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



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




Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Ferruginous Duck in the sun.



That was a cold one this morning, quite a thick frost, but at least the sun was shining.





Whisky had a great time today playing with quite a few dogs he's got to know. Always good to see dogs getting on together and having fun.




A few Redwing around by the car park





and of course the Mallards under the road bridge waiting to be fed.




Lots of Tufted Duck on the north and south lake today,





along with quite a few Pochard.






Up at the arm behind the pub, no sign of any Wigeon, but a couple of Gadwall, Coots and of course Great Crested Grebe.




 Good numbers of these at the moment.




We made our way past the pub, and on towards the south lake.


The Mallards followed me round again, greedy lot, and 3 Crows have quickly learnt that seed is to be had here.



Quite a few Reed Buntings calling in the reeds on the way to the far end, but no sign of any Kingfishers today.


A quick scan from the screen revealed plenty of Black-headed Gulls, Coots, Tufted Duck and Mallards.
Then I saw him, the Ferruginous Duck.




 Looking splendid in the sun.



He hasn't been around for a few days, he'd flown to another lake nearby, but today he came back. So glad he did, especially in the sunlight.





He drifted around a bit, over to the island, then back and settled with some Mallards for a while.





A few more pictures as he drifted around in the sun





and then he was gone. Not sure if he'd gone into the reeds, but I couldn't find him after that.





We carried on towards the bays in front of the houses. Someone had come out to feed the ducks, so it's always good to get some flight shot practice.








A quick look round the bay, and there was the long staying Red Crested Pochard.






A few pictures in the sunlight, and then off for some breakfast.











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
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)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36





Thursday, 11 February 2016

Goosander, Water Rail, Red Crested Pochard and the return of the Ferruginous Duck.



Big title, big day.


A cold and frosty start and sunshine too.





At the top end of the north lake a couple of Little Egrets were flying around, and the river Ouzel was bathed in sunlight.






On the arm that goes behind the pub, all looked very quiet. No Wigeon, and just a few Mallards. Not surprising really because all this week there has been a lot of boat activity. Powered dinghy's teararsing around like they were on the open sea, and even a large 'dragon boat' type thing up and down this stretch.
It wasn't until I got round the other side that I noticed some Goosanders. They must have just flown in.




Three male, and one female.




The female spent a lot of time prone on top of the water for a while, but the boys were just not interested.





I watched them for a while and took a few pictures.







A couple of Mallards posed too in the sunlight.







I walked on towards the pub, and another group flew over to meet us.







They wanted feeding.




Onto the south lake; still sunny, but not very warm yet.


Over the last few days there has been a Ferruginous Duck here. A real treat to see, but sadly, yesterday, it left and went to another lake nearby.



However, today, it had returned to its usual spot.





 Nice to see it in the sunshine; just a shame it was so far away.




A few more pictures taken, and then I noticed something in the background walking along the edge of the island.





 Top left, a Water Rail.





Past the rowing club, and up towards the houses with the bays in front.

Would the Red Crested Pochard be there still?





 Certainly was, and looking great in the sun.




We finished off a great mornings walk with a couple of Canada Geese







and then headed for home, and breakfast.




Short video









Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Red-crested Pochard (Netta rufina)
Ferruginous Duck (Aythya nyroca)
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 Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
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 Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39