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



Monday, 30 April 2012

Rubbish after the marathon, localised flooding; and hundreds of hirundines.


Milton Keynes had its annual marathon event yesterday. Nothing against a charity run, although I could think of better ways to raise money.

Clearing up rubbish would be a good one.




One of the mountains of plastic rubbish left by the marathon crowd. Not sure who they think is going to clear up after them.



The Reed Warbler was calling away from the reeds, and the water level over by Cormorant island, has risen quite a bit. Thankfully the nesting birds on the island seem to be OK. Not so fortunate for some of the Coots nesting by the edge of the lake, and in the reeds. A couple of nests have been washed away; along with the eggs.

I made my way round to the north lake, and as I crossed the footbridge, a large flock of Swallows and House Martins flew overhead. Above the trees were a large number of Swifts. What I saw next though, was amazing.

One of the trees at the edge of the lake, was covered in House Martins and Swallows.




Every so often, a cloud would fly up into the sky, like Starlings, as they go to roost in the autumn.




Hundreds of them. Not just in the trees either. They were all over the lake.
A fantastic sight to see.


As I made my way round the lake, there was more rubbish alongside the footpath.
The heavy rain of yesterday had brought problems too. The level of the water has risen considerably, and more washed out nests.


Up by the dam, a lot of water; more than I can remember seeing for a long time.
Over by the river, it has burst its bank, and flooded across the fields.
The weir is flowing pretty fast now,




and the footpath I usually take, was under a lot of water. Deeper than my wellingtons.




Before I took an alternative route, I was fascinated by a Great Crested Grebe, with a monster crayfish.




I wondered if he'd manage something that big, but in the end, he did.



I took the alternative route, and eventually got back on my usual track.




My usual route is next to the bush on the right hand side, where the water is.



I made my way round to where the Mute Swans had nested, close to the edge of the lake. It looks as though their nest has succumbed to the torrential rain too.


A pair of grebes were performing the head waggle,




and another pair managed the full blown weed dance too.


I wondered if this was more bonding if they had lost nests to the rain, prior to starting again.


Onto the south lake, and a few more Reed and Sedge Warblers seem to have turned up during the bad weather. The reeds seemed full of them, all frantically calling, and flying about.

Above, more Swallows and Martins, and a Hobby making a half-hearted attempt at catching one.

The Crow managed to catch my apple.




He seemed more pleased with it than I was.


Overhead, another Crow was making sure a Buzzard kept going, and managed to chase him away from the lake.


At the far end, a Rook sat high in a tree eating something.




Not sure what it was, and not sure I want to know; but he was certainly enjoying it.


Making my way down towards the rowing club, another Hobby, or maybe the same one, was attempting to catch some of the Swallows. Unsuccessful.

A Great Tit sat in some trees, and briefly posed.




Eventually, I was back by the car park. The Reed Warbler was still calling, and after a few minutes, I managed to find him.




Overhead were more Swifts, Swallows, Sand Martins, and House Martins.




A few minutes practising flight shots, as they whizzed above, and the a few Rooks overhead too.




A sunny morning. A pleasant change after all the rain.










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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
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)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  42


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

This will be the last post for a while; a trip to Wales again.

See you when I get back.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

Soggy morning

But the birds were great.


I got to the lake early, as it was just getting light. No visit yesterday, because myself and Trevor had a day at Paxton Pits, searching for Nightingales.
(Some pictures on my Flickr page, and the other blog.)


A quick look for the Reed Warbler, and then off round the north lake. Rain was the order of the day; but some good birds too.

Lots of Swallows flying over the north lake, and the grass; and even more when I got to the south lake.

A Common Sandpiper flew across to the island, and just seemed to be sheltering from the rain.

Up at the top end of the lake, a group of Goldfinches flew up into the trees along the edge, and amongst them two Linnets. The first I've ever seen here.
Further along, a Sparrowhawk flew to the trees, stayed briefly, and was off again.




The river is quite swollen now, and the weir is flowing with some force.
Two levels of the steps are completely submerged now, and if this rain continues I can see this area flooding, making it difficult to get round this part.


In front of the pub I counted four Pied Wagtails amongst the Starlings, and then the pair of Yellow Wagtails flew in.





Good to compare them side by side.


A group of Swallows had taken a rest in one of the trees that edge the lake.




Onto the south lake, and as mentioned earlier, hundreds of Swallows were skimming the water. The reeds were bursting with the sound of Sedge Warblers, and one even gave me a quick glimpse, before hiding again.


At the far end, more Swallows over the water, and above the trees on the island, at least 50 House Martins in a feeding frenzy.

The rowing club were out in force by the time I began my way back towards the car park, and by the houses, a Yellow Wagtail.



 May have been one come over from the pub.


On the island the Oystercatchers were in fine voice, and back by the car park area, the Reed Warbler was still calling.


It's a wonder he doesn't get a sore throat.








