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

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Amazing day

Fifty species this morning!!

A BIG wave to all the local birders that say there's nothing here.

A couple of Siskin on the feeders, a group of Reed Buntings on the footbridge, and a host of Crows and Magpies after the digestive biscuits at the car park, got things off to a great start.

Under the road bridge, the Mallards were waiting for breakfast, and a Kingfisher sat in the trees on the other side of the lake, by the pub.

A slightly warmer evening, had thawed some of the lake, and most of the snow has now gone. It was far from summer like though; still a raw chill in the air.
I decided in my madness, I would count all the birds I saw this morning. A tough call, and one I shan't be repeating for a while. Still, I guess it will be useful to the local bird group.

At the far end of the north lake, a bigger area is now unfrozen, and don't the geese know it. Great to watch, and hear them arrive in great numbers. Is there a better sight than forty odd noisy geese flying in?
I doubt it.

Gadwall, Pochard, Mallard, Tufted Duck, and Wigeon, were all taking advantage of the bigger water area, along with a couple of Shoveler, still dozing on the ice.

Redwings and Wood Pigeon were in the air, and plenty of Lesser Black-backed Gulls were flying overhead.

Up by the weir, the second Kingfisher was sighted, as he flew to the safety of some ivy.

On round to towards the pub, and the Mallards are getting very clever. They fly in to meet me now, rather than wait.

It's getting embarrassing now, as they follow me round past the pub, and under the road bridge. I'm beginning to feel like the Pied Piper of Hamelin.

The Crows were waiting for their apple; and I was soon at the far end of the lake.
Still frozen, with plenty of various gulls stood out on the ice.

By the rowing club, a larger area of water housed plenty of water fowl; amongst them, Goosander, 17, and a large number of Tufted Duck, Pochard, and Gadwall.

Eventually I reached the feeders, by the car park, to find three Moorhen industriously picking up the fallen seed.
In the surrounding bushes, a pair of Bullfinch, a few Greenfinch, and a Robin, singing his plaintive song.

Fifty species of birds; there ain't many places you'll see that number in a 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)
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)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
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)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
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)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
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 Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
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  50


  1. Two Kingfishers in one day Keith, thats just greedy.{:)
    Good to see some Lapwing anyway.

  2. Cheers Roy. It was an amazing morning. I do so love the local birders that say there's nothing much here lol

  3. Impressive count this morning Keith, I bet you had to use all your fingers and toes?

    Nice image of the's getting closer!! And the the Robin in full flow.

    And a super video to round things off.

    Can't see why the local birders give Caldecotte such a bad press!...[;o)

  4. Great trip!
    I hear the "nothing much here" phrase quite often. Even in Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. Last spring I had a young boy come up to me in Jackson Wy. and ask if I thought there was anything on that mountain? I pointed out some Mule deer. He then told me he and his family had spent a week in Yellowstone and now the Teton area and all he had seen was some Buffalo. There is no way to make that trip over that much time and "only" see some buffalo. Poor kid, I wanted to take him out for a while and show him the real natural world. :)

  5. The Shovelers, the Gadwalls and the Kingfisher, they are beautiful.

  6. What a fantastic count Keith..
    A wonderful morning.. better check you haven't missed any.
    Take care

  7. Hi Keith...I love that Big Wave!!!
    So nice to find so many birds( fifty wow!) about for you to enjoy ..and count (did you have use your toes to)lol!
    You have some great ones of the Kingfisher ..our's is not as colorful !!
    That Robin shot is great ..It looks like he is practicing for the opera with his mouth open like that! ; ]

  8. Cheers Trevor. Today was the most number of species I have ever seen in one visit here, and even some birds I usually see were absent. Just amazing.
    I'll get that Kingfisher one day! lol

    Dale, that just about sums up most people doesn't it. They walk around with their eyes closed. The wildlife is always there, but sometimes it takes a little longer to 'see' it.

    Thanks Bob. There is so much beauty around us isn't there.

    Cheers Andrew. Every visit is great, but today was exceptional. I even counted the numbers of each species I saw too, to submit to the local bird group.
    A couple of numbers.........Great Crested Grebe-----42 Coot-----102
    Blackbird------24 Blue Tit-----23 Wigeon------60

    Thanks Grace. Yea, a day to remember. The Robin is such a little poser lol
    I keep trying for a good shot of the Kingfisher; maybe one day I'll succeed.

  9. The lakes certainly attract a good variety of birds. Getting better again with the Kingfisher shot. Won't be long before you get your ideal photo of one.
    When I heard that commotion on the video I thought you had fallen in the water lol.

  10. The ice has melted and now there is more room for friends back to water.
    Beautiful pictures of the little "Robin" he sings.
    A beautiful portrait.
    A smile and a thank you

  11. I told you ages ago that you are The Pied Piper of Caldecotte, Keith :-)

    Maybe the doubting birders just don't get there early enough in the morning! Mind you, I would be glad of that.

    You are getting closer to the Kingfishers, I would just like to see one, it's been a long time since I did.

    Love that Robin photo!

  12. Cheers John. I've no idea what spooked those Mallards, but something certainly did. Spooked me too lol

    Thank you Niki. Today much more has thawed; the birds have their lake back at last :-)

    Jan, I think you're right. The Mallards are relentless in their pursuit. lol