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

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Seven Scaup and Goosanders galore

Cold, but the snow is slowly starting to thaw.

I chanced it in the car this morning; carrying a heavy bag of bird seed is a bit much at times.

A quick look at Cormorant island first, and five Goosanders flew overhead. Round in the bay, in front of the houses, half a dozen more.

Feeders done, Crows fed, Doris and her gang sorted, I made my way round the north lake. The Grey Heron's usual spot under the footbridge was empty today. Most of the water here has frozen over. Further round, one of the houses had a large bush full of red berries. A magnet for Waxwings two years ago. Not now. The Fieldfares have stripped all the berries in the last two days.

I got a phone call. Trevor had arrived in the car park, so I made my way back to meet him. There had been a report yesterday of a couple of Scaup; maybe we would see them.

Up to the dam, and a couple of Goosanders off in the distance, along with Wigeon, Tufted and a few Gadwall. A Kingfisher flew off to the distant bushes, and perched for a while.

South lake seemed very quiet, until Trevor spotted a group of Scaup in the distance.

The number had grown to seven. Five females and two males.

Great to see these rare visitors at the lake.

We watched them for a while, and then a small group flew off over the lake.

On towards the far end, and Fieldfares were flying overhead in small groups.
A quick look through the railway arch, and quite a few mixed Crows on the ground.
A few yellow flashes caught my eye, and as we moved forward to investigate, all was revealed. Yellowhammers. Great to see these here, and amongst them, a male Pheasant.

Making our way to see the Robin, there were more Fieldfares flying overhead, Redwings, Blackbirds and Fieldfares flicking through the fallen leaves, and up in one of the trees, a Jay.

Robin fed, we made our way back towards the car park.

Lots of Tufted Duck, Pochard and Wigeon out on the water, and as we got round by the houses, Goosander.
We counted a dozen swimming out towards Cormorant island. I've no idea the total number seen today, but certainly a lot.

Last look at the feeders, and then home for a hot coffee. Excellent 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)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
Common Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)
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)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
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)
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)
Yellowhammer [sp] (Emberiza citrinella)

Total species  47


  1. Keith I don't know how you do it so quickly?...super photos and video! photos are still on the memory card, I've only just got around to looking at them!!

    I enjoyed our walk around the lake this morning, it was good to see the Scaup and the Goosanders and a great spot with the Yellowhammers...[;o)

  2. LOL. Great morning wasn't it.
    Smew, Bittern, and Waxwing next?

  3. A great walk round. First Scaup I've seen. Should be down on Monday for a couple of days. I'm not far from Caldecotte. Just at the side of the canal. Not booked yet but will as soon as the snow clears.

  4. Cheers Adrian. Just got your e-mail.
    Look forward to meeting up.

  5. A very enjoyable video again Keith. Well done with the Scaups. I've a feeling the berry hunters are having lean pickings ths year :-(

    I also enjoyed the last video. I wondered if you noticed, at around 1 minute 10 seconds, a small longish creature run across the left foreground, not sure it was big enough for a squirrel and looked too long for a rat?

  6. Thanks Jan. Yea, I don't think the Waxwings will visit here this time, the winter thrushes have had all the berries.
    That last video you mentioned, it is a rat running across screen. They've learnt I feed the Crows there, and now turn up for food too.

    Thanks Bob. Yea, one would have been good, but seven, excellent. It seems there are eight there now.

  7. That was a good number of Scaup Keith. We only ever get one every other year if we are lucky in this area.

  8. Keith! You tinker! You've out-ducked me again! I've not even seen a Goldeneye on my patch yet this year, only just spotted Goosander at the weekend and now you've found Scaup. It must be Doris, she's put the word out.

  9. VERY cool that you had Scaup visit the lake Keith...I'd love to see those guys for myself..
    COLD looking day but the birds seem to take it all in stride!

  10. HI Keith...Will I every catch up..Was out doing grocery and such was miserably cold 6 below zero and only 8 above during the day brrrrr!!!
    4 below right now!!
    Looks cold and cloudy in the video!!
    Poor little guys tossing those leaves searching for food..but it is cute to at the same time!!
    Good you guys got to see the Scaup visitors !!! Looks like the snow is hanging on the ground!!

  11. Cheers Roy. Today there were 8. A fantastic number.

    Graeme, you could be right. Doris is certainly calling in her friends for the handouts.

    Thanks Sondra. There's always something worth seeing here. A great place.

    Thanks Grace. Pretty cold here, but not as cold as you seem to be having it.