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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
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)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
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 Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Acanthis cannabina)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41


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

To Peter, who just sent me a message via my website; my reply keeps getting bounced back.

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Swift, Yellow Wagtail and Hobby

Saw my first Swift of the year flying overhead this morning.

A quick glimpse of the Reed Warbler, and then on to feed the Mallards under the road bridge. They've got friends now, in the shape of Canada Geese.

Over by the pub, I could see one of the Oystercatchers, a few Common Terns flying around, and up by the swollen river, a Grey Heron was patiently waiting for breakfast to present itself.




As I passed the weir, a quick flash of a Kingfisher over the water, and still four Tufted Duck swimming around.


Round by the pub, a pair of Yellow Wagtails, lit by the sunlight, along with a few Canada Geese,






Walking towards the far end of the lake, plenty of Reed Buntings were around,




and the Sedge Warbler was still being impossible to see properly for a picture.



At the far end of the south lake a change to see a Jackdaw by the footpath.




Usually see these flying overhead in the mornings, along with the Rooks.

As I made my way towards the rowing club, a Hobby was circling overhead, and gradually glided off to the east.

The pair of Mute Swans are getting on with the new nest.
All the work this morning was by the male, while the female was swimming around, and feeding.

Swallows and House Martins were skimming over the water as I got back to the car park.


A good morning, in some sunshine, for a change.









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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
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)
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


Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Mallards

A very quick visit in the rain this morning, because the new video camera is due for delivery anytime after 7:30 a.m.


(update; it's just arrived ----------- but still raining)



A welcoming party of Mallards were waiting at the car park as I arrived. Three to begin with, and then more turned up.

A quick look for the Reed Warbler, and managed to glimpse him through the reeds, before setting off under the road bridge, and the north lake.

The pair of Mallards came running over when they saw me; how could I resist not feeding them?

On to the footbridge, and the Heron was sat fishing underneath. He soon left for a quick circuit round part of the lake, and then returned, once I'd left.
A Kingfisher flew past the island, and a couple of Common Terns were flying overhead.

Past some of the houses, and a couple of Mallard were sitting on the roof, admiring the view.


Along the edge of the river, another Heron was patiently stood in the rain.





On the metal fence, up by the weir, a female Mallard had perched herself there.





As I reached the weir, a female Mallard hurried past with three ducklings. The first I've seen this year.




She quickly took them off to the safety of bushes by the edge.
Only three. Maybe she's lost some already?


Past the pub, and the growing numbers of Starlings, over the road bridge, and back to the car park.









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)
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)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  31


Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Yellow Wagtail

Quick, early visit again; still waiting for parcels.


Very dull and dark, with constant drizzly rain; not ideal for pictures.

Managed a quick glimpse of the Reed Warbler this morning, and then made my way round the north lake.

The Mallards appear like magic these days, and once fed, I can carry on my way.

Lots of singing warblers this morning, but I've still not found any new arrivals yet.

The Common Terns continue to swoop down over the water, and it's getting close to the time when Black Terns arrived last year for a couple of days. No sign yet though.

Something that made me smile this morning, was a pair of Mallards on a large puddle.
The second biggest lake in Milton Keynes, and they favour a puddle.



 Ain't birds great!


Up by the pub, a few Starlings probing the soggy grass, along with a few Black-headed Gulls, and as I made my way under the road bridge, the two Mallards found me again. Cheeky pair.

I managed to find the calling Sedge Warbler in his now usual spot,  amongst the brambles. A fleeting few glimpses though, as he moves about a lot, and seems to keep very low.

At the far end, a couple of Little Grebes, and some Tufted Duck, and near the bird pallets, a few young bunnies.




Finally, as I got to the rowing club, the pair of Yellow Wagtails were about, with a couple of Pied Wagtails.




Very wary though, and not easy to get close to for pictures.




Back at the car park area, a couple of Greenfinches on the feeders, and the very noisy Reed Warbler still calling.








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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Yellow Wagtail (Motacilla flava flavissima)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
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)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  41


Monday, 23 April 2012

Roosting cygnets and a calling Sedge Warbler


Just about sums it up this morning.


A very quick, early visit; expecting some parcels any day, and a short video because of the camera batteries.


No sign of the Otter this morning, so after looking at a group of roosting cygnets on the south lake, (last years youngsters), I made my way quickly round the north lake.

The usual warblers about, and I managed to see most of them. Still only two Reed Warblers on the lake, and one Sedge Warbler.

Up by the pub, a female Chaffinch was busily collecting nesting material, and the pair of Oystercatchers were feeding along with a group of Black-headed Gulls.

The south lake still has the single elusive Sedge Warbler. A shame I didn't have more time to search for him.

The Mute Swans that had their eggs stolen, appear to be building a second nest, in great earnest, further along, and well hidden in the reeds. Let's hope they have more success this time.
Strange to see them building it, but then taking a break, and the male going back to sit on the old nest.


