because a group of Cormorants frequently fish there, which in turn stirs up the fish near the footbridge, which then makes easy pickings for the waiting Heron. Clever these birds.


Not much up by the wall of the dam, save for a few gulls, so I quickly made my way towards the arm that goes at the back of the pub.
Usually a few birds here, and yesterday there were 3 Goosanders reported.
(Sunday there were seven flying around, but with the disruption from the weekend boats, they didn't land.)
Not been so many, so far this year. I think it's because it has been so mild, maybe they're staying on the rivers; anyway, what do I know.


As I climbed the steps, and reached the top, I could see four. Three males and a female.





A lot of Canada Geese there too, and above the noise of the wind, I could hear them getting ready for take-off.






It wasn't long before the Goosanders had the same idea too.





Past the pub, and the Mallards decided to seek me out. I fed them, and made my way towards the road bridge, and the south lake. Followed by three Crows, so they had a few handfuls of seed too.
At this rate, I'm going to have to bring a sack of bird food with me.


South lake was pretty quiet; but the hedge trimmers have been out in force, laying waste to anything that doesn't move. Brambles and shrubs, sadly no more.


A few Wigeon in the bays in front of the houses, and that was about it.


Dry, but very windy.













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)
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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)

Total species  27



Saturday, 13 December 2014

Bullfinch Bonanza



Cold frosty start to the day; and busy.


A big group of gulls on the roost this morning, but too dark to pick out anything special from the noisy throng.


Under the road bridge, and heading round the north lake, I was quickly met by a bunch of noisy Mallards. Feeding time.



Under the footbridge, the Grey Heron was in his usual spot, scooping up the smaller fish that the Cormorant party disperse. A small mixed tit flock was working its way through the bushes, and a distant Song Thrush was singing, as he staked out his winter territory.


A lot of geese on the lake this morning ............... and boats.


Up at the wall of the dam, the sun was beginning its climb up,




and some of the boats looked to be lining up for a race.


The arm at the back of the pub had a few Wigeon, Gadwall and Tufted, and the geese were noisily coming and going.





A marathon race was about to start too.



Towards the pub, and the Mallard gang caught me three times for some food.




They don't give in easily, following me round past the pub, and under the road bridge.
It must look quite a sight.



Down towards the bottom of the south lake, and a couple of Little Grebe were doing their best to avoid the boats; and my camera.





At the footbridge over the river, near the bottom of the south lake, a quick look through the bushes, and I found a couple of Bullfinches.




Always good to see these birds, but they were not co-operating much for pictures.



A small group of Fieldfare were chattering in the trees nearby ..... even more un co-operative.


Down to see the Robin, and leave him some food, and then I was soon making my way past the rowing club.

The marathon was in full swing by now, and plenty of boats up and down the lake.
Even some kayaks in and out of the bays, annoying the few Wigeon that had decided to stay.





It's a wonder there were any birds at all. 


 






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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
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)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)


Total species  34