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

Monday, 30 April 2012

Rubbish after the marathon, localised flooding; and hundreds of hirundines.

Milton Keynes had its annual marathon event yesterday. Nothing against a charity run, although I could think of better ways to raise money.

Clearing up rubbish would be a good one.

One of the mountains of plastic rubbish left by the marathon crowd. Not sure who they think is going to clear up after them.

The Reed Warbler was calling away from the reeds, and the water level over by Cormorant island, has risen quite a bit. Thankfully the nesting birds on the island seem to be OK. Not so fortunate for some of the Coots nesting by the edge of the lake, and in the reeds. A couple of nests have been washed away; along with the eggs.

I made my way round to the north lake, and as I crossed the footbridge, a large flock of Swallows and House Martins flew overhead. Above the trees were a large number of Swifts. What I saw next though, was amazing.

One of the trees at the edge of the lake, was covered in House Martins and Swallows.

Every so often, a cloud would fly up into the sky, like Starlings, as they go to roost in the autumn.

Hundreds of them. Not just in the trees either. They were all over the lake.
A fantastic sight to see.

As I made my way round the lake, there was more rubbish alongside the footpath.
The heavy rain of yesterday had brought problems too. The level of the water has risen considerably, and more washed out nests.

Up by the dam, a lot of water; more than I can remember seeing for a long time.
Over by the river, it has burst its bank, and flooded across the fields.
The weir is flowing pretty fast now,

and the footpath I usually take, was under a lot of water. Deeper than my wellingtons.

Before I took an alternative route, I was fascinated by a Great Crested Grebe, with a monster crayfish.

I wondered if he'd manage something that big, but in the end, he did.

I took the alternative route, and eventually got back on my usual track.

My usual route is next to the bush on the right hand side, where the water is.

I made my way round to where the Mute Swans had nested, close to the edge of the lake. It looks as though their nest has succumbed to the torrential rain too.

A pair of grebes were performing the head waggle,

and another pair managed the full blown weed dance too.

I wondered if this was more bonding if they had lost nests to the rain, prior to starting again.

Onto the south lake, and a few more Reed and Sedge Warblers seem to have turned up during the bad weather. The reeds seemed full of them, all frantically calling, and flying about.

Above, more Swallows and Martins, and a Hobby making a half-hearted attempt at catching one.

The Crow managed to catch my apple.

He seemed more pleased with it than I was.

Overhead, another Crow was making sure a Buzzard kept going, and managed to chase him away from the lake.

At the far end, a Rook sat high in a tree eating something.

Not sure what it was, and not sure I want to know; but he was certainly enjoying it.

Making my way down towards the rowing club, another Hobby, or maybe the same one, was attempting to catch some of the Swallows. Unsuccessful.

A Great Tit sat in some trees, and briefly posed.

Eventually, I was back by the car park. The Reed Warbler was still calling, and after a few minutes, I managed to find him.

Overhead were more Swifts, Swallows, Sand Martins, and House Martins.

A few minutes practising flight shots, as they whizzed above, and the a few Rooks overhead too.

A sunny morning. A pleasant change after all the rain.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
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)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  42


This will be the last post for a while; a trip to Wales again.

See you when I get back.


  1. Well what a disgrace those bottles are. I bet they don't just sling stuff down in their gardens! I know it's a charity run but a rather uncharitable thought gave me a smile of satisfaction and that was that they must have all been like drowned rats when they got home ;-)

    What an amazing sight all those hirundines were, like you said it was just like Starlings.

    It really was a wild weekend of weather. I read that masses of ground nests had been washed away and I suspect it didn't do much for the tree nesters either :-(

    Lovely to see the Reed Warbler again.

    Have a great time!

  2. Thanks Jan. Yea, shame about the dirty buggers leaving their rubbish.
    This rain has caused some real heartache for the wildlife.

  3. Makes one wonder what DOES go on in the minds of the "others"..
    You had a great birding day by the looks of your photos and the Video...Did I see you are off to Wales again soon? ENJOY!! Im taking off this weekend myself to enjoy another waterfall hike and more.

  4. Fantastic gathering of House Martins and Swallows.