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, 6 February 2011

Sunday, and a bird beginning with ‘S’

Still windy, but it didn’t seem quite so bad; until I walked the edge of the lake.

The seed on the bridge goes pretty quick these days, or it might be the wind blowing it away. It’s good to see so many birds taking advantage of it though. Blackbird, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Reed Bunting, Robin, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Dunnock; an impressive list, for a small area.

 And of course the Crows take advantage too.

The south lake yielded a female Goosander, along with Tufted Duck, Mallard and Pochard. Good numbers of Greylag and Canada Geese, and plenty of Black-headed Gulls. The Cormorant roost held a big number of birds too, and quite a sight to see them all leave this morning, as they set off for breakfast.

A strange sight was a Buzzard, feeding at the edge of a group of Canada Geese. He was no doubt searching for worms in the grassy bank, and I wondered if he had joined them, to blend in. Similar colour, and size; or maybe I’m totally wrong. When he left them, after seeing me come along, he was quickly mobbed by some gulls, so a possibility.

When I reached the bottom of the south lake, I had a quick look through the railway arch, into the field. The farmer has begun to plough the stubble that was there, and I wondered if a strip around the edge of the field would be left. I hope so, because I heard and saw a sight that always reminds me of when I was a kid.

A Skylark was battling the wind, singing as he climbed skyward. I stood watching through the binoculars, as he got higher and higher, and then he began his descent to the stubble below. Three others were there too. A great sight, and one that always brings a lump to my throat.

Back at the footbridge, the seed had all gone, so more left, before I made my way round the north lake.

The Mallards soon spotted me,

and as I fed them, the Crows flew over, and a large group of Black-headed Gulls joined in the feeding frenzy.
Further along, two more female Goosander were swimming amongst some Wigeon and Tufted Duck, and the path was getting busy with the weekend joggers.

Too busy for me; once I reached the footbridge again, some more seed, and then home.

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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Sky Lark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
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)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  34


  1. Well said, Keith. For those of us over a certain age, Skylarks do remind us of when we were young. I wonder what today's youngsters will say when they reach our current milestones! I just hope there's enough wildlife left for 'em to appreciate. Grey Partridge does it for me too.

  2. It really saddens me Graeme,, when I see the way this country is going......tearing up the countryside, selling forests, culling certain birds and animals, because man has interfered and upset the balance.
    In a way I'm glad I'm reaching the 'checkout'; yea, selfish perhaps, but I really don't see any improvement for the future .

  3. Great post Keith. Like the Crow picture :)
    Lets hope the farmer looks after the (HIS) Skylarks!
    I`ll alway remember as a kid growing up in the countryside, laying on the ground and watching the Skylarks singing their song as they rose ever higher in the sky. A wonderful experience.

  4. That's just how I remember them Trevor. There used to be fields where I grew up in Enfield, (all houses now), and the Skylarks would sing as they climbed the sky, and Lapwings would be on the ground. A very different place now.

  5. Hi Keith..Beautiful bird the Skylark nice you had that chance sighting for the field being ploughed the only plowing going on here is snow plowing!! lol
    Snow and rain last night and a mess..yuck!!
    All that"" butchering"" that you call it...I would think near the water's edge would cause there to be a wash of soil!!
    I saw Roy's post ..I wonder how broad the definition for the word conservation is!!
    I best not get you rile up on that huh!! lol
    Hugs !!

  6. The lapwings are a great sight and the opening picture of the Crow is a cracker.

  7. Thanks grammie. Yea, one of my pet hates at the moment, this so called 'conservation'. Best I don't get started lol

    Cheers Adrian. I love seeing the Lapwings; makes me think all is not lost.......perhaps.

  8. Excellent pictures of the Crow and the Mallard Ducks.

  9. Skylarks are one of my favourite birds especially in the summer months when I can lay down on the grass look skywards and just listen....priceless

  10. Thanks Bob. They're getting quite tame now, especially when there is food around.

  11. I think the Skylark reminds a lot of people of summer days Andrew. Lovely birds to watch and listen to.

  12. A lovely post Keith! There is a place just a short walk away from me where, as a child, I watched the Sklarks soaring and amazingly they still do there! It is a wonderful sight and as you say it is also that connection with Summer days.

    The winds are still atrocious here!

  13. You got down on your knees for those ducks, didn't you just :-)
    Such clear pictures.
    Hope your PC troubles are behind you.

  14. Thanks Jan. Skylarks and summer seem to be childhood memories, and two that go together, for a lot of people of a certain generation. I wonder what todays youngsters will remember in the future.

    jo©o, thank you. Yea, I had to get pretty low for those ducks lol
    The computer is awaiting parts; apparently :(

  15. The Skylark Keith, a great sight and also a beautiful sound to hear.

  16. HI Keith..I share your feeling of loss of our wild money seems to be the only thing of value any more and once you are labeled a "tree hugger" no one wants to listen..
    GLad you got to see the SKYLARKS!

  17. It certainly is Roy. Holds so many memories of my youth for me.

  18. You are so right Dixxe. Money is sadly King, these days.