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, 16 April 2012

Swallows, Yellow Wagtails and Grebes that fight

A frosty morning, wisps of mist over the lake, and beautiful sunshine.
Perfect return after a weekend away from here.

The frost weighed the heads of the Cowslips down,

but the birds were singing with their heads held high.
Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Robin, Blackbird; and the biggest voice of all belonged to the tiny Wren.

 A powerhouse of a vocalist, considering his size.

Round the north lake, and over by the pub, the pair of Oystercatchers were with a group of geese; and the Lesser Black-backed Gull was in his usual spot, on the boat jetty. Sat on one of the buoys, was a Common Tern.

Up by the Kingfishers nest, and a possible disaster.
Two Magpies were hanging around the nest site, and no sign of the Kingfishers.
My guess is they've abandoned the site, which would be a great shame.

Further round the lake, and skimming over the water, were at least a dozen Sand Martins, joined by half a dozen Swallows.

Up by the weir, I met up with Graemme, and he joined me walking round the rest of the lake.

At the pub, a pair of Yellow Wagtails were foraging in the grass,

along with a few Pied Wagtails.

One of the Oystercatchers came in for a landing at the boat jetty,

and a group of Swallows were taking a deserved rest on the roof of the rowing club.

A long flight from Africa.

We made our way towards the south lake, and the sound of Chiffchaff seemed to be everywhere.

Towards the far end of the lake we finally caught up with a couple, and managed some pictures.

Past the offices, and a quick look in the bushes opposite found soon found a calling Willow Warbler.

As we made our way towards the rowing club, the sound of angry Great Crested Grebes.
Two males, I'm guessing, arguing over territory.
I managed to catch a small bit on video; one male trying unsuccessfully to drown the other. Nature can seem cruel at times.

Eventually we were back at the car park. A quick check on the feeders; not busy, and then time to go.

An enjoyable first day back, after chasing Ring Ouzels at Ivinghoe Beacon over the weekend.

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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Yellow Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla flava)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
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  37


  1. Great tour and shots!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

  2. A fantastic list for the day Keith..

  3. Beautiful birdies, I love them, but I am a follower of Yellow Wagtail, precious..

  4. Thanks Gary.

    Thank you Andrew.

    Cheers Bob.

  5. too bad about the kingfisher nest...Great looking wagtail and willow warbler shots...
    Nature sure can be cruel sometimes.

  6. Thanks Sondra. Yea, a real shame about the Kingfishers. Would have been great watching their progress.