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, 5 February 2012


Only 3", but usually enough to guarantee total chaos in this country.

As fast as I put food down this morning, the birds were there;

even the Crows and Magpies were patiently waiting this morning.

Big areas of the lake had melted overnight, as the temperature had risen, to make way for the fall of snow. Something about snow, that can transform even an ordinary landscape, into something a bit special.

By the footbridge, a quick glimpse of a Treecreeper, as he busily searched a trunk for insects.

And a group of Reed Buntings, amongst the bushes and brambles.

The north lake had most of the regulars, in a much larger area of water, and a large flock, or should that be charm, of Goldfinches, filled one of the trees with their sight and sound.
Geese were flying backwards and forwards most of the morning; they seemed very restless for some reason. Maybe they don't like snow. I imagine it can disorientate a lot of birds.

And a lone Kingfisher, up by the now larger melted area of water.

 Pleased he had somewhere to fish, no doubt.

At the top end of the north lake, completely devoid of any waterfowl, a Sparrowhawk chased a Blackbird across a frozen tundra, only to lose his prize in a tree. A great sight to witness; but probably not for the Blackbird, whose heart must have been  pounding.
The Sparrowhawk sat in another tree for a few moments, before leaving, and searching for easier prey.

The south lake had the usual Crows, waiting for their apple; and out on the ice, a group of mixed gulls, and a couple of Mute Swans.

A Kingfisher flashed past under the road bridge, where a larger area had now thawed.

The far end looked like an ice wilderness though, with very little birdlife showing.

High in the trees, a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers, and the odd Crow flying overhead, but very little else.

As I reached the rowing club, and another larger area of water, amongst the Pochard, Tufted Duck and Coots, three Goosander; two females and a male.

By now, quite a few people were out and about. Families with their children, and sledges, dog walkers, and others playing with their new Christmas cameras.

A few people were feeding the ducks, with scraps of bread, which gave me some good practice for flight shots.

I scanned through the gulls out on the ice, with the binoculars, picking out some Common Gulls, Lesser and Great Black- backed, and a few Herring Gulls; and eventually made my way back to the car park, and feeders.

A great morning, but hard work in the snow.

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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Treecreeper (Certhia familiaris britannica)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
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  42


  1. Hi Keith....come on now isn't that just a beautiful crabby old bugger you it's good for you to trudge through the snow ; }..good for that knee and the old make me laugh so much lol!!
    You wouldn't last one second here!
    Nice stills the Mallard in flight is nice and ..look how nice those berries look with the snow on them that's lovely : }!!
    All kidding aside...I love hearing those geese and all the friends at the lake dealing with what nature brings them !!

  2. The treecreeper is becoming quite a regular. Such a strange looking bird, but always a welcome sight. Nice pic!

  3. Beautiful weather, isn't it. Your shots of the Treecreeper and the Kingfisher are tremendous.

  4. Good to see you pottering along. The Mallard head on is a beauty.
    Amazing that an inch or two of snow can cause such chaos.

  5. You are getting better and better Kingfisher shots Keith.
    The birds have been going crazy for seeds today, good job I've got a decent stock in for once.

  6. No snow here Keith just a bit of hail and rain that froze solid as soon it landed.. Another good birding day for you..

  7. A bit ? mad {:)
    Nothing beats an Intrepid Birder though Keith.
    Great video as always mate.

  8. Well, Keith, you have outdone yourself this time in the photo department! Stunning shots.

  9. Thanks Grace. It's good to moan at my age. About the only thing I can do well these days. lol
    Along with the snow, today we have thick fog. I decided I'd have a day in.

    Thanks Graeme. He does tend to favour the footbridge area by the car park.
    Good spot to find them.

    Thank you Bob. I'm getting there with the Kingfisher lol

    Cheers Adrian. Took a lot of Mallards to get a couple worth keeping. Good fun though.

    Thank you John. One day I'll have a Kingfisher shot to be proud of; I hope lol

    Andrew, I think we'll get the rain here later.
    There's been some great birds around the lake recently.

    Cheers Roy. Yea, it's hard to stay away from here. Had to force myself today.

    Thank you Wilma. Glad you enjoyed them. :-)

  10. You did well to get out in the snow Keith!

    You got a great set of still images, especially the Treecreeper and Mallard...and a prize winning Kingfisher shot can't be far away now!!
    Excellent video too, great to hear the sound of those geese as they came in...and you got a starring role as well, can't be bad!![;o

  11. The snow is lovely---but I know it did make for a harder trip around the lake..WOW you got a great Kingfisher shot today!! Glad you found the heron too...and boy those coots do fight a LOT--such ill tempered birds--seemed there was less traffic on the bridge too by the sound of it. Hope it melts off soon for ya.

  12. OH it was great to see YOU in the video!!!!!

  13. Great set of shots Keith - the snow sets off the birds beutifully and also gives opportunities to see things as some are more localised by the ice - you still have to point and configure the shot though - good stuff!

  14. Cheers Trevor. The Kingfisher will be mine; one day lol
    A starring roll, hmmm, bit like the great Alfred Hitchcock :-)

    Thank you Sondra. Yea, my movie deput. lol

    Thanks Marilyn. This weather certainly brings the birds together; but I prefer the spring/summer :-)