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

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Brighter today

Blue sky, sunshine and frost; total contrast to yesterday.

Topped up the feeders, and fed the gang of Mallards that wait down there, along with a very bold Robin, and then had a quick look over on Cormorant island to see what was about.
Pochard, Coots, Mallards and Mute Swans mostly, with a few assorted gulls thrown in the mix too. Overhead were groups of Rooks, Crows and Jackdaws flying off to their daytime haunts. Still no sign of any Waxwings round here yet. My guess is another week before they turn up.

The area around the car park and footbridge, had my attention for over an hour this morning; so much going on. I watched a pair of Goldcrests moving through the trees searching for insects, hardly stopping still long enough for pictures.

Redwings were in the Hawthorn, stealing the berries from the Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. Or at least that's what they were thinking, as they spent more time chasing them away rather than feeding.
A largish brown bird flew up from the bushes, and headed off over the trees. I couldn't get a good look, it moved so quickly. I ruled out a cock Pheasant, as it didn't scream like a banshee as it left. The wing sounds ruled out Partridge, but I'm pretty certain it was a game bird of some sort. My best guess is a hen Pheasant, but not sure enough to count it.

Under the road bridge, and the Mallards soon found me; and food.

No sign of any boats this morning, as I made my way to the top end. A couple of dubious looking fishermen though.

I watched three young Great Crested Grebes, that seemed to be practising courtship displays. Skimming across the water, diving, and coming up with bills full of weed. Too early for the 'real thing', and it certainly wouldn't involve three birds. I can only guess that they were 'practising'. Fascinating to watch.

In the gully, a Mute Swan was swimming up and down. Judging by his dirty neck, he'd made a few unsuccessful attempts to get back onto the lake, and unfortunately the bridge has fallen into the water. I'm sure he'll be OK though.

Coots, Wigeon and Tufted duck were all on the water, as I crossed around to the far side, to get the sun behind me. The Grey Heron was sunning himself on the old boat.

Further along in the bushes, a couple of Greenfinches were feasting on the rose hips, and on the boat jetty it was standing room only for the many Black-headed Gulls and Cormorants.

Walking past the pub, the Mallards flew across again. They're getting rather cheeky now, and one even runs alongside me furiously quacking, until I stop to feed her.

A quick exit, and I was making my way to the south lake.

Still no boats; but a couple of Crows. No apple, or bread, so they had to make do with some seed.

At the far end, the Grey Heron was in his usual spot, and further round, a few Redwing in the trees, after the berries.

A group of Cormorants were fishing out in the lake, and they had attracted a large group of gulls, hoping to snatch the odd morsel or two.

As I made my way towards the rowing club, a few yachts were beginning to float out onto the water; and a noisy inflatable too.

Stopping by the town houses, I threw a few handfuls of seed into the air, and water, to attract the Black-headed Gulls and Mallards. Always good to practice flight shots like this.

Eventually, back at the car park, one last look round, before heading home.
An enjoyable and interesting visit.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Turtle Dove [sp] (Streptopelia turtur)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Total species  36


  1. You had a lovely walk this morning Keith and seeing Goldcrests must have put a smile on your face.

  2. HI Keith... Fabulous morning enjoyed the video today !!
    I like a man who speaks his mind so smooth of the tongue, the boaters and walker comment just made me burst into a laugh..If only I hadn't had a mouth full of milk at the time..hahhaha!!
    Beautiful yellow leaves and,Goldcrest...the Gull in flight has a lovely patterned back!!
    Nice shot's, and nice to hear you chipper!!

  3. this post is chock full of goodies. I have to laugh at the cheeky mallards! Great flight shots too!!
    Maybe your Goldcrest is similar to our Ruby and Golden Crowned Kinglets? Kinda looks like in your photo.

  4. Two cracking flying shots today.
    I wonder where the boats were?
    Good to see we had a sunny walk. Amazing what a bit of sunshine does for both cameras and us.

  5. Indeed, a very bright shot to open your post with! All of the leaves are gone in these parts. :-( But today was nice and sunny and the grass is still green. Not too bad for mid-November.


  6. Thanks Andrew. Yea, they're lovely little birds. I watched this pair for ages.

    Thanks Grace. Some of my comments don't always make it to the finished version. lol

    Sondra, your Ruby and Golden Crowned Kinglets look identical. I believe they are in the same family; Old World Warblers.

    I think the rowers had a day off Adrian; the yacht crowd filled the lake later. I think they should put the two together on a windy day. It would make a great video.

    Thanks Wilma. It's been very mild here so far, and our leaves are hanging on, in most places. Soon change though, I expect.

  7. A very entertaining video Keith, great tracking shots of the Cormorant coming into land. And two excellent flight shots. I reckon we need a special feature on the stick walkers in the next[;o)

  8. I am just returning back to blogging after being away for almost 2 years. I am so glad Jerry had your site listed on his Sunday drive series. Oh my this was beautiful to look at this morning.

    I love photography and I love birds and your shots are marvelous!

    Here's hoping for a great week filled with happiness and no calories!

  9. Lovely morning Keith.
    I have previously seen one Nordic Walker with those sticks in the Parkland, now I see three or four. They must be breeding.

  10. Hi Keith I have just enjoyed both of your weekend videos. What a contrast in the weather conditions, everything looked so dull and bleak in the first one but this was so much brighter and livelier looking. It was nice to see the Grey Wagtail in the first and also the Song Thrush and of course it's always lovely to see the Grey Heron :-)

    Not lovely to see the swan in the gulley in this video though, my heart sinks every time I see that especially now the 'bridge' is down. I know it can survive there at least for a while but it always troubles me. I seem to remember some kind soul managed to put the plank back before, I hope they do again.

    I hope the better weather lifted your spirits, I think many of us are in a dark place at this time of the year...especially after no Summer!

  11. Cheers Trevor. Yea, the stick walkers are crying out for a feature.

    Thank you Jackie, and thanks for stopping by. No calorie weekend; hmmm, like that idea. lol

    A strange breed indeed Roy. Sunny days brings lots out round here.

    Thanks Jan. Whenever I post a picture of a Heron these days I think of you; I know how much you like them. :-)
    I quickly went round the north lake yesterday, before going to see my mum, and the swan had managed to get out from the gully.