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

Friday, 3 February 2012

8 Goosander and 3 Yellow-legged Gulls

A cold, frosty and dull start; would you believe it, the sun shone when I left.

A few ice free pockets of the lake, seemed to have all the birds crammed into them.
Lots of gulls out on the ice too, along with a few Mute Swans.

A group of Chaffinches were in the bushes by the footbridge, along with some Reed Buntings.

Under the road bridge, one of the last areas to freeze, a large group of Mallard and a few Coots.
A few tits in the bushes along the path, and Blackbirds eating the remaining Hawthorn berries. No sign of the Heron under the bridge, and as I began to think all was lost for the poor Kingfisher, he suddenly flew out from under the footbridge. A small area still remained unfrozen.

Across the lake, I could see an area that hadn't frozen. Amongst the birds there, were Coot, Wigeon, Gadwall, Canada Geese, Tufted Duck, Mallard, and five Goosander.

As I worked my way round for a better view, a group of Redwing were up in the trees, and down below, half a dozen Moorhen, foraging on the grass.

As I reached the area of ducks, I could see two more male Goosander in the distance. A grand total of seven. A Grey Heron spent a while flying around, probably looking for somewhere to fish for his breakfast.
It must be particularly hard for some of the birds that rely on fish, when it's like this.

The top end of the lake was completely frozen, and very few birds about, apart from a few Crows, a Green Woodpecker, and a brave Coot, doing his best to walk on the ice.

A group of Canada Geese were flying around, probably looking for some water to land in.

On towards the south lake, and the pretend Snow Goose was under the road bridge, with a few Canada Geese and Mallards.
The Crows were waiting for their apple breakfast, and out on the ice, a large group of Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed, and Great Black-backed Gulls. Scanning through them with the binoculars, a few Common Gulls, Herring Gulls, and I managed to count three Yellow-legged Gulls.

At the far end, a small area remained unfrozen, and a lone Coot was making the most of it, as he swam around.
The tree felling must have begun yesterday, as they lay where they had fallen. A shame to see healthy trees cut down, but I guess it was because their branches were too near the power lines that run alongside the railway. Easier to cut them down, rather than prune, I suppose.

Up by the offices, I found a small group of Siskin in the Alder, by the footbridge; and down by the rowing club, a patch of unfrozen water, with another Goosander.

 A female.

Past the houses, and opposite Cormorant island, I stood watching the gulls out on the ice.

A few pictures for the folk that like to play, 'what's that gull'.

Suddenly they all took to the air. Maybe they thought I was too close?
Surely not?
No, I looked up, just in time to see a Buzzard lazily flying overhead. I guess that was what spooked them.

Back at the busy feeders were Goldfinch and Greenfinch, and in the bushes by the footbridge, a female Bullfinch.

Cold, but a lovely walk round.

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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Yellow-legged Gull [sp] (Larus michahellis)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
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  43


  1. I missed these. Great still of the coot. Video top drawer as usual. Derwent Water is completely frozen here.

  2. Cheers Adrian. I think this lake will be completely frozen tomorrow.It's bloody cold now, and set to be even colder tonight.
    Keep warm.

  3. Definitely a cold one this morning. Reached -5C about 8am here so my pond froze over for the first time this Winter.
    The Coots are always good for a smile. I think those swans have been practicing their ice landings.

  4. Great images and video from your morning constitutional Keith.
    I suppose from a watchers point of view the ice does concentrate the birds into one place and makes them easier to spot, but it can't be much fun for the birds.

    I walked around both lakes from midday onwards (in the sunshine!!) The Gulls were still there in great numbers, just waiting to be identified!! I only managed to spot two pairs of Goosander, one pair by the boat club and the other on the North lake in the unfrozen water across from the pub. I guess the others had been spooked by the many walkers and joggers!!

    Colder weather for tonight and snow tomorrow so I guess the birds will have a completely frozen lake to contend with in the next couple of days!...[;o)

  5. HI Keith...I bit nippy there huh!!
    I feel bad for the poor birds that call it home makes getting lunch a bit difficult!!
    Those Coots are like bullies in playground...always Picking on somebody!!lol
    That Swan landing was like a plane skidding down the runway : }
    Warm Hugs

  6. Wonderful images Keith... Winter has finally caught up with us here as well...

  7. Thanks John. I just checked outside in the garden, and it's -10C at the moment. Pretty cold brrrrrrr!

    Trevor, I almost went back in the afternoon myself. lol
    Judging by the temperature at the moment, I think all the lake will be frozen this morning. That'll put paid to the boat people. lol
    No sign of snow yet; clear skies.

    Grace, it was freezing.....and worse today lol
    Those Swans made a pretty good landing considering. :-)

    Thanks Andrew. Yea, finally hit with a vengeance. I doubt it will last long though.

  8. The Goosander always finds the best place for fishing, they are great, aren't they. Brillint images.

  9. Thank you Bob.
    Yea, the Goosander are beautiful birds.