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

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Another good one.

Today was bitterly cold. So cold, some of the birds had frost on their backs!

Most of the north lake was frozen, which meant the birds came down to the middle, under the road bridge. Coot, Pochard, Canada Geese, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard; they were all there. And something different. Had me foxed at first,

but had it confirmed later, by a local birder, Paul, that it was a female Smew. A great find for the lake.
Further round the north, it was pretty sparse, with the odd Black-headed Gull wandering across the ice. One spot that wasn’t frozen, had a female Goldeneye, swimming aimlessly around. Perhaps she was looking for the males?

It was quite sad to see so much frozen water though. The waterfowl, Kingfishers, Herons and Cormorants need to fish each day, to survive. If it all freezes over, then it doesn’t bare thinking about.

Onto the south lake, which didn’t seem quite as frozen, a single male Goosander was swimming in the middle of the lake. At the bottom end, I was surprised to see that it was frozen. This is surrounded by bushes and trees; I would have thought it quite sheltered, but the icy grip had it.

Some more Siskins seen in the Alders, and a few Long Tailed Tits, as I made my chilly way back to the car.

But the Smew made it all worthwhile. What a beautiful redhead she was.

This may be the last post for about a week. Back to work tomorrow.

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)

Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Smew (Mergellus albellus)
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)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
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)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

Total species  33


  1. Keith, Super videos. Your`e a braver man than me, it`s making me shiver just watching them. All the best for tomorrow.

  2. Lets just hope they have the sense to move to tidal water or moving water.
    A grand ten minutes of video.
    Have a good day tomorrow.

  3. Great job seeing the smew-it really looks cold--hope the lake doesnt freeze over completely..and wish you a good day at work on Monday!

  4. Yes Keith, that female Smew would have confused me as well and I would have to look at the books to confirm it.

  5. I admire you going in those conditions Keith! I hope you haven't had any ill effects from it. It was -10C at 9am here today!!

    Well done on the Smew, that was a great find :)

    I felt sorry for that poor old Crow with the frost on its back, well I felt sorry for all of them trying to survive in those conditions. It has come so early this time, I hope it doesn't stay this bad until Spring!

    I hope all goes well tomorrow, don't work too hard ;)

  6. Thanks Trevor. It was the coldest I've felt round there for a long time.

    Thank you Adrian. I hope they do too. It's hard watching them when it's like this.

    Dixxe, thank you. I hope it doesn't all freeze over either. It would be heartbreaking to see that.

    Thanks Roy. Yea, it really threw me. I thought at first it was some sort of Grebe.

  7. Thank you Jan. It certainly was cold this morning, and the evening temperatures seem to drop like a stone. It really saddens me thinking about how they survive in this weather.

  8. That's a find, the female Smew on your lake.

  9. It certainly was Bob. There was a male last year, but it only stayed a day, and I missed it. It was great to see, and find, this one.