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

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Christmas Eve 2011

A light frost, with the promise of a good sunrise.

Well, I hastily made my way to the far end of the south lake first, to hopefully catch a good sunrise.

Not as good as I was hoping for, but not bad.

The wader scrape has all but gone, and along with it the gulls that used to sit there preening. A shame, because the future potential was very good. Never mind. Maybe the Parks Trust could be persuaded to construct an artificial one?
Who knows.

As I made my way along the edge of the south lake, towards the north, the female Goosander suddenly made a break from the edge.

She's a real beauty, and I was surprised to see her down this end of the lake.

Surprised to see the boat people out too. Shouldn't they be at home doing Christmas stuff, instead of messing about on boats?

The north lake eventually gave me some good views of the Great Northern Diver; and also with some food.

 The first time I've actually seen it with any food above the water.
Apparently they can catch their food, and eat it under water.

The regular Wigeon and Coot were at the top end of the lake, and it was interesting to watch a female Gadwall seeing off a couple of male suitors.
Definitely a one man girl!

A couple of Mallard were mating, and two pairs of Great Crested Grebe were doing the head waggle courtship routine.

Perhaps they know we're not expecting any bad weather.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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)
Great Northern Diver (Gavia immer)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  34


I'd like to wish all visitors and followers, a very merry Christmas


  1. We were out almost as early as you today! But I think you had the better birds. Fantastic electronic card, Keith!

  2. A great post Keith and lovely images of the Goosander and GND.

    I have a Bittern on my patch and I just hope it stays around foe a few more days (not seen it yet) as it's very mild up here at the moment.

    Merry Christmas and I hope you have a good un!

  3. Thanks Graeme. It's certainly the best part of the day, just before the sun wakes.

    Thanks Andrew. I haven't seen any Bitterns here yet, so far. This time last year there were a couple, but it was certainly a lot colder.
    Hope you get to see yours.

  4. The Great Northern Diver is one of my favourites, a Merry Christmas to you and Jim.

  5. wishing you a very pleasant and peaceful evening and Christmas day tomorrow Keith--that sunset is awesome and so is your card at the post end...
    and great to see the gosander and the diver too!!

  6. Thank you Bob.
    All the very best to you too over the Christmas period.

    Thank you Sondra.
    I'm off to the lake soon for my Christmas with the birds :-)
    Have a great Christmas.

  7. I didn't know that Cormorants gathered in roosts like that.
    Great series of the GND with its breakfast.

  8. Thanks John.
    The Cormorant roost is quite impressive. I'll try and get a more detailed look at it one day, and count them properly.