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

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Six Goosanders, and the lake starts to freeze.

What a morning!

A freezing cold morning, -4C, and after yesterdays little snowfall, most of it has now gone. What's left is frozen; and so to are parts of the lake.

It was another good sunrise;

 just a shame I wasn't at the other end of the lake.

Lots of Tufted Duck on the north lake, and quite a few Coots. The frozen areas had the usual gatherings of Black-headed Gulls standing around, and the Cormorants were doing well fishing. Three Mistle Thrush chattered away as they flew overhead.

Up at the top end, lots of Wigeon; and a daft swan swimming up and down the gully. I'm sure he'll get out eventually. I can't understand why they get in there.

As I stood watching the Wigeon, a male Goosander flew overhead. I was beginning to think I'd never get a picture of these, as I began filming a couple of Mute Swans overhead, when suddenly a small group flew past.
A quick snatch of film before they disappeared from view. Maybe if I was lucky, they would be further round, or on the south lake.

Up past the pub, and I was accosted by the group of Mallards; twice. 
They really are getting cheeky.

Under the road bridge, and on round the south. A few mixed gulls were out in the middle of the lake, and the Crows soon swooped down, hoping for some apple. 
Yea, they were lucky.

As I got to the far end, Goosanders took to the air!

I managed some video as they flew past, and they eventually settled over by the rowing club. Six in all. Maybe I would get some pictures after all.

As I reached the railway arch, a couple of Blackbirds and a Song Thrush were after the remaining berries in the bushes.
A quick look through the arch gave me a field full of Rooks, Crows, Jackdaws and Wood Pigeons. Hundreds. Over in one of the trees, a Buzzard sat hunched up.
And up in some trees behind me, but very difficult to see properly through the twigs and branches, Fieldfare and Redwing. 

Quite a morning; and it got better.

As I made my way back towards the lake, the sound of Siskins.

 High up in one of their favourite trees, furiously feeding on the seed.

And along by the offices, another favourite group of trees had even more.

Making my way to the rowing club, the Goosander were busily fishing close to the edge. They must have found a small shoal of fish, because they were quite successful.

 Eventually they made their way out to the center of the lake, but at long last I'd managed a few pictures.

Past the houses, and parts of the bay were freezing over; and a last look across towards Cormorant island found more Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Pochard and biggest surprise of all, two Teal.

An excellent morning.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
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)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
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)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)

Total species  42


  1. Great to see the Goosander. They'll get through some fish.
    Only got half the video as the kids are out from school and all at their 3G phones. Will try later.

  2. A good haul of Goosanders Keith, but the Siskin were great. I have only managed a brief glimpse of one Siskin so far this winter with no chance of a photograph.

  3. Thanks Adrian. They're excellent at fishing. I watched them for some time; they didn't miss many.

    Thanks Roy. It's a good lake for Goosander usually; and a lot of Siskin today.

  4. Siskin, Goosander and even the odd Teal or two...just the ticket to cheer up a a cold and crispy morning's stroll around the lake Keith.

    Great shots of the Siskin...[;o)

  5. Excellent shots of the siskins! Im so happy to know the Goosanders are back for the Winter, its always fun to see them...
    NO ICE here its quite warm for this time of yr!

  6. Hi Keith...Looks, and sounds like a real crunchy morning under foot!!
    The Photo's are great and the video too!! Goosander are a bird that I just can't get around the difference in the male and female for some reason I keep thinking they are two different spices!!
    Other than a cold morning it seems be have been quite eventful!!

  7. Those Goosander sure looked happy!

  8. Trevor, it was an amazing morning. Just need some Waxwings now. :-)

    Sondra, very mild here this morning. Complete contrast to yesterday. It was great to finally get some video and pictures of these Goosanders.

    Grace, it was freezing yesterday; a proper winters day. Goosanders are lovely birds. The females have a reddish head.

    Wilma, I watched them fishing for ages, and they seemed to be having a great time.

  9. A great morning by the looks of it Keith. I though we had lots of Rooks here with three roosts but that group was amazing.

  10. Thanks John. There seemed to be even more Rooks this morning.