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

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Weed dance, and Siskins.

I got an e-mail from someone last night, asking about the lake, and what was about.

I arranged to meet them this morning, and we had a slow walk round the north and south lake. I mentioned where certain birds could usually be found, and seen; and luck must have been with me. I think we managed to see everything I mentioned.

The Song Thrush was in good voice, by the car park,

 and after topping up the feeders, we watched a few Redwings leaving the roost, and some Reed Buntings by the footbridge. Even the white faced Chaffinch put in an appearance; but a handheld shot at 1/15" in poor light, was never going to make it here.

We set off round the north lake, watching a few Mute Swans fly in, and eventually made it to the top end of the lake. 'A good spot for Great Crested Grebes performing the weed dance', I mentioned, ............ and sure enough, a pair obliged.
A female Goosander flew overhead, as we made our way up past the weir.

A group of Canada Geese were good enough to pose for a while,

along with some Gadwall, and Wigeon.

Around the other side, we met a couple of blokes crouched by the edge of the lake, with some serious looking camera gear.
On the other side, was a male Goosander.
I tried a bit of conversation, about some of the visible birds, but they were hard work, bemoaning the fact they were too far away for their bazooka sized lenses.

I'd had an easier conversation earlier, with a couple of Polish fishermen.

We left them to it.

Past the pub, under the road bridge, and on round the south lake.

One Crow turned up for his apple core, and a few joggers were pounding their way past by now. No sign of any boats on the water yet though.

At the far end of the lake, I mentioned it was a good spot for Kingfisher.
And one flew by, just as I mentioned it.

Also good for Little Grebe, I said; and one swam by on cue.

On towards the offices, and we stopped to talk to another photographer. Whilst we were there, a Treecreeper landed on a trunk, not far from us. Always good to see.

As we left him, I mentioned that Siskin are usually up in the trees ahead.

There they were.

We stopped for a while, taking a few pictures, and then carried on towards the car park.

By now the boats were out. Yachts; so not very much out on the water.

A quick check to see what was on the feeders; Greenfinch, Goldfinch, and Mallard clearing up underneath, and then one last look round the footbridge.

"A good spot for Bullfinch", I said, just as I managed to pick some out in the trees ahead with the binoculars.

And as we made our way to our cars, a Sparrowhawk gave us a goodbye fly by.

A great morning.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris britannica)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  40


  1. What a wonderful morning indeed!
    I am glad you could show the lake to someone who appreciated the Beauty!
    Photographers with serious gear are often a bit strange it seems ;-)

  2. Yea, I enjoyed the visit this morning Nicole, and to be able to show someone else the high points, was a bonus.
    Certainly agree with that last statement lol

  3. Sounds a great morning.
    I suspect you were unlucky. I've rarely had anything but consideration and exchanged pleasantries with birders with monster lenses.

  4. Cheers Adrian.
    Yea, I guess I was unlucky lol

  5. Great images and video Keith. The Song Thrush image is a beauty.

    I can see a lucrative business opportunity emerging here Keith...Official Caldecotte Lake Guided[;o)

  6. Many thanks again Keith for this mornings eye opener. I enjoyed the walk immensely and got a lot from it - from simple stuff like how to carry your camera and binos w/o them banging into each other, the value of a lens hood - to realising that not every little brown job is a sparrow. Take a second look, and a long look, I'm always in too much of a hurry. See you again soon Keith, my turn for the coffee.

  7. Thanks Colin. Glad you enjoyed it, it was a great morning.
    Any-time again, just give me a ring. :-)

  8. cool photos man, I love nature

  9. Thank you Adam; the best thing in the world :-)

  10. Another wonderful post Keith..

  11. Hi Keith...What a nice guy you are..that was real nice of you to do!! The force must have been with "Luce Walker" you went forth and you conquered ; } even blokes with bazooka's didn't get you...great that everything worked out with everything in its place just as you said
    The Geese shots where exceptionally nice today with the sun glow..
    I know I am going on much air ..was outside for hours today!!
    Hugs Grace

  12. Thanks Andrew, glad you enjoyed it.

    Thank you Grace. Yea, we had a great walk, and everything was where it should have been lol

  13. Over here that strange breed keeps telling me that I need to get a longer lens. I cannot take ANY good photos with the one I have right now.
    I guess going out with just an 18-200mm lens and no binoculars at all makes me a Non-issue Birder as well.
    At least I feel that way sometimes from the reaction (or the non-existent reactions I should say).

    *Rant over*

    I guess I am simply just too weird for most folks ;-)

  14. I once offered to swap cameras with a chap with a bazooka lens but he was definitely lacking in the sense of humour department.

    Fascinating is the weed dance - looks almost like a challenge to a duel, weed instead of glove. to slap the opponent's face.

  15. Nicole, I don't think you're weird.
    Besides, to hell with what other people think. :-)

    John, I think the humour goes with some of these people when they suddenly realise just how much money they've spent. lol

  16. You haven't met me yet ;-)
    That usually is my Credo, but sometimes when you are sitting around alone (or walking around alone), you start wondering.
    It often is my own fault, since I sometimes just can't stand being around people or certain activities.
    Oh well.
    Like I said: Weird ;-)
    Maybe I am cured when I get that BIG lens, grin

  17. What a perfect walk you had Keith, everything right on cue, magical! Perfect apart from the bazooka bearers of course. I always feel intimidated by them and think a lot of them are much more interested in getting a perfect photo than they are in actually enjoying and observing Nature. Call me sad but the walks I enjoy most are the ones where I don't see anyone else, human that is ;-)

    Lovely photos and video again, the Siskins are so pretty.

  18. Nicole, I'm not too good with people either; especially crowds lol

    Thanks Jan. Yea, a great morning.
    Couldn't agree more about the bazooka bearers, and people lol