The thaw continues, and it was much milder today. I got to the lake just after 7, and put some seed on the footbridge by the car park. This is becoming a magnet now for finches and tits, so it’s well worth doing. The Crows soon found me too.
Under the road bridge, the waterfowl were crammed together again, and I managed to pick out the Scaup quite easily. Video was a different story; it wouldn’t focus properly because of the poor light.
Plenty of Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard and a lone Shoveler there too.
I spent almost an hour wandering about between the two bridges, and plenty of birds were being seen. Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Redwing………it really is a great spot.
Eventually I made my way round the north lake, after quickly checking the distant group of ducks on the south lake through the binoculars. A male Goldeneye, and a male Goosander amongst all the Tufted Duck, Little and Great Crested Grebes.
I spent quite a while feeding some Mallards, and watching them struggle walking on the ice. You can’t help feel sorry for them; it must be so tough this time of the year.
Eventually I made it back to the bridge, and my journey round the south lake. The west side of the lake was pretty much frozen, and a lot of the birds were on the far side, where the ice had melted. The gulls preferred to stay on the ice though.
I turned the bottom end of the lake, and began making my way back towards the car.
Then dismay. Four canoes were out on the unfrozen area of lake, and it inevitably put all the birds into the air.
Angry? You bet.
Back at the footbridge, by the car park, most of the seed had been eaten. Lots of finches about, and in the bushes; and also a much smaller bird; a Firecrest. Two sightings in one week. Great stuff.
I took one last quick look under the road bridge, before heading home, and disaster. Hardly a bird to be seen.
The boat people had managed to do what the weather couldn’t. Get rid of the birds.
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)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Firecrest [sp] (Regulus ignicapilla)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Total species 44