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

Monday, 29 August 2011

New feeders, and drama

I put some new feeders up this morning, so I can take the old ones away, and give them a good clean.

 A few minutes after sighting them, a large bird landed on the branches amongst the feeders.

A Sparrowhawk.

As I tried to get a better view of him, he flew into the bushes, the other side of the footbridge, and a deathly hush descended all around. Not a single chirp from a bird. Even the usual noisy juvenile Goldfinches fell silent.
Suddenly he burst from the bushes pursuing a Chaffinch, twisting over the tops of the trees, and down. A group of Magpies gave chase, and suddenly the bush where moments earlier he was, exploded with small birds making their escape.

A quick search both sides of the bushes, but no sign of him. About 5 minutes later, all returned to normality, and the birds came back to the footbridge.

At the top end of the north lake, a few House Martins were circling above the tree tops, catching the insects as they rose in the air warmed by the sun.
A Heron lazily paddled across part of the lake, and a Chiffchaff was happily chiff-chaffing like it was a spring morning.

A juvenile Robin sat posing on top of a street sign,

as a Green Woodpecker noisily flew past. Further round the lake his cousin, the Great Spotted Woodpecker headed off into some trees.

Some of the trees are really taking on their golden colours now.

 (I'm very pleased with this picture. It was taken using the photo function of the little video camera.)

The south lake had well over 24 Mute Swans, most of them young ones with their white feathers. There's still a couple of adult birds giving them a hard time though.

By the island at the far end of the lake, a couple of Little Grebe's swimming around, and on the Cormorant island; Cormorants, and the Common Gull.
A few more House Martins flying over the water by the apartment blocks, and one Sand Martin spotted amongst them.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
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)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
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  37


  1. The Sparrowhawk is a beautiful, although, you would not want it around, but, that's nature for you. It is not very good to your feeders.

  2. Thanks Bob. I think that's why he likes it around here. :-)

  3. Sparrowhawk attacks are both beautiful to witness and shocking at the same time... another lovely post Keith.

  4. Thanks Andrew. I've seen the Sparrowhawk a couple of times round here. I guess he sees it as a take-away.

  5. I guess that Sparrowhawk brought a bit of a lull to the proceedings!

    Another great post, Keith.

  6. Thanks Trevor. He certainly got the day off to an interesting start :-)

  7. You got some great looking feeders hanging up there now Keith...Yes its hard to cheer for the hawks success because it means another bird has seen his last.
    That photo is very good to come from a vid camera!!

  8. Mother Nature can seem a cruel mistress at times Sondra.
    Thank you.

  9. Keith, Tesco's loss is the birds gain. Thought I spent a fortune on bird food.
    The still from the video is very good. How long before fast grabs are a forgotten skill? I'm getting your video in dribs and drabs so will see it all direktly.

  10. Pure silence in the daytime usually guarantees a nearby raptor. The camcorder take a good still.

    The group of swans looked very majestic as they cruised together.

  11. I love the Tree O' Feeders! :)
    I enjoyed the lovely video, too!

  12. Thanks Adrian. It's getting a bit hard at the moment, with the seed. I might have to start rationing it out.

    Thanks John. That Sparrowhawk has learnt he has a food source on tap I think.

    Marissa ♥, thanks for joining us over here :-)