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, 13 November 2016

Bearded Tit again



A sunny start to the day, so we had a visit to the lake again, in the hope I could get some pictures of the Bearded Tit; if it was still around.


Lots of the usual birds about.


A couple of Little Egrets, and a very confiding Grey Heron.





But the real star of the day was this.




Yes, the Bearded Tit was still here, and I managed a very short bit of video, which didn't seem to focus too well.



Got some pictures though.








Very pleased, and Whisky had a great time too meeting so many other dogs this 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)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Bearded Tit [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)


Total species  26


Friday, 11 November 2016

Bearded Tit





We started our usual morning walk around Kents Hill, Walton and Simpson, and because it was such a nice morning, I decided we'd go round Caldecotte Lake too.
A long walk, over 3 hours, but I'm glad I did.


As we walked past some reeds, a pinging sound stopped me in my tracks.

Was that a Bearded Tit I'd just heard?


There it was again. 


I only had my small camera with me, so I quickly set it to video, and aimed it at the reeds where the sound was coming from.
So glad I did, because after a short time, a single Bearded Tit flew up out of the reeds, over my head and into the sun, down towards some more reeds further along.


The first time I've seen one here in all the time I've been visiting.



Here's the very short video:









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)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Bearded Tit [sp] (Panurus biarmicus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  29


Thursday, 10 November 2016

Goosander



Well, it's been a very long time since I've done a blog post on here, so I thought today, I would rectify that.


We got here just after seven, and started to make our way round the north lake first. Dull and dismal, and a few spots of rain, but not to worry; on we went.
Lots of leaves have fallen from the trees now and cover the paths. A bit slippery in places when it's wet.


Up by the first footbridge where a Heron usually fishes, I noticed a Little Egret.
A small group of Cormorants were fishing nearby and I guess they were driving some of the fish towards the Egret.
As I began to cross over the bridge five Little Egrets flew out, circled round over the water and then settled back under the bridge.



Past the bandstand, and in its usual spot on the bank, a Grey Heron.






We made our way to the top end, and the wall of the dam, and on our way there Whisky met a few of the dogs he knows.
Lots of running and playing, before we carried on.


A few Wigeon on the water, some Coots, Mallards and a couple of Gadwall. Nothing like the usual numbers yet though.


Pass the pub, and a group of Mallards soon spotted me. They all flew over waiting to be fed. Lucky I had some seed with me.



The south lake next, with some Little Grebes swimming and diving along the edge, and a Cormorant lazing on one of the buoys.







At the far end a Heron was lurking by the waters edge, and quite a few Canada Geese cruising along.


I stood by the screen, and scanned through the flock of gulls that were on the water. All Black-headed Gulls.
A few Wigeon in the distance, and then I spotted a female Goosander.



 A lousy shot.




I made my way round to the other side, just in time to see it take flight.




Shy bird



Past the rowing club and a few more Coots, a couple of Little Grebe and a swan family.


In the bays in front of the houses a few more Wigeon, and not much else.

Out on one of the buoys a Common Gull, and over on Cormorant island ............. some Cormorants.


Not a bad morning.







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)
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)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
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)



Total species  29



Saturday, 7 May 2016

Nesting, Ducklings, Goslings and Waders



...........and sunshine too.



A lovely morning round the lake, with plenty to see. Even Whisky had a good time playing with some of his friends.


The birds were in fine voice around the car park this morning;




Garden Warbler


as well as Wren, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Cetti's Warbler and Blackcap. A real dawn chorus. Even the geese were honking away over on the lake.


Under the road bridge, and round the north lake.
Over in the distance, by the pub, I caught a glimpse of one of the Oystercatchers, probing the grass with his long bill.


Lots of Reed Warblers calling from the reeds, and a couple of Sedge Warblers too.


A lot of nesting activity too, with Mute Swans, Coots, Great Crested Grebe and Mallards.


Whitethroats have finally taken up territory where they usually are.




Whitethroat


A shame about the tangle of branches around him, but it was difficult to get him still long enough.



I saw my first Cuckooflower today too,





also known as Lady's Smock.




There seems to have been an explosion of ducklings and goslings since I last visited; they're everywhere. This Mallard seemed pleased with himself.







Up towards the south lake, and the sound of one of the Cetti's Warblers was echoing under the road bridge.


Further along and a couple of friends for Whisky to play with, before we carried on towards the far end.


Another Whitethroat, just where I expected to find one.


Not many ducks on the lake now, just a few Mallards. The Coots are still in good numbers though, and in fine fighting form as usual.







Past the rowing club, and three Swifts flew overhead. Nothing skimming over the water today though, the boats were out in force for the weekend.



Finally, back at the car park, and one last look around before heading home.










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)
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)
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)
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)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  38



Thursday, 28 April 2016

Lesser Whitethroat




A cold frosty start to the day, but the sun was up early, and made a perfect day.



Before going to the lake, I filled up with petrol, and in the trees by the garage, I could hear a Whitethroat calling.
Surely there must be some arriving at the lake any day now?



Back at the lake we left some seed for the birds ................. Crows mostly, and began scanning the bushes and trees in front of the car park.
A Garden Warbler was singing against a Blackcap, Chiffchaff calling from the tops of the trees alongside a Willow Warbler, Song Thrush, Robin, and then the unmistakeable burst of a Cetti's Warbler. Deep in the bushes and moving a few yards each time; but totally invisible.
That's the second one that I know of here at the lake, and yet to glimpse either of them.


