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

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail

The story goes,  that the name Wheatear derives from the expression 'white arse', a perfect description of how this bird appears as it flies away.

But I did manage a few pictures before it did.

Another sunny morning, and after spending some time around the car park area with the singing birds; Robin, Blackbird, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Wren and Blue Tits, I eventually made my way round the north lake.

A Kingfisher was in the bushes, by his nest, and a Heron was looking rather splendid in the early sunlight.

He didn't stay for too long though, and was soon airborne.

By now the time was getting on, and a few people were out jogging and dog walking.

I must make an effort to get up a bit earlier in future.

Top end of the north lake had the Mute Swans, content with their nest site, even if I have my reservations about where it is.
A Crow has a perfect spot however, on top of the pubs windmill structure; well away from people and dogs.

Onto the south lake, but today, no sign of yesterdays Redstart.

A small group of Greylag Geese were busily grazing, at the side of the footpath,

and one individual didn't want any other geese near him.

He spent a lot of time chasing the others away, if they dared get too close to him.

At the far end, a Crow was tormenting the pair of Magpies around their nest; much to their annoyance.

Past the rowing club, towards the houses, and by chance I decided to walk across the grass, rather than follow the footpath. I'm glad I did.

A fine looking Wheatear was standing, admiring the view, that the residents of the houses pay a lot of money for.

A couple of House Martins flew overhead, and circled back over the roofs of the houses. And as I watched them, I noticed a bird perched up there.

 A Yellow Wagtail.

Then a second one appeared.

I wondered why they were so high up, but once I'd looked at the pictures on the computer, I could see why.

 Flies. Lots of them, flying around the roof.

Eventually I made my way back to the car park, and one last look at the feeders.
As I reached my car, I looked up, to see a single Swallow fly overhead.

Another great morning.

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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Northern Wheatear [sp] (Oenanthe oenanthe)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
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)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  38


  1. Another excellent collection of 'stars' around the lake again this morning Keith.
    Not bad for such an 'uninspiring' place, eh?
    Great spot with the Yellow Wags, and the Wheatear.
    Super video too...[;o)

    I'll try and make and early visit tomorrow morning! I can't let you have the goodies all to yourself!!

  2. Great photos and video. My friend the Heron was indeed looking splendid. What a good visit you had again today Keith! Lovely photos of the Wheatear and Yellow Wagtail. I had to smile when you mentioned the flies, Draycote suffers from plagues of them and the Yellow Wags think they are in paradise with them :-) Not much fun for the humans though, they can be unbearable, many joggers and cyclists wear scarves over their mouth and's that bad!!

  3. Lovely to see the Yellow Wags Keith.
    I have just read on the Portland Bird Observatory site that at least one swallow a minute was observed flying in over Portland, so we should get to see plenty more soon.

  4. Thanks Trevor.
    I'll look out for you :-)

    Thanks Jan. Yea, there's plenty of flies round the lake at the moment.

    Thanks Roy. Good to know the Swallows are arriving now. I love watching their aerial acrobatics.

    Thanks Andrew.

  5. You had a good day then, lots of birdies, but the best is the Yellow Wagtails. Tell me, I thought they came in the summer?

  6. Thanks Bob.
    You're right, the Yellow Wagtail is a summer visitor, and there are a few about already.

  7. Ill say it was a great morning! so many neat birds around this time for you Keith...I imagine that crow is trying his best to get an egg they are quite good at thieviery, if thats a word..

  8. Thanks Sondra. Yea, I think the Crow was turning the tables on the Magpie. They'll steal other birds eggs, and chicks, too. A tough world in nature.