Personal musings, wanderings and sightings from around the lake.
A little history, and about the lake, at the bottom of the page.


Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me

Monday, 25 October 2010


A cold, frosty morning, but sunny. It looked promising.

It wasn’t.

After the fishermen putting the group of ducks up in the air the other day, the Red Crested Pochard are nowhere to be seen. Most of the Wigeon have scattered too, and just a couple of Common Pochard left at the north lake.
And worse to come.

As I got near the pub this morning, I noticed a Black-headed Gull flying up on the bank, dropping down on one leg, and then flying back into the water. I stopped and watched, as he did it again. I slowly moved closer, when he dropped into the water.

Then I saw the reason for this strange behaviour.
Fishing line was caught round his leg, about a three foot length, and the other end attached to some chains that hold tires round the edge of this part of the lake. 
And worse………another gull was tangled in the line, and stuck at the side.

I reached down to free the one stuck at the side first.
A peck on the back of my hand for my trouble. Poor thing was frantic, and probably in some pain; and scared.
I held him as best as I could with one, painful, hand; and cut through the line.
His wing looked a bit knackered, as he landed in the water; but managed to swim away. Don’t know what his chances of survival are, not good probably, but at least he was free again.

The second gull was frantically pulling on the line all the time, which wasn’t helping matters. I slowly pulled him towards me, and grabbed hold of him. More pecks. Poor bugger; the line was well and truly wrapped around his leg. I cut it as close to his leg as I could, and let him go. At least he could fly; probably have a better chance of survival than his mate.
And the line?
In a part of the lake where no fishing is allowed. I was fuming as I left, and carried on my way. These fishermen managed to climb to the top of my hate list today.

So I made my way to the south lake, along the path, grass either side. It’s still early. Not many people about yet. Apart from a stupid cyclist.

I was aware of someone behind me, and as I stopped, and turned to look behind, there was a man on a bike. Right behind me. He wobbled, and passed me, as I shouted out, “Ring yer bell, prick!”
And he had the cheek to swear at me!
What’s he trying to do, silently cycling up behind me like that? Give me a heart attack?

Well, at least the birds were good. Three Kingfishers today, a Sparrowhawk, Shoveler still there, with the Little Grebe, and the Redwing down by the car park. 

Shame about the human element 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)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
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)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
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)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  37


  1. Fishermen are dumb Keith. I once thought that Course fishing was a term applied to the fish...No it is to differentiate between fly fishermen and Ignorant fishermen. I have yet to see balls of monofilament line on a trout stream, or barbed hooks. I had a similar experience with a Grey Lag Goose with a load of line round one wing root. It had cut in really deep but I cut it and removed it. The goose was cooperative...thank god. I used to shoot but it is harder and much more satisfying to swap the gun for the camera. As for cyclists......never trust anyone who is prepared to peddle something that costs more than a motorbike!

  2. Shame about indeed !!

    But your picture is absolutely beautiful Keith :)

  3. Thanks Adrian. Nothing I can add to that mate.

    Pescalune, thank you. :)

  4. Hi Keith..I'm a little late getting back to your post!
    A couple of my friends dropped by...Debra talks none stop..headache now!!lol
    I bet your are wound up about the fishing line and the fishermen and I don't blame you a bit !!
    You do know that this all isn't good for the "ticker though" getting upset and all!!
    Good that you was able to free the gulls....its to bad that the don't know that we try to help them !
    I guess for them it is just instinct!!

    "Soothing Hugs" Try not to get your feathers riled up... lol

  5. Thanks grammie. Yea, things like this really wind me up. I'm just glad I happened to be there when I was, and could do something.

  6. You by chance, know that fishermen don't realise the harm they can do, in fact, they could make number 1 in my album of a fartalist. The juvenile Mute Swan is brilliant.

  7. Well at least you freed them Keith, great job anyway.
    Yes some fishermen are up there with bankers and estate agents.{:)

  8. Ive been in that same situation Keith when I lived by the Ocean in NY. SO many uncaring people are let loose on our environment..its a shame. I was able with help to cut the line from the leg of the gull...and everyone applauded-I chased him up and down the beach till I finally caught him some people who didnt see the line dangling were asking me to Leave the gulls alone Lady!! LOL but when they saw what I was up to they approved.
    SO Happy you were able to help those poor birds--

  9. Thank you Bob. Top of my list too ;)

    Thanks Roy. A good analogy, lol

    Dixxe, your right. A lot don't care, and a lot don't think. The world can do without such people.