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, 13 February 2012

26 Goosanders

Top morning for Goosander.

I had a look this morning at all the cygnets I found, and none had a fish hook in its mouth. I can only think that the RSPCA came, and sorted him out yesterday. So hopefully, good news.

Big numbers of Redwing about this morning,

(Does my tail look big?)

and plenty of Fieldfare too.

The Mallards were their usual hungry selves, so they had to be fed, before I could pass under the road bridge.

A Kingfisher flashed across the lake, towards the pub. It seems he's back at his usual hunting spot now.

The north lake is still pretty much frozen, save for an area at the top end. A female Goosander was in amongst the countless Coots and Tufted Duck. Also three Shoveler, and a surprise sight; four Teal. Another Kingfisher flew alongside the wall at the top end, towards the river.

On the river, were four more Goosander, but they soon took to the air, and flew around for a while.

Canada Geese were flying about now too, and a few Greylag Geese.

Up past the pub, the Lesser Black-backed Gull was around again, and a couple of Pied wagtails on the grass.

Once under the road bridge, it was Mallard time again,

and a chance to check a few more cygnets for hooks.

The Kingfisher flew across to the far side, and sat in a tree, waiting for me to move on.

Mallards fed, it was the turn of the Crows.
It amazes me how they can suddenly appear out of nowhere, and know that there will be some food. They seem smarter than some people I know.

Walking towards the far end, most of the lake was frozen still. I looked across at the far side, by the houses and rowing club, where a larger part now is unfrozen. More Goosander, half a dozen I could see, plenty of various gulls and the usual assortment of ducks.

Walking towards the offices, a group of Redwing were foraging in the grass, flicking the leaves over, the way a Blackbird does.

Amongst them a Song Thrush,

who seemed to grab himself a snail, and quickly left for the cover of the nearby bushes.

No sign of any Siskin, as I made my way past the offices, and on reaching the rowing club, the numbers game got into top gear.
A dozen, a few more, 15 wait, more......twenty.
A grand finishing total this morning of 26. There could well have been a couple more; they kept popping up like magic.

Eleven males suddenly took to the air, and flew off, making a big circle, before coming back to land, where they set off from. Fantastic sight to see so many.

Back at the car park, a look at the feeders, and a scan through the bushes and trees, revealed quite a few finches.

Another 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)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41


  1. You must set a record with that many Goosanders, well done Keith.

  2. I do hope the RSPCA came out and helped the Cygnet, a shame they didn't let you know and put all our minds at rest though.

    My goodness, those Goosander numbers just keep growing! The 'Snow Goose' was entertaining ;-)

    I particularly liked the first photo of the Redwing. You are so lucky to see a Kingfisher as often as you do.

  3. A wondeful day for you Keith.
    A real Goosander fest.
    Good news about the cygnet..

  4. Thanks Bob. Yea, I think it's one of the highest counts in the county.

    Thank you Jan. Yea, a good search of every cygnet this morning, and no sign of the injured bird, so I assume all was well in the end. I heard from a local birder that the RSPCA are very good at responding to these calls.
    There's a few Kingfishers around the lake, but very difficult to photograph.

    Thanks Andrew. Yea, a great day for seeing Goosanders.

  5. Goosanders - That is a fair sight Keith.
    After checking with another Birder I have now been able to see some along a local river. Apparently there were 70 there on Saturday, but think all in all I observed about 20 today. Where have they all come from all of a sudden, not heard of so many before.

  6. Glad you got to see some Roy. They're beautiful looking birds aren't they.
    That count of 70 beats mine!! lol
    This lake usually has a few each winter, but certainly not the numbers I've seen recently.

  7. That's a great goosander shot - good proof of the numbers for any sceptics out there ... another good day on the lake - aren't we lucky to live close?

  8. Thanks Marilyn. Yea, I'm sure there's a few sceptics out there. lol
    It's certainly a great place.

  9. And there was me thinking that there wasn't 26 Goosanders in the whole world! Ducktastic :o)

  10. Hi Keith...I am excited for you seeing the Goosander, but I just can't get over those Mallard slip sliding away and the slightly embarrased want to be white Canadian Goose!!
    Your laugh is infectious..but my cat things I'm a bit mad when out of nowhere I start laughing like a fool when you!

  11. You had a number join you for breakfast, and the feet on that coot are amazing!! They looked so sweet running up to you...
    OH the kingfisher is getting used to you are well you got a good shot of him!!AMazing number of goosanders out there today!!
    Really liked the ice landing of the mallards.

  12. It was great to see so many in one place Graeme. Every day there seems to be more.

    Thanks Grace. That white goose was quite funny, being all bolshy, and then sliding around.

    Thanks Sondra. Yea, those Coot feet are huge! lol
    The Mallards are so entertaining to watch, and some are getting very bold when they spot me now.