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, 17 May 2011


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


  1. The Swift, well, you caught that one, well done with it Keith.

  2. Thanks Bob. It took a lot of pictures to get that one ;)

  3. Some great images there Keith.

    Well done with the Swift. How many tries? Lol.

    And those caterpillars, just amazing, never seen that many in one place before. :0{

    And to finish, an excellent video, all that new life. Wonderful. ;o)

  4. The swift is a cracker......not at all easy. Those caterpillars still fascinate me.

  5. Thanks Trevor. Just a few goes with the Swift lol
    Great fun trying though.
    I've never seen so many caterpillars before; like something from a horror movie.

  6. Thanks Adrian. I did manage a slightly better Swift shot; I'll post it on the main blog.
    If the birds find those juicy caterpillars, they'll live like kings for a while.

  7. Thats a pretty good Swift shot Keith, they really are difficult to catch.

  8. Much more fun than 'sorting things out' Keith :)

    It really is bizarre seeing all those caterpillars like that!

    Lovely to see the Oystercatcher with the Greylags, great capture :)

    I always think it is sad to see the youngsters number's dwindle. It must be awful for the parents.

    As you said all those wild flowers are going to be teeming with butterflies soon, a great place for photo opportunities :)

  9. Kah-Wai, thank you. :-)

    Thanks Roy. Yea, tricky ;-)

    Jan, I've so much to do, but I just can't be bothered lol

  10. Hi Keith...your video today is so precious and adorable with the families with all there little ones!
    The little butt puffs on the cygnets is so darn cute...and to see them preening so nice I loved it!!
    Glad you had an enjoyable time at the lake!!
    Hugs and ♥

  11. Thanks grammie. Couldn't resist all these little babies everywhere. Had a great time there; now it's work :(

  12. Totally love the babies--and the swifts what a shot!! WOW that horrid tree doesnt stand a chance with all those ready to devour those leaves--

  13. Thanks Sondra. There certainly were a few caterpillars there. A real feast for the local birds ;)

  14. I am in awe!! I can get lost for hours in your blog! I am so lucky to have found it!!

  15. Juana, thank you for your comment.