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 July 2012

New cygnets

The squirrel has been at one of the feeders again. I found a nut feeder at the waters edge, but luckily enough he hadn't managed to get the tin can top off this time.

Before walking the north lake, I usually have a quick look on Cormorant island, to see what's there. This morning, the pair of Mute Swans that have nested on the island, have five young cygnets. Both adults were having an early morning swim with their new babies. Lovely to see a success like this; the first nest was washed away when the water level rose back in May. Let's hope they all make it now.

The Oystercatcher flew over the road bridge, and settled by the pub, to search for some food, along with a large group of grazing geese. And the Black-headed Gulls were sitting on the boat jetty, as a couple of Common Terns were flying around over the lake.

At the top end, more Black-headed Gulls on the dam, and a large number of Swifts flying overhead.

On the boat, the Common Tern was joined by her partner, but unfortunately she didn't move. Would have been nice to see how many eggs she had.

As I made my way past the pub, a couple of Pied Wagtails watched me intently as I passed.

As I made my way under the road bridge to walk the south lake, the sun came out. What a lovely and unusual sight that was.

At the far end a pair of Great Crested Grebes were busily fishing for breakfast.
One had managed to catch a very large Crayfish,

and I watched as he seemed to struggle with it for some time.

Undeterred by its size, he persevered, biting at it, and shaking it,

until it seemed to break in half. 
Finally he finished it off,

and it seemed his mate had the other half.

The Mute Swan up by the offices is still sitting on her nest, and this time the male was in close attendance. I watched for a while, but no movement from the nest. Maybe the new cygnets were under mum, or close to hatching.

No sign of any ducklings this morning, and as I got level with Cormorant island once more, a quick look through the binoculars found the little cygnets settling down on the nest with mum. Dad was busily preening further along.

And the sun still shone.

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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36


  1. Keith, it was all happening down at the lake this morning then? Cygnets (nice to see) sunshine and blue sky (even better to see) a row of bathing beauties(well! can I say!!) and a Grebe biting off more than he could chew...reminds me, I must cut my dinner into smaller pieces!!

    You've captured a great set of images and video...[;o)

  2. Cheers Trevor. Yea, a great morning.
    A bit of sun made so much difference.

  3. So nice to see that the Cygnets have hatched, and that the Sun is finally shining for you. Have a great day.

  4. Not sure if my last comment got through as I got a Service Unavailable error. Good job I copied it first:

    That sure was a crayfish and a half. I wonder how old it was to reach that size. Brilliant to see the cygnets.
    I wonder how the Kingfishers are doing as you haven't mentioned them for a while.

  5. Sounds like a great morning. We are expection 100F,(37.7C?) today. Could use some rain.

  6. The Great Crested Grebe looks like he is having great fun. They are the best.

  7. What a battle that Grebe had trying to make a meal out of that large crayfish!! He was determined tho...Love the new babies...I really hope they do well.
    Great to see the sun coming out for you, here we are finally getting some much needed rain!!

  8. Thanks Horst. The sun was short lived unfortunately. Heavy rain in the afternoon.

    John that Crayfish was a big one. I'm sure the local fishermen are glad to see the back of them.
    The Kingfisher nest got washed away when the lake flooded in May; since then I've only seen fleeting glimpses, occasionally, as they streak over the water. Probably nesting in the nearby river now.

    Dale, that sounds way too hot for me. You can gladly have some of our rain lol

    Thanks Bob. He certainly got some exercise eating it.

    Thanks Sondra. I hope you get the rain you need. We've had more than enough now lol

  9. I enjoyed sharing your walk again Keith, lovely to see the Cygnets.

    The GCG certainly had a mouthful there :-)

    Just before you showed that you focused on a plant, I'm no expert and could be completely wrong but it looked to me like it might be a Lizard Orchid? If so that is a very good find!! Apologies if you identified it but I couldnt quite catch what you said.

  10. Great images of the feeding grebe Keith it must have been fascinating to watch..
    A bit of blue in the sky here today..

  11. Thanks Jan.
    The orchids that grow at the far end of the lake are Spotted Orchids, as far as I know. I looked up Lizard Orchid, but pretty certain it's not one of those. It certainly would be a great find if it was :-)

    Thanks Andrew. I don't know how they manage such big breakfasts lol