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

Friday, 31 August 2012

House Martins, Swallows and Herons

And sunshine too.

The Little Egret were on Cormorant island, the juvenile Bullfinch on the footbridge,

and the Mallard family down by the feeders. The start of a good day.

Making my way under the road bridge, the sun was shining off the pub like a gold searchlight. A couple of Grey Herons on the far side, and lots of Mute Swans swimming in the sunlight.

Further round on the footpath, a couple of Blackbirds were feasting on the red berries of a Rowan tree. The Heron was under his footbridge further along, but too quick in his escape to capture on video.

Making my way up towards the dam, I caught a glimpse of a Hobby, as he slowly glided overhead. The air was still pretty cool, despite the sun, and the row of trees in the field by the river, seemed more golden than usual.

Flying over the footpath, and dropping down to the lake, a pair of Swallows.
I decided to walk around the arm of the lake here, to get the sun behind me, making it easier for pictures. As I reached the other side, there were by now at least half a dozen flying around, and skimming over the water. Suddenly, as if out of nowhere, a large number of House Martins appeared above the trees; and soon joined the Swallows skimming over the water, and the edge of the lake.
I watched them for ages; including a Little Egret that flew high overhead, and a couple of Herons chasing each other.

Finally I started to walk round by the pub, and towards the south lake.
Another Heron stood on the boat jetty, with a couple of Cormorants a group of Black-headed Gulls, and a Pied Wagtail.

Six more Pied Wagtails were running about on the grass, chasing insects. Another bird that seems to have had a good breeding season.
And by the lake edge, a couple of Grey Wagtails were busily chasing each other.

It was warming up by now, as I reached the far end of the lake.
A couple of Blackcaps in the brambles by the footbridge that crosses the river, but very little else around.

Towards the rowing club, a couple more Herons, and then as I got to the first block of town houses, a lot of House Martins flying overhead. Usually a good place to see them catching insects, and this morning was no exception.

On the water I could only see three of the four cygnets from Cormorant island.
One of the adults was close by, but no sign of the other adult or other cygnet.
I began to think the worst, as I scanned the water with my binoculars, until, over on the island, on what looked like an old Coots nest, the fourth cygnet was asleep.

Panic over, I carried on towards the car park.

A quick look in the long grass, and I found a Red Admiral, basking in the sunlight.

An excellent morning.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
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)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  35


  1. That cygnet could be ill Keith. Its unusual for one to be holed up like that.

  2. When I read your comment earlier Roy, I just had to go and check.
    Just back, and all four cygnets were swimming around with both parents. Phew! lol

  3. Beautiful photographs, I like to admire such views. I am greeting

  4. Glad all the cygnets are accounted for! Lots of great action on the lake today! Have a great weekend!

  5. Zielona, thanks for stopping by. :-)

    Thank you Sondra. Yea, I had to go back and check on those cygnets. :-)

  6. Another enjoyable walk with you Keith. Herons and my favourite butterfly! :-) I went back on the video a couple of times as I couldn't see the cygnet sleeping at first, you did well to spot it :-)

    It's sad to see the trees turning colour after what really amounts to only a few days of real Summer.

  7. Thanks Jan. My eyesight seems pretty good when it comes to wildlife lol

  8. Seeing the Pied Wagtail reminded me of recently watching a juvenile being fed by an adult. It was on the cricket field and the juvenile stayed in one place while the adult strutted around finding food which it kept taking back to its youngster.

    The cygnets really have come on a pace.

  9. Panic is the way to a heart attack, you should know that. Beautiful images Keith.

  10. Thanks John. I remember seeing something very similar with Grey Wagtails, when I was in Wales. The juveniles stayed in one place, while the parents were dashing around feeding them.

    Thanks Bob. Yea, I forget sometimes lol