Personal musings, wanderings and sightings from around the lake.
A little history, and about the lake, at the bottom of the page.

quote

Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me



Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Blue Tits nesting

Dull, cloudy morning, but it didn't stop the waiting Mallards at the car park.

Feeding done, I set off round the north lake, and soon found the Kingfisher sitting in his regular spot on the island.




Up towards the top end, a distant Shoveler, a Goosander, and a pair of Great Crested Grebes performing the weed dance.







Always a fantastic sight to see. I took a mountain of pictures, and these are the only ones I've sorted out so far.


Moving further on, a young looking Grey Heron was on the steps, by the ivy clad wall.



 He soon took off; must have been shy.


Round towards the pub, and the Crow is getting on rather well with his nest building on the pubs windmill structure. It looks an untidy mess of sticks, but it's home to him; and a female Goosander swimming in the small bay in front of the pub.


Onto the south lake, and the Crows were late in coming, but arrived eventually, and had some apple.

Very little around on the south lake, apart from a male Goosander, and then down by the offices, a pair of Blue Tits.
Last year, a pair nested in one of the poles that house the security cameras. It seems they must like it, and have returned to the very same pole.




A lot of coming and going, and making ready by them both.





 Let's hope they are successful once again.


Eventually, down by Cormorant island, and a fruitless search for any sign of yesterdays Oystercatchers.


Maybe they were off feeding somewhere.








Full list of today's sightings


Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  40


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Oystercatchers

There were seven Mallards around the car park this morning; word is spreading.

Topped up the feeders, fed the Crows, Magpies and Mallards, and then made my way to the north lake. The regular pair of Mallards were waiting, and as I started to feed them, an Oystercatcher flew over the road bridge, towards Cormorant island.
First one I've seen at the lake this year. Maybe they will breed again?

On towards the island on the north lake, and a single Kingfisher was sitting in the trees, by the edge. It would be great if they bred here too.

At the top end of the lake, not so many waterfowl as usual; but I did see a pair of Goosander. Up on the ivy clad wall, a female Mallard was wandering through the ivy looking for food, I presume.



 Her mate just stood watching from a distance.


A group of Wigeon were grazing as I made my way towards the pub, when I suddenly caught sight of another Kingfisher, just a few feet away.
Too late; he'd spotted me, and all I got was a fleeting piece of video, as he made his way across the lake. Hmmmm, one day!

A couple of Pied Wagtails in front of the pub, another pair of Goosander, and Mr and Mrs Mallard began swimming alongside, following me.

Onto the south lake, and no sign of the Crows this morning.
I felt let down in a way; I hope they're OK.

At the far end, to make up for it, the Robin was waiting by the bird hide. He still seems a little shy, but I guess he'll soon get over it. At least he knows I've got food.

Eventually I was level with Cormorant island, and able to have a good look for the Oystercatcher. I was in luck. Not one, but two; and they mated.
Now according to some software I have, they will start egg laying Mid-April to June, and usually lay  2, 3 or 4 eggs. If it's the same pair from last year, which is quite possible, they only successfully raised one chick. It's going to be good to follow their progress this year.


Back at the footbridge, a quick look round, and an inquisitive Blue Tit caught my eye.




A last look at the feeders, but not very much happening there.



Seems the islands have all the action at the moment.










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)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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 Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36


Monday, 27 February 2012

5 Goosander, 3 Kingfishers, and fighting Coots

A dull cloudy morning, so I just took the binoculars out today; and the video camera.

The seed in the feeders hadn't gone down very much, so I was soon making my way towards the road bridge. The regular pair of Mallards were already there, waiting for breakfast.

A lot of bird song this morning; it seems spring has arrived, and the temperatures are much milder.

I found 2 Kingfishers over on the island. Maybe a pair? Let's hope a successfully breeding pair. In amongst the trees, further along round the lake, I found more signs of spring. Two clumps of Primroses. A lovely sight to see.

A group of Wigeon were grazing towards the top end of the lake, and as I made my way round towards the pub, two pairs of Coots were busily fighting, out amongst the Gadwall and Tufted Duck.

I watched them for a while, and then another Kingfisher flew across the lake, into one of the trees on the far side. I filmed the general area, but it wasn't until I played the video back on the computer, that I noticed him dive into the water, and then back up in the tree. I wonder if he caught a fish?

Past the pub, quite a few Starlings up on the windmill, the Lesser Black-backed Gull wandering around on the grass, and a Pochard swimming in front of the pub. He's usually here with a female, but no sign of her this morning.

