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, 11 April 2012

Back, with a Wheatear and a Redstart.

After a great two weeks in Wales, today was the first venture round the lake.
And what a venture!

As I topped up the feeders, a Kingfisher was calling and flying up and down along the edge of the water. A good start.

The grass in front of the feeders, is now a mass of Cowslips, all flowering.

Quite a sight.

A couple of Chiffchaff calling around by the car park, along with a couple of Willow Warblers,

and a male Blackcap.

There were to be more of these, all around the lake.

The sun was shining by now, and another Kingfisher flew past the nest site.

At the top end of the north lake, a distinct lack of 'winter ducks', and across the lake, the pair of Mute Swans were happily nesting close to the edge of the lake.

Probably not the best of places.

As I made my way around the back of the pub, a single Wheatear was foraging in the grass, and amongst the mole hills.

Only the second one I've seen here.

He soon flew up into the trees,

and then flew off north.

A few Cuckooflower's were out in flower, amongst the grass,

or sometimes known as Lady's Smock.

Past the pub, and on towards the south lake. A look over to Cormorant island, and in the far distance, a Common Sandpiper, along the edge.

He's the little white crescent on the edge of the shore.

A very heavy crop and shot towards the sun.
A terrible picture, but I always like to try and get some video, or a picture, of what I see, just in case some of the grown ups doubt what I see.

And the next bird was a cracker!

The picture is equally poor, he was very mobile, and took off into the bush, so it was a case of shoot and hope; but it's not everyday I see a Redstart here.

A stunning male, too. He's smack in the middle of the frame.

At the top end of the south lake, and under the railway arch, a lone Bluebell, brightening up the darkness there.

The Little Grebes were swimming in their usual spot, and more warblers calling from the bushes.
By the offices, a pair of Mute Swans have built a nest, where a Heron used to love to fish. I don't suppose he'll be fishing there for a while.

One of the swans had a couple of rings on, so I'll try to find out where he was ringed.
My guess would be in Bedford; some of them usually find their way here.

As I reached the car park, a quick shower of hale and rain; but not enough to dampen a cracking morning.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Redstart [sp] (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39


  1. Welcome back Keith.

    Wow!! what a grand selection of birds were waiting for you around the lake this morning! you've captured a supperb set of images and a great video...[;o)

  2. Welcome back Keith!! I've missed you and kept wondering how you were getting on, I'm sure it was wonderful in Wales in the Springtime, hope Jim enjoyed it too :-)

    What beautiful photos here and a great video too. It is so lovely to hear all the birdsong at this time of year, your Blackap was certainly enjoying life. Well done on the Wheatear. Also the Redstart!! I've never seen one.

  3. Cheers Trevor. An amazing morning today. It just got better and better.

    Thanks Jan. We both had a great time in Wales.
    A full mix of weather too; rain, snow and sun lol
    The birds here this morning were great too.

  4. The birds were waiting you mate, 2 weeks is a long, long time. But, your here now.

  5. Thanks Bob.
    Yea, had some great birds to come home to.

  6. Good to see you back Keith.
    That Redstart was special.

  7. Glad to see you got a good welcome home. Hope you had a good time in Wales too! Lovely wheatear pics - and I'm sure the grownups would believe you - but it is good to get visual records just for your own satisfaction!

  8. Thanks Roy, it certainly was.

    Thanks Marilyn. Yea, Wales was great.
    As for the grownups, hmmmm. lol

  9. It's funny how you get into a routine. Commute home switch on the oven, get changed switch on the tele and puter, check the emails then look for Keith's video of the day... Welcome back my friend.

    Haha! well it's goes something like that.. wonderful images.

  10. Cheers Andrew.
    Glad I'm part of your routine lol

  11. Welcome back Keith hope you had a nice trip with plenty of pictures see you soon around the lake take care :)

  12. Cheers Scott.
    Yea, had a great time. :-)

  13. I love to go and I love to come home, Im sure everything looks different than when you left it....Great to see some swans on the nest and that the Kingfishers are doing good..and your wheatear, and Redstart finds awesome at least you got your Proof photo!

  14. Hi Keith

    Have just found your blog and have thoroughly enjoyed reading it and viewing the vid.

    It sounds like a lovely place

    Suki x

  15. Thanks Sondra. Yea, I noticed a lot of plants that have made some real growth while I've been away.

    Susan, thanks for stopping by.
    Yea, a great place this lake, and so close to home. Glad you enjoyed your visit. Feel free to stop by anytime :-)