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

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Sand Martins galore

A sunny start to the day, so a quick visit to the lake before work.

Chiffchaff calling everywhere, and the song of the Willow Warbler, sounding out from nearly every treetop.

Spring; isn't it great!

Song Thrush singing from their high perches, and Blackcaps calling around the lake, and suddenly a lone Common Tern swoops down to the water. My first this year. Too quick for a picture, but as I got to the south lake, the video went into overdrive.

Sand Martins. Hundreds, skimming over the water, and soaring up in the sky. A great sight to see.
Further round the lake, Little Grebe in the reeds, and more Willow Warbler calling.

Blossom is out everywhere now, providing a perfect frame for some of the birds that pose amongst the flowers.

Great Tit.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
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)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
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)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Total species  34


  1. Another grand morning. Cool and windy up here first thing. I have never seen so many Sand Martins.......brilliant.

  2. Flowers and birds together: wonderful combination.
    That is my ambition. Hope to achieve it one of these days.
    Wanted to ask you: You mentioned niger seeds. I want to attract the goldfinches and wrens I see flitting thru my garden. Today I bought a bag of the stuff and what was proclaimed to be a feeder specifically for niger seeds.

    Trouble is, I now have the kitchen counter covered in an inch of the stuff, as all the seeds fell through the holes.
    Don't laugh! Have I missed something? Should I have moistened the seeds to make them swell and stay inside the tube? It is a perforated metal tube. Looks great, but what now?

  3. What a wonderful sight that was to see all those Sand Martins. ;o) You`re right, what a great time of year spring is, especially when the sun shines. lol.
    And I beat you by one day, I saw my first Common Tern of the year yesterday at Marston Vale.

  4. Thanks Adrian. They took me by surprise, and after about an hour, they had disappeared. Great to see so many though.

    jo©o, thank you.
    Strange about the niger seed feeder. It should be just a tube, with tiny slits in, by the perches. The seed shouldn't fall through. Don't moisten it though, it could potentially get mouldy. It took the Goldfinches 15 days to find it here, but since then, they have been coming almost every day for the last couple of years. They also like sunflower hearts. (they have expensive tastes). For the Wrens, they'll prefer insects; maybe dried, or live mealworms. Not cheap either. Good luck.

    Cheers Trevor. So many new arrivals seem to turn up each day now. Nice one with the Tern. :)

  5. Blogger is messing me about so hope you don't get two comments, ditch one if you do.

    What a lovely sight to see the Sand Martins, it must have been amazing to witness first hand. Lovely photos too, full of Spring joy. Having said that it is only 9C here at 12:45pm, what a change, shades of Winter again!

    I somehow missed your Bat and Reed Warbler post but have just enjoyed it. We used to see Bats circling round the house every evening at dusk, I think they used to get in the loft. Sadly, I haven't seen them for some years now.

  6. Thanks Jan. The whole of the south lake was covered in Sand Martins; amazing.
    And the bats were the first I've seen for some time. It was great to see them. I used to see so many when I was a kid, but hardly any now.

  7. The sunshine makes everyone feel happy, doesn't it Bob.
    Colder today though.