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