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, 16 March 2012

My first Chiffchaff of the year.

Same date as last year. Two, both calling; one at the north lake, and one at the south lake.

It was to be a morning of firsts, for me.

I started with a quick look at Cormorant island, and found a male Goosander, still sleeping. No sign of any Oystercatchers though.
Across towards the houses, they are planting some new trees. I hope the person responsible has done his homework, and not chosen trees that will be a problem for the houses in the future. They seem to be closer than the ones that got cut down.
Or maybe they will be used for chainsaw practice in about 5 years time?

Under the road bridge, a different pair of Mallards greeted me; no sign of the regular two.
The catkins on the willow are looking lovely at the moment, as they begin to turn golden yellow.

I watched the pair of Kingfishers for a while, and the Great Crested Grebes are still going in for plenty of head waggling.

High up in the trees I heard my first calling Chiffchaff of the year. Exactly a year to the day, when I heard them for the first time last year. Try as I might though, I couldn't see him.

Up past the dam, and round to the top end, and a few Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, and Coots were out on the water.

The Crows nest looks finished now, up on top of the pub, and the Daffodils were busily nodding their heads in the breeze.

Round to the south lake, and one of the Crows had most of my apple. Not a very tasty one this morning; but Mr. Crow enjoyed it.

A pair of Sparrowhawks flew low over the grass ahead of me, and then both rose up, and began performing some aerial ballet, before heading off into the trees.

My first Cowslip of the year, were just ahead, near the far end of the lake.

 A sure sign spring is here.

Over towards the island, I could see five Goosander swimming with some Pochard and Canada Geese.

Round by the offices, two carpets of purple flowers were growing under the trees.


The Robin was at the hide, and close to the island, the five Goosanders began to swim out towards the middle of the lake.

By the houses, a Great Crested Grebe had caught some breakfast,

 and then made short work of it.

A pair of Mute Swans were busily plunging their heads into the water together, so I began to film them. I'm glad I did. I think this was some sort of bonding ritual, because very soon they mated, and then went about the business of preening.
First time I had seen swans mating before.

A last look at the feeders near the car park, and then I heard another Chiffchaff calling from the trees.
This time I managed to find him, and get some pictures.

An 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)
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)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39


  1. Another great selection of images Keith.

    There appears to be new growth and new beginings popping up all around the lake right now ( even down to a fine set of new!)

    And another excellent video, as well...[;o)

  2. I love your pictures of the Grebes in LOVE, and the Chiffchaff, beautiful photos.

  3. Cheers Trevor. I don't know how long the new trees will last though.

    Thank you Bob. Yea, I was very pleased to see the Chiffchaff; and get some pictures. :-)

  4. It's great to read about your wonderful morning...Spring has arrived and lets hope we have a lovely 2012.

  5. Gorgeous and you do have spring.
    It is so beautiful . Your birds always leave me with so much thought and I do not know anyone that can shoot birds like you .

  6. That was a really good day Keith. Not seen a Chiffy yet, so that was interesting and a good indicator. When you see Mutes dipping their heads in the water like that together you know whats coming next.
    This tree business, its called "Perpetual Employment". they cut some down, then they plant some, then a few years later they cut them down and so on. They are probably doing this all one over county on a rota basis. {:)

  7. awesome set of photos Keith....the flowers are REALLY popping out...enjoy your weekend...quiet plans here for moi!

  8. Andrew, let's hope winter doesn't try to get back in lol
    It's been lovely here to see all the new life emerging.

    Lisa, thank you. A lovely compliment.
    Spring has certainly arrived here.

    Cheers Roy. That's the first time I've seen swans behaving that way. I'm glad I caught it on video.
    As for the trees; that was exactly my thoughts.

    Thanks Sondra. I think my plans will be a bit quiet too. Poor old Jim was up all night being sick.
    He seems a bit better at the moment, but we're both tired lol