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

Monday, 6 May 2013

Bank Holiday cute fest; ducklings and goslings

What a glorious start to the day; sunshine and birdsong.

Yesterday was International Dawn Chorus Day, and today, the birds were carrying it on in