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

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Men with guns

I attempted to achieve what I couldn't do yesterday; and get a sunrise in the field through the railway arch. This field will now be known as the killing fields.

Quite a large gull roost again, and at least I managed to see most of it.

As I made my way towards the railway line, there was a big flock of mixed crows up in the trees. I soon found out why.
As I got through the archway, out on the field were four people with shotguns. It soon became clear what they were doing. Shooting geese.
An upsetting piece of video after the main video, showing how they dispatch the ones that aren't killed by the gun.

I managed a sunrise shot,

but it was marred by the sight and sound of the so called 'sportsmen'. Because very few geese were flying over, they eventually turned their interest to Wood Pigeons.

I left the bastards to it, and carried on round the lake.

As I left, a Woodcock flew overhead, and headed towards the field.
Thankfully they hadn't seen it, or else that would have been shot too. The first time I have seen one in all the time I've visited here.

I might add, that whilst I walked along the footpath, a hail of 'shot' rained down on me, as they began more killing. Not very good for a Saturday morning walk in a public place.

A large group of Siskin were up in the Alders, or at least I believe they are Alders,

and down by the hide, my friendly Robin was waiting for his seed.

As I left there, something caught my eye in one of the bushes.
A Goldcrest, searching for insects. A job to get pictures he just wouldn't keep still.

Past the rowing club, and no sign of any Goosanders this morning. Considering all the shooting in the background, and the boats out on the lake, hardly surprising really. A shame, especially as they've only recently started to turn up.

Lots of Tufted Ducks out on the lake, and as I got near the car park, a few Pochard over by Cormorant island.

I crossed the road bridge, and decided to walk round the opposite way to what I usually do. The Mallards still managed to find me though. They're pretty smart; and hungry!

Down at the top end of the lake, quite a few Wigeon, and the biggest surprise, a pair of Snipe that were feeding at the edge, but soon took to the air.
First time I've seen these here for a couple of years, so I'll have to be careful, and look out for them next time.

The gully was swan free, thankfully, and I was soon almost back at the car park.
Not before two birds caught my eye flying overhead though.
Yup, a pair of Goosander.

Nice one.

Some people may find the following video upsetting. I show it because this is what happens at shoots. 
They call it sport. 
I call it barbaric.

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)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Eurasian Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
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)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

Total species  43


  1. That Gull roost is building up nicely now Keith, it just needs somebody to volunteer to count and i/d them all!!

    Another good walk around apart from the barbaric goings on thro' the railway arch. There's no way that can be called sport, in sport all contestants should have, at least, an equal chance!!
    Good spot with the Woodcock and Snipe..and the Goldcrest...[;o)

  2. Hi Keith...Well seems I shouldn't have clicked the second video, when I saw the stick I knew what was going to happen turned my stomach and I shut it off :{ That is a beautiful sunrise,to bad the hunter was there doing a different kind of shooting!
    Amazing amount of gulls and crows on the video just crazy!! : } Cute to see the little Robin moving about, it seems quite friendly!!
    Love the second photo of the Goldcrest.. cute little face!
    Couple of good sightings with the Woodcock and the Snipes!!

  3. I think a count of those gulls would be a full time job Trevor lol
    Those so called sportsman put a damper on the morning.

    Times like this Grace, I wish I had my own gun.
    There were some great birds about this morning.

  4. Lovely video Keith, but I think the "men with guns" ought be fxxxxxxx bastards with guns.

  5. It would have been a pleasant walk....except for the shooters Keith. I didn't look at the second video because I know it would have upset me. Whenever I am out and hear shooting I never cease to wonder how on earth anyone can get pleasure from depriving another creature of its life. I will never, ever understand it.

    Love the Robin and the ever grumpy looking little Goldcrest :-)

  6. Damn, I cant watch I know it will break my heart. I despise these types...they have no heart and think of nature as something to satiate their lust to kill.

  7. Great to get anything but twigs with a gold crest.
    Shooting here today. Woodpigeon there are hundreds of them appeared and they are wreaking havoc on the crops that were struggling as it is.
    Not nice to see the poor goose. You don't seem to have that many there and I am assured that Canada Geese are not good eating so can't understand the need for killing them.

  8. Bob, I think you're right.

    Jan I was surprised to see them shooting so close to a public right of way. The footpath runs alongside the field by the railway. They were shooting towards the railway line. Wrong on so many counts.

    The problem with most of the human race Sondra, is it believes everything is on the planet just for it. We're dangerously close to finding out it isn't true.

    This field hasn't been planted yet from what I can see Adrian. It's been too wet. The usual Crows were keeping out of the way, so the geese were the targets. When they failed to turn up in great numbers, they turned their attention to Wood Pigeons that were flying over from their roost site. Just blood lust.

    good to see I'm not the only one up at daft o'clock :-)