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

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Save the Swans

Dull and cloudy start to the day.

A lot of Black-headed Gulls flying above the trees on Cormorant island this morning.
I'm guessing they were after the insects above the tree canopy.

Plenty of Blackbirds around too, by the footbridge, by the car park. A good year for them? Something I did notice, was an adult Willow Warbler chasing a few from the trees. Considering the size difference between them, it looked rather strange.

Along with the Blackbirds, it was good to see a few Song Thrushes too.

The Song Thrush is a red listed bird, that is in serious decline; especially on farmland.

On round the north lake, and this morning a dragonfly was hunting along the footpath.
After watching it for some time, and hoping it would settle, (it didn't), judging by the size and colour, I came to the conclusion it was a Southern Hawker. I've seen a few dragons flying about early in the mornings; mostly Brown Hawkers, and it always seems strange to me to see them so early in the mornings.

Some heavy overnight rain has flattened a lot of the reeds at the lake edge, in places.
Hopefully any nesting warblers have finished by now.

Making my way towards the gully, I wondered if the swans were still trapped there.
They were ....... twelve of them.

I did e-mail the Parks Trust yesterday morning about my concerns, but haven't had a reply yet.
It got me thinking. Maybe if enough people rang them, or e-mailed, something might be done for them. I imagine there's food in there for them, but it won't last forever, and some of those swans have been stranded for almost two weeks now.

Their e-mail is  and phone number   01908233600

It might help.

The south lake beckoned, and a group of Canada Geese were busily grazing at the side of the path.

As I almost reached the far end, two birds were flying low over the lake.
A Kingfisher, in pursuit of a Common Sandpiper.
A territory dispute?
They reached the far end, and the Common Sandpiper turned, followed by the Kingfisher, who seemed to dive bomb him. They both flew back into the far end, where they stayed for a few minutes. As I made my way there, the Common Sandpiper eventually flew out, alone, and headed further down the lake.

Peter Pochard is still down at the far end. As Grace commented the other day, he must be anchored there.

Round by the bird hide/palette, I could see the Mute Swans with their single cygnet.

He or she is growing up fast now.

Passing the rowing club, another quick glimpse of the Common Sandpiper, as he flew from one of the boat jetties.

And as I got back to the car park, the sun began to come out from behind the clouds.

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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
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  33


  1. The general consensus of opinion on when dragons fly states that it ought to be at least 17 deg C. Fortunately, the dragons themselves ignore such strict advice and follow their own rules.

    I've seen it much colder than that, but with the sun shining, and they fly. I've seen it much warmer than that, but with cloud cover, and they don't fly.

    However, both Browns and Southerns (plus Migrants) will often fly late into the evening, so with a warm night, I can well believe that they would take to the wing the following morning.

  2. Thanks for that Graeme. A similar temperature thing with butterflies I believe.
    Good job these insects don't read the books.

  3. Superb video today. Your commentary beats scripted Spring/Autumn Watch by leagues.

  4. Cheers Adrian. Had a great morning here, despite the cloud.
    I think some of these presenters on TV, from what I've seen, are a bit overrated too.

  5. HI Keith..Do hope there is some action taken on the Swans behalf soon!
    A couple of feisty birds there this morning..: }
    Peaceful looking morning..enjoyed the video!!
    As for the food group answer... I say long as your eating those things who cares!!; }

  6. Thanks Grace, I hope so too.
    The five a day thing always makes me smile when I read about. lol

  7. Excellent video Keith, I really enjoyed the walk around the lakes this morning (and I didn't get my feet wet once!

    As for the fruit question all I can say is that when you feel the need to roost hanging upside down from the've probably eaten too much!...[;o)

    Email duly sent.

  8. Thanks Trevor. I wonder if red wine counts towards the five a day? :-)

    Cheers for doing a mail.

  9. Anyway, the Mute Swans are looking ok.

  10. SO glad you did that Keith! Thank YOU!

  11. Thanks Sondra.
    Only thing I could think of. :-)