Eventually, back at the car park area, a quick look for the Reed Warbler, and then home. A bit like speed birding today.









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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
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)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  33


Sunday, 22 April 2012

Otter

And I don't mean the weather.


As I stood gazing through the bins this morning, at the other side of the lake, I heard an almighty splash! Too big for a diving duck.
I put the bins down, and stared at the ripples in the water.
About twenty feet away, a head broke the surface of the water, and we both stared at each other for what seemed like an age; but the reality was just a second. Then the head dived. The brief second we stared at each other, was enough to recognise the 'head', as that of an Otter.
He resurfaced further out in the lake another half a dozen times in the hour I stood waiting for a picture. No picture, but a moment embedded in my mind.
The first time I've ever seen an Otter in the lake.


I eventually made my way round the north lake, and found the second Reed Warbler calling from the reeds past the bandstand. He's a difficult one to spot though.


A couple of Mallards seem to have taken a liking to sitting on the roofs of the houses.




 Must be a great view from up there.


A male Mute Swan was taking great delight in chasing away any young swan that dared to be in his line of sight. And very pleased with himself he looked, too.





Up by the pub, I could only find one Oystercatcher on the grass;




along with a group of Mallards and geese.



As I started walking the south lake, I could hear the sound of a Sedge Warbler, coming from some brambles.
He only gave me a quick glimpse though, before he dived for cover.

At the far end of the lake, the usual Warblers were warbling away, and a male Blackcap gave me some good views as he turned up at a bramble bush with some nesting material.




He later posed in some branches while he had a preening session.






By the bird pallets, four young Coots were swimming around, and being fed by mum and dad;




and six Tufted Duck were cruising the waters too.





Eventually, back at the car park, a quick look for the Reed Warbler, in the hope of getting a picture in the sunlight, a fly over by a Mute Swan,




and in front of the pub, some Mallards hurriedly making their way to a group of people dishing out some bread.





A great morning.








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)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
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)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
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)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39


Saturday, 21 April 2012

Three Oystercatchers and a Common Sandpiper

A very short video today, because the camera continues to play up; I can't recharge one of the flat batteries, the other won't last very much longer, and the new camera doesn't arrive till Wednesday.
Bugger!


After topping up the feeders, I headed straight to the reeds, to catch sight of the calling Reed Warbler.




A shame the light wasn't better, but the sun soon began to make an appearance as I made my way round the north lake.


Some coloured marker buoys were stretched across the water; there was to be a Dragon Boat Race later. Much noise, crowds and distraction.
Thankfully I'll be away before all this happens.


I fed the pair of Mallards under the road bridge, and leaving them behind, I was soon at the reed bed up near the island, listening to the second Reed Warbler. No sign of him though.
A Cormorant was fishing in the sunlight though,




and a single Kingfisher sat in the trees on the island.



I made my way up to the top end of the lake, and found a Coot sitting on his nest.




A very grand affair. More like a tower block; impressively tall.


As I made my way along the path towards the weir, my mobile rang.
It was Trevor; he was under the road bridge on the other side of the lake.

We arranged to meet up at the road bridge, and continue round the south lake.


Very little else on the water, and as I began to make my way round the back of the pub, a Mute Swan flew by,



 backlit by the sun.


Past the pub, and lots of activity as a group of people were setting up for the boat race.


I met Trevor, and we made our way towards the shrubs where I'd seen the Sedge Warbler yesterday.
No luck today though. We searched and strained our ears to no avail.
Even checking along the edge of the river; but nothing.


We carried on round the lake.


As we got the far end, we met Graham. A quick chat, and then we made our way to the bird pallets; and then on to where the Mute Swan had been nesting.
Graham showed us where he'd found one of the swans eggs; undamaged.
It's looking more like 'human' involvement in the destruction of the nest site.


As we got near the rowing club, there were plenty of boats out on the south lake.
Dragon Boats on the north, and rowing boats on the south.
Who'd be a water bird at the weekends?


As we passed the jetties, and made our way round by the houses, a small bird flew by, and landed back by the rowing club.




 A Common Sandpiper.


He didn't stay there long though; too much activity going on, so he flew across to Cormorant island. As he settled, a couple more birds flew in, calling loudly.
Oystercatchers!

Not the usual two, but three.


They settled on the island, and began some display.




The display usually associated with a mating male, except there were two displaying, and one just seemed to be ignoring the whole thing.
Was this two males vying for the attention of a female?
Maybe........but certainly fascinating to watch.


Back by the car park area, we searched for the calling Reed Warbler, and took some pictures of one of the many Cuckooflowers growing there.




And a parting picture before we headed off, of a calling Chiffchaff.





An excellent morning; just a shame about all the boats.












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)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
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)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Willow Warbler [sp] (Phylloscopus trochilus)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
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  44