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

Thursday, 23 December 2010

A Bittern; but are there two?

I walked over to the lake this morning; I wasn’t going to bother with the car after yesterday, and after about 40 minutes, I got to the lake, and topped up the seed on the bridge. It looks like someone else is leaving some seed there now, or else the birds haven’t eaten it all since yesterday.

The Crows were about, as usual, and on the bridge were a lot of Chaffinch and Great Tits. A few Blue Tits, about three Robins, and a Blackbird, that seemed to be picking out his favourites from the mixed seed.

I walked on to the south lake, by the houses, where some of the water hasn’t frozen. It seems a thaw is on, because the area seemed a bit larger. Canada Geese, a few Goldeneye, lots of Tufted Duck, Wigeon and Gadwall, and the two Black Swans made up the bulk of the birds there. A couple of Great Crested Grebes, and a couple of Little Grebes bobbing up and down under one of the boat jetty’s, along with a Shoveler.

Further down, by the offices, a Bittern left the reeds, and flew across the lake, standing briefly on the ice, before hiding himself away. This got me thinking, maybe there are two. A couple of days ago, I was talking to a man walking his dog, who described a Bittern taking off from the reeds by the car park. Possibly two, or just the one, moving around the south lake a bit.

As I began to turn at the bottom, to make my way back up, a large group of Siskin dropped into some trees. Little beauties, and they certainly kept me busy watching them for a while.
Eventually I left them, and decided to make my way through the snow, along the edge of the lake. I was going to check the reeds, for the Bittern; camera primed and ready, and the video camera ready to film too.

I walked slowly, pretty tough going through fresh snow, that grips your legs as you try to make your way through it. No sign of the Bittern. I even checked the snow on the ice, for tracks. Nothing. I’d almost reached the road bridge, and the end of the reeds, and stopped to put the video camera in my pocket. And as I did that, a few yards to my left, I caught a glimpse of him, standing proud. I reached for the video camera, as he took to the air, back across the lake.

Oh well, next time

Full list of today’s sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)
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)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Great Bittern [sp] (Botaurus stellaris)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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 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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)

Total species  38


  1. Some great shots once again Keith, Hard luck with the Bittern. All I can say is 'Bittern' luck next time......sorry lol.

  2. Keith, internet here is too slow for video, but thanks. It is a bit warmer.

  3. Thanks Trevor. I'll try again tomorrow ;)

    Cheers Adrian. A little more snow today, but not very much; yet.

  4. Oh, it's a shame about the Bittern, you will someday. The Shoveler was a suprise.

  5. As for the Bittern Keith, I've often thought some birds have camera detecting radar and know just when to appear.

  6. Hi Keith...I tryed to leave you a post this morning but wasn't sure it went through, and I guess it didn't!!
    I really liked this morning video and post so cute all those birds..I love the passion you have for them...ahhhh!! lol
    Now for yesterdays post "what in the world are you trying to prove man" !!
    You still get a Hug, but take it easy!!

  7. Thanks Bob. At least I know where he hides now; I'll get him one day. :)

    John, I'm sure you're right. I couldn't believe it this morning though. So close to it lol

    Thanks grammie. Yea, it takes a lot to keep me away from my birds lol