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

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

The thaw is on

And the sun came out too; so hopefully the lake will be back to normal tomorrow.

I'd just topped up the feeders, when a Great Spotted Woodpecker arrived, shortly followed by a couple of Siskin. A Song Thrush was singing from his usual perch, and a Robin was joining in with a Great Tit too.
I could have stayed in the same spot all morning.

Under the road bridge, the Mallards were noticeable in their absence; much of the lake has now thawed, so I guess they can get their natural food now.

The area by the island, on the north lake, is still frozen; but I guess if the milder temperatures continue, and the sun keeps shining, by tomorrow, this will have thawed too.

A Water Rail was moving amongst the reeds here, and flew off to find cover in a bigger reed bed; but I did manage a quick video of his escape.
Redwings were up in the trees, and a group of Wigeon were grazing on the grassy bank.

The top end is almost thawed now, and the waterfowl spread out, taking advantage of the extra space. Canada and Greylag Geese were amongst the Gadwall, Tufted, Mallard, Coot and Wigeon; and a couple of Shoveler.

Round past the pub, a couple of Pied Wagtails, and Crows, and then the Mallards flew over.

Feeding time again. One particular female is very persistent, breaking away from the main group, and intent on following me. What a hussy!

The Crows were waiting for their apple, as usual, and nearly all the south lake has thawed, apart from the very far end.

On this patch of ice, hundreds of gulls had gathered, just loafing around, and chilling.

 Some pics for the gull fanatics out there.

The very far end of the lake, the area designated as a nature reserve, (but would be better as a wader scrape), has slowly started to thaw. A few Great Crested Grebes were swimming around, and I suspect tomorrow, many more birds will be there, if it thaws.

Towards the rowing club, a dozen Goosander were swimming around.

 Good to see so many still about.

A couple of Herons, a few Tufted Duck, and a lot more gulls, were on the water. And a Kingfisher flew across the lake, past the island, and settled in a tree on the other side.

Making my way round the first lot of houses, I found another Goosander. A female, who soon caught a large fish.

She soon disposed of that, and then flew towards the bottom end of the lake.

As I made my way back to the car park, a couple of Pied Wagtails were foraging in the grass.

Another excellent 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)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Water Rail [sp] (Rallus aquaticus)
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)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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  47


  1. Those Water Rail are so difficult to see at the best of times Keith.

  2. They certainly are Roy. There's a few around the lake, but catching them is pretty difficult.

  3. I've only shot 1 Water Rail in my life, and it was too bad to show. A lovely thing though. Great photos and the video.

  4. They are difficult to capture aren't they Bob.

  5. A bit milder for you this morning Keith?

    Another great set of images and video.

    Now if you can just train that Water Rail to the same standard as those Mallards,

    btw, You forgot to tell us the total count for those Gulls!!...[;o)

  6. Loved the naturalistic image of the pied wagtail - they always seem to see me as game for a chase :-( I won't mention my water rail pic from Saturday - well OK I will -but the ice made it easy!
    M- stuck in the office again :-(

  7. Almost like summer this morning Trevor lol

    Thanks Marilyn. The weekend will soon be here :-)

  8. Glad to see the thaw is on....Looks like the lake is FULL is busy with all sorts of bird activity..
    Thats one huge fish the Goosander swallowed!! Super walkabout today Keith!!

  9. Great outing, Keith. Surprised the merganser could take off after dispatching that big fish!

  10. Thanks Sondra. I think the birds are pleased about the thaw too :-)

    Thanks Wilma. That was certainly a big fish she caught.

  11. The Goosander had a good big breakfast there Keith!

    Before the Mallards showed up I was thinking they must only be fowl (sorry about that I couldn't resist!) weather friends ;-)

    What a lot of gulls! Quite a sight but I find gulls a nightmare to ID.

  12. Thanks Jan. Certainly was a big breakfast by the Goosander :-)
    I'm only good with a few gulls. I probably miss one or two rarities lol