The Crows were waiting for their apple; or two of them were. A third seemed quite content upsetting a pair of Magpies, by sitting in the tree they had built a nest in.
Despite their chattering, and bits of apple flying around, he wasn't going to budge.

At the far end of the lake, I found 5 Goosander.
A lone female, and 4 males that seemed to be showing off in front of her. She didn't seem very impressed, and in the end they all flew off towards the middle of the lake.

Little Grebe in their regular spot, and a Robin came down to see what I was doing, while I watched them.
I couldn't resist leaving him a handful of seed, but he waited patiently before I moved far enough away to take it.

Past the houses, and back at the car park, an inquisitive Blue Tit sat just a few feet away, while I looked through the bushes with the binoculars.

I fed him too.


Must get some more seed tomorrow.








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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
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

Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sunny Sunday

A very spring like morning, with warm sun, and plenty of birds.


A Great Spotted Woodpecker was soon on the feeders, once I had topped them up; and at least 14 Magpies in the trees, after the biscuits and bread by the car park. I don't think they got much though, as a couple of Mallards were soon on it, as fast as I put it down.


Mr and Mrs Mallard were waiting under the road bridge, and across the lake, in front of the pub, the Lesser Black-backed Gull was strutting his stuff.


Up by the island, a Grey Heron was successfully fishing in the reeds,



( you can just make out a tiny fish in his bill)


but no sign of the Kingfisher this morning.


Wigeon were grazing on the grass, along with some Canada Geese, and plenty of Wood Pigeons flying overhead.

Going up towards the pub, a couple of Pied Wagtail were running about on the grass, and a couple of Starlings up on the windmill, doing their usual whistling impressions.


The Crows met me under the road bridge, and out on the lake, a couple of Goosander.


More Herons were around the edge of the lake, but by now there were quite a few joggers about, so they were constantly flying backwards and forwards.





No sign of any boats this morning.


At the far end, the usual Little Grebe, and the Robin up by the hide; and as I passed the rowing club, I found 4 Goosanders; 3 males and a female.


On Cormorant island, the Cormorants were busily drying their wings,



no doubt after eating all the poor fishermen's fish.
What a shame.


A last look at the feeders, and then I spent a while standing on the footbridge, hoping to get some pictures of the birds in the bushes.



Blue Tit


Not much chance at the weekend though; too many joggers about.








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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
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)
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)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  43


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Quick visit.

An update on the RSPB from yesterday first.

I thought I had a response from them, but no. It was from someone called Bob who visits the lake.
He'd seen my blog, and kindly found an address for me, which was ......

Gemma Butlin
Media Manager (Acting)
Telephone  01767 693489
E-mail   gemma.butlin@rspb.org.uk
  
so, thanks Bob, appreciate that.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~

A lovely sunny morning, and very mild. Despite the good conditions though, I only managed the north lake. Some good birds about though; a couple of Bullfinches in the bushes near the footbridge, and I managed to find the Kingfisher on the island. His favourite spot I think.

Good to see some blossom out now on the trees.



 I think this might be Hawthorn?


The boats were out in force, and the Tufted Duck and Wigeon were busily flying around, looking for somewhere to get a bit of peace.

Up at the top end, quite a group seeking sanctuary on the arm that goes behind the pub. Amongst the group, a pair of Goosander. Always good to see them.

By the time I'd reached the pub, I decided to cut short the walk, and head back over the road bridge to the car park.

A Song Thrush posed for a while, by the footbridge,




and not to be outdone, a female Blackbird began posing briefly.






Short visit, but good.








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)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  38


Friday, 24 February 2012

Friday 24th February 2012

Some days a little something can happen, that really pisses off my whole day. I shouldn't let these little things get to me, but yesterday was one of them; hence no post. 
Today is another; but I'll post.


I've made another lemonade bottle nyger seed feeder; the Mark 2 version, with proper perches. I put that up this morning, so we'll see how this one goes.

The Crows and Magpies made short work of the biscuit this morning, along with an extra treat, a couple of handfuls of grapes. They went in about 10 minutes.

The Mallards were under the bridge, and after feeding them, I made my way round the north lake. All the regulars about, apart from seeing a Kingfisher, and a couple of Green Woodpeckers doing the cross bill swordfight routine. Unfortunately by the time the video camera had kicked in ready, they'd stopped, and decided to eat ants instead.
Never mind.

Past the pub, the Mallards caught up with me again, and then the Crows further along.

