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

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Common Sandpiper and sunshine

An early start, and glorious sunshine; perfect.

One of the bird feeders has disappeared. It may have fallen in the lake, after somehow moving up the branch it hung on. A big bird flew off with it? A mystery.

The water seemed very quiet this morning. A few Great Crested Grebes, Mallards and Mute Swans, but nothing like the numbers of a while ago. There were certainly plenty of warblers though. Chiffchaff were calling from every tree and bush, along with Blackcaps and Willow Warblers.
Robins were in fine voice too. This dawn chorus really is amazing.

I scanned the far shore for any sign of the Common Sandpiper, but nothing. Not even the Heron, who is usually hunched up at the waters edge.

Making my way up the north lake, I stopped to watch a Great Crested Grebe fishing.

 Two dives in the space of a couple of minutes, and both times he was successful.

Nearing the wall of the dam, a flash of white skimming over the water caught my eye.
The Common Sandpiper.

 I managed some video, and a couple of shots before he flew back across the lake, towards the pub.

Up at one of the buoys, a pair of Common Terns were taking a break from fishing.

Walking at the top end, a couple of Whitethroats were calling from the bushes. I wasn't going to be chasing after pictures this morning, like yesterday, and when I reached the weir, up in a tree was the usual one. Visibly singing for all he was worth, and not trying to hide today.

Round past the arm, behind the pub, and a couple of shots of the Cormorant drying his wings on the old boat.

He'd earlier had to endure a dive bombing session from one of the Terns. Clearly not happy that the Cormorant was on his nesting place.

Round the south lake, and more of the same. Warblers warbling, and a couple of Terns flying at the far end.

After feeding the Robin, I made my way past the rowing club.

Thinking how quiet everything was ...... no Swallows skimming over the water, or screaming Swifts, suddenly a Swallow appeared. Skimmed the water, followed by a couple more, and then high in the sky, a dozen or more Swifts, and a single House Martin.

Something else caught my attention too.
At first, I thought it was a Buzzard soaring, but looking through the binoculars, I could see it was black all over. Long 'fingers' at the end of the wings; big tail, and then it disappeared over the tree tops.
A Raven? Possibly, but I'm not 100%, even though I've seen my fair share in Wales.
If it was a Crow, then it was a big bugger.
I'll leave that one as a mystery.

Back at the car park, a couple of Magpies were having a bit of a scrap, but soon stopped as I started to watch.

An interesting morning.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
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)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
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 Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
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  36


  1. I'm glad your videos are back. I know how much work they entail so am doubly appreciative.

    Great shots as always.

    I passed a weasel, a buzzard and both cleared off quick sticks. I think the dogs don't help.

    It is good weather. Long may it last. The dawn chorus woke me at around four this morning. I'm tired now.

  2. Thanks Adrian. I had an early start too this morning. Best time of the day though isn't it.
    Time for my afternoon nap soon.

  3. The Common Sandpiper is glorious in the good weather, and Common Tern has a veiwing spot, well done Keith.

  4. HI Keith, the lake looks wonderful in this post,,,so nice to see the Grebes again and the Sandpiper too!!

  5. Great Pictures Keith glad to see your back hopefully will bump into you soon :).


  6. Hi Keith, Just managed to catch up with this and the last video and enjoyed them both and the photos of course. Hope the medication review went ok, they're a pain, just box ticking really. Lovely photo of the backlit Daffodil on the older post. A beautiful one of the lake on this post too. Lovely to see the Chiffchaff in the video. You had a beautiful sunny day! Is there any news of the swan with the injured wing?

  7. Thanks Bob. The sun really makes a difference to everything.

    Thanks Sondra. We're lucky to have quite a few grebes on the lake.

    Cheers Scott. Yea, back for a while :-)

    Thank you Jan. Yea, the review was OK; still breathing lol
    The injured swan has been taken away. I rang a local rescue charity, and they've taken it to a sanctuary. The wing was quite bad. Hopefully he'll have a stress free life now, in safety.

  8. The Common Sandpiper was a good spot Keith and encouraging to hear so many Reed Warblers.

  9. Thanks Roy. We now have three Common Sands here, but I only saw one on this mornings quick visit.
    Still lots of Reed Warblers.