Had a day off work today, so I should be sorting things out for the future; but the sun shone, so I thought, 'what the hell, I'll go out.'
Hundreds of Swifts, filled the sky over the car park, so I spent a fair bit of time trying to photograph them. Not easy.
A walk around the north lake first, and plenty of Coots, and their chicks; and Mallards and their ducklings. The Mallard who had 12 ducklings a while ago, including 3 yellow ones, has now got 4. Two of each colour. I think these will survive now, as they are nearly as big as their mum.
At the top end, by the weir, I spent some time watching Whitethroat, flying up into the air, calling, and then dropping back into the trees or bushes. It reminded me a bit like a half hearted display from a Skylark, but not flying so high.
Round by the pub, I finally managed to see the pair of swans, with 7 healthy looking cygnets. I think this is the family from the reed bed, further round, by one of the footbridges. I usually see them from the opposite side of the lake, but today they were happily feeding just a few feet away. Both parents would stretch their long necks under the water, pulling up great bill fulls of weed, and dropping it in the water, for the cygnets to feed on. So protective and gentle; I spent ages just watching them.
The Canada Geese were parading their goslings around, and an Oystercatcher was wandering between them, probing the grass for food.
There are plenty of Great Crested Grebes on the lake, but no sign of any young ones yet.
On round the south lake, and the Swifts were still screaming overhead, and a couple of Common Tern, dive bombing the water, and quickly finding tiny fish.
The Blue Tit that is nesting in the life belt housing, told me in no uncertain terms to keep clear. I would think they must be close to fledging soon. All around the edge of the lake, the flowers are beginning to show through. The white Oxeye Dasies standing in full bloom, and the Buttercups and Common Bird's-foot Trefoil forming a yellow blanket beneath them. Soon the Field Scabious will be joining the already flowering Ragged Robin, and the butterflies will be out in force, enjoying all the nectar.
I'll have to start brushing up on my ID's.
The 'horror tree' is beginning to be covered in silk, from the caterpillars, and at one tree further along, I found what looked like a silky bag, containing thousands of them.
I listened to Song Thrush for a while, going through his repertoire; and what a songster he was. In amongst his calling, were some excellent mimicry of an Oystercatcher, Chiffchaff and Buzzard. Fascinating to listen, and try to pick out the different birds in his song.
And finally, back towards the car park.
The Common Gull is still around on the island, a few Cormorants and geese, and an Oystercatcher. The pair of swans from the island were swimming and feeding on the far side, and I reluctantly made my way home.
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)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)
Total species 42