At the far end of the lake, a healthy looking population of Moles seem to be in evidence. Let's hope the 'slaughter brigade' don't insist on a cull of these little animals, because they make the grass look 'untidy'.


I found a pair of Magpies busily nest building in one of the trees, and it will be good to watch their progress.


Unfortunately, the one's that were nest building in one of the trees in front of the houses will not be so lucky.
Despite being reassured any nesting birds would be left alone, (the law), their tree has now become a large stump, and probably later today will become shredded, like the rest.


Back at the feeders, they were quite busy; until I got the camera out, and then they all hid. Never mind.










Full list of today's sightings
  
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  35


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

(regarding the proposed slaughter of the Cormorants, urged on by a petition handed in by 16,000 fishermen, I feel an e-mail is needed to the RSPB, to get them to organise a counter petition on behalf of their million plus members. As a paying member of this bunch, I think it's about time they started speaking up on behalf of some of the birds in this country, and taking some action here, rather than getting too involved in overseas issues. Charity should begin at home. If anyone else agrees, why not drop them an e-mail too. I've searched all over their website for an e-mail address, and the best I can find is a link.  http://www.rspb.org.uk/contactus/form.aspx?subject=0&f=1   They don't make it easy to get in touch with them.

Or phone:  01767 680551 That's their headquarters in Sandy, Bedfordshire)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Update


I've since had a response from my e-mail. 
I suggest anyone that wishes to get in contact, sends their concerns to 

Gemma Butlin

Media Manager (Acting)
at 
Telephone: 01767 693489

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

The trees are going

Dull, cloudy, and windy.


The birds were all waiting for their breakfast this morning; Magpies, Crows, and Mallards. As I was still putting food down, they were turning up to eat what was there.
They can't be that hungry surely? I think they are recognising me as the man with food.

Certainly under the road bridge.
I can't get very far before I'm surrounded by Mallards; and the same ones every day.
It's a feeling that is hard to describe..............but a great feeling. I hope I never let them down.

Up by the island on the north lake, I searched for the Kingfisher; but no sign of him this morning. Tufted Duck, and Great Crested Grebes were in the majority; and even the grebes were not performing this morning.

Passing the island, I found a group of Redwing, foraging in the grass, stealing the worms from the Blackbird. I think he'll be glad when they bugger off for the spring.

At the top end of the lake, I spotted a pair of Goosander; but always on the far side of the lake. I'm sure they do this on purpose.

Gadwall, Tufted, Wigeon, Pochard and Coot were the main birds on the water, with a few Canada Geese and Cormorants.

I heard today that the government, the bunch of miscreants supposedly in charge of this once great country, are considering a cull of Cormorants in the summer.
The reason? Cormorants are better at fishing than fishermen.
Well at least they don't leave hooks and line to trap other birds on the water.
Stand by for a petition against this utterly stupid decision.

Towards the pub, a Green Woodpecker was searching for ants.




At least people don't go looking for ants, so this is bird is safe.............at the moment.


Past the pub, the Lesser Black-backed Gull was foraging with a couple of Pied Wagtails; and then the Malards appeared. They must have built in radar.
After feeding them, it was the turn of the Crows, who must have the same built in radar.

A pair of interlopers turned up too, but were quickly dispatched by one of the regulars.

At the bottom end of the lake, a group of Black-headed Gulls, along with a few Common Gulls, and three Little Grebes skulking in the reeds.

Past the rowing club, and towards the houses.

Hmmm. The destruction goes on.

The trees are now being chopped down completely.

These once magnificent living life forms, are being killed off  for, ................................ I'm buggered if I know!!
I'm told they will all go. Even the ones that are far from the houses, have gone already.





Madness!!


I've sent an e-mail to the local paper asking why, but I doubt I will get a reply.
So sad to see life extinguished like this, for no apparent reason.

A couple of Mute Swans took to the air, and gave me something else to photograph.




Back at the car park, a last look at the feeders, and surrounding bushes.


I hate Milton Keynes!












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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Trees

A cloudy start to the day, but eventually the sun came out; and blue skies.


Topped up the seed feeders, and then had a look at the tree situation on the south lake, through the binoculars. It seems they've chopped the ones by the rowing club. But more on that later.


Passing under the road bridge, after feeding my pair of Mallards that were waiting, I made my way towards the island on the north lake. I soon found the Kingfisher, in his usual spot, having a good preen.