We carried on round the north lake. More Blackcap calling, Robins, Blackbirds, Long Tailed Tits roaming the trees, Reed Warblers calling from the reeds, and a few sticks to throw for Whisky.


Soon up at the top end, and possibly some Whitethroat.


I searched the usual places, but nothing, apart from more Blackcaps. There seems to be quite a few of these around this year.



A couple of Dunnocks in the bushes, Pied Wagtail, and then I was walking past the pub.



A pair of Greylag Geese were swimming by, with their two goslings.







A couple of Mallards came over for some seed, and then we were passing under the road bridge, heading towards the south lake.
The unmistakable sound of the Cetti was still coming from the other side of the lake, deep in the bushes.



A Grey Heron was stood by the edge of the lake.






As we neared the far end of the lake, I heard a sound coming from some bushes.
Eventually I managed a glimpse of the bird responsible,




 A Lesser Whitethroat.


A couple more shots, and then he disappeared into the bushes again. Very elusive.








I walked up towards the footbridge over the river, a good spot in the past to see Whitethroat.

Nothing.

A Willow Warbler, and a Chiffchaff high in some trees, and that was it.



Over on the island, at the far end of the lake, I could hear the other Cetti calling. Not much chance of seeing this one.
I left some seed for the Robin, and began making my way past the rowing club.


Quite a few House Martins, Sand Martins and Swallows were skimming over the water,





and taking a break from all the flying, a Sand Martin had landed on one of the jetties.




Interesting to see just how short their legs are.




As I passed the houses, I noticed 2 Swifts circling over Cormorant island. Should be a few more arriving soon.



Back at the car park, a look around the bushes before heading home.



A pair of Bullfinches were busily picking some of the blossom.





Whisky was waiting patiently as I wandered about,





and then finally, we headed off for home; and some breakfast.















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)
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)
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)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
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)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Lesser Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia curruca)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
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)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  42




Monday, 18 April 2016

Yellow Wagtails and Oystercatcher




First visit after getting back from Wales, and a good start to begin with.




A Magpie sunning himself.



Blue skies and sunshine to start the morning, and the birds were in fine voice.
Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers seemed to be having a singing contest around the lake, and every so often a Blackcap would join in with his melodic warble.


Whisky enjoyed seeing some of his old friends and catching up on the latest dog gossip.


One thing I noticed straight away, was how the trees have all started to burst into leaf. Back in Wales there isn't much colour in the trees yet, so I couldn't resist taking a back-lit blossom branch.







The sun was short lived though, as a big bank of cloud soon covered the sky, and sent the temperature dropping fast. I wondered if I should just do the north lake, as it looked as though it could possibly turn into a storm ....................... I'm glad I carried on though.




The south lake had lots of House Martins, Swallows and Sand Martins skimming over the water, feasting on the insects.
More Blackcaps calling from the bushes and trees, and as I got down to the rowing club, two flashes of yellow streaked past me.





Yellow Wagtails




A Pied Wagtail was wandering along with them.









Out on one of the jetties, a lone Oystercatcher.





Hopefully his mate was sat on the nest somewhere.






Past the houses and back towards the car park.




Off to see the other half perhaps?






Before we reached the car park, I had to take a picture of this tree in full blossom.




 A shame the sun wasn't shining now.







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)
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 Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)
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)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)


Total species  36




Friday, 26 February 2016

Oystercatcher



The first post on here for some time, and it will probably be the last for a little while, so an update type thing in a way.



Myself and Whisky have been visiting here daily for a couple of weeks now. He loves playing with all the dogs he meets on our visits and chasing after sticks.





The long staying Ferruginous Duck seems to have moved on now. A few days ago it had moved on to Mount Farm Lake nearby; about 2 minutes away as the duck flies.
Could still be there. I don't go chasing after birds however near they are. I leave that sort of thing to the Twatchers of the world, and county.



The Red Crested Pochard is still here though, mingling with some Mallards.
It will also feed on bread, so I'm guessing it's a pretty tame bird.



A 'wild' bird, that is quite tame, is this Robin.




 He will, on occasion, take seed from your hand; when he feels like it.



Here's a pair from yesterday.




I'm guessing a pair, because they are not trying to kill each other.





Lots of plants and shrubs are in flower at the moment. Lots of Dasies, Dandelions, Primroses, and this Lesser Celandine.







There has been some lovely sunny mornings recently.





Not sure how long that Dogwood is going to last, the chainsaw brigade are out in earnest all around MK at the moment.






Make quite a mess in the process too.






It's been good to see some blue sky, with lots of birds singing in the mornings.




Reed Bunting








Blue Tit









Lesser Redpoll





Now, to the title, Oystercatcher.

Yesterday morning, 25th, I saw one fly in over the road bridge, and head towards the island.
The last half dozen years they have nested here, and on checking my records, (I sound a bit anal there, like some sort of birder), I noticed that it was 3 days earlier than my previous 'early' sighting of 28th, back in 2012.
Today I saw it again, on one of the jetties on the north lake, amongst some Black-headed Gulls.
Hopefully they will be breeding again this year. Egg laying is usually from mid April onwards, so fingers crossed.



I've seen Mallards mating today, and yesterday, a weed dance by some Great Crested Grebes.








My first of this year.






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)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
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 Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  33