Something I noticed today, but unfortunately didn't manage to capture on video, or with the camera, was some behaviour by the Great Crested Grebes.
I spotted one on the water, with his wings outstretched, as though in some sort of threat posture. 
(Only ever seen this once before, and that was a family group.)
Pretty soon another grebe surfaced with some weed, and then they began the head waggle; and then swam away from each other.
A different variation on the weed dance? Certainly interesting to see.

A group of Redwings were up in the trees, just past the island, and some Wigeon were grazing with a group of Canada Geese.

At the top end of the lake, two male Goosander in the distance, and as I got closer, they swam further away. Typical!

Round past the pub, a Grey Wagtail was on the grass, along with a Pied Wagtail. Interesting to see them both together.
Under the road bridge, the Mallards found me again, and then the Crows turned up for their treat.


The sun was shining in a clear blue sky by now, and a beautiful morning.


A few Mute Swans flying around,


Cormorants overhead, and birds singing from the bushes; perfect.


A small group of Long Tailed Tits were flitting amongst the trees, making it hard for some pictures.




I counted three Little Grebe at the far end of the lake, a Heron, and a couple of Gadwall. As I had a quick coffee, an inquisitive Robin appeared, to give me the once over.
He was soon happy, so I was on my way again.


Just past the offices, a small group of Siskin were doing their hardest to hide behind the twigs in the trees and bushes. I tried for a few pictures; but difficult.




(Something about this one I like)


And then it was on toward the rowing club, the houses, and the trees.

Some hefty pruning has been done to a couple of trees by the rowing club, and they were setting up for another days work in front of the houses.

I stopped and spoke to two young men that were getting ready to start their day, and asked what was happening.
The trees are planted in pairs,



and I'm told, the trees roots are presenting a problem for the houses that were built behind them.




Under the 5 to 10 year plan, the ones nearest the houses would be replaced with something less vigorous, and then eventually the others in the pair.

I suggested maybe leave the trees, and knock down the houses?

True professionals, they remained non committal, but did smile at the suggestion.
(probably thought I was the local nutter, and best to humour this old bloke)

I then suggested maybe some Alder trees to replace them; a lot of birds seem to enjoy them, especially Siskins.
I also mentioned about the nests in some of the trees, and they said that if any birds appear to be nesting, they will have to leave the trees intact.
I mentioned a Magpie was building a nest further round, so we'll see if they are true to their word.

It does seem a shame that the trees should suffer though, because of either thoughtless planning when they were planted, or thoughtless planning by McCann Homes when they built the houses.


Passing the houses, a male Goosander suddenly took to the air.



(my second favourite shot of the day)


Back at the car park, and a couple of Siskin were on the feeders,



a Blackbird was posing like a real star,




a Wren in the bushes by the footbridge,




and in the bushes across from the footbridge, a lovely male Bullfinch, doing his own pruning, by nipping the buds off.


Another fantastic morning.







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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
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)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  42


Monday, 20 February 2012

Monday again

I can't believe how quick the weeks are going; one and a bit more, and it will be March!


A light frost this morning, but the sun soon made an impression, and cast a lovely golden glow everywhere.




After feeding the Mallards under the road bridge, I made my way round the north lake. No Kingfishers this morning, but the Heron was in his usual place under the footbridge.
Tufted Duck,




Coots and Wigeon were in the majority, as I headed up to the top end of the lake. A Grey Wagtail flew from his regular spot, and more Wigeon were grazing on the frosty grass


Past the pub, and a couple of Pied Wagtails, Starlings, and the Lesser Black-backed Gull were on the grass; and soon the Mallards flew in.
More food for them, and then onto the south lake; and the waiting Crows.

A couple of Herons fishing along the edge of the south lake, and a few Reed Buntings appropriately in the reeds.
The far end had a group of Black-headed Gulls, Gadwall and Great Crested grebe; but no sign of any Little Grebe this morning. Probably all busy fishing.

Past the rowing club, and very few gulls out on the water; just a couple of Common Gulls. And then a lone female Goosander, swimming in the distance.

As I got level with Cormorant island, I could see at least two more up on the bank.


Glancing back towards the houses, a trio of vehicles had gathered.





 Landscape merchants.


Judging by the equipment, it looked as though some of the trees were for the chop; or maybe just a trim. Either way, a travesty; this time of the year some birds are beginning to build nests, and some of the Magpies are re-building their nests in the tree tops.




Surely these 'people' understand the law around disturbing nesting birds?


At the car park, a quick look at the feeders, before heading to the shops for supplies.










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)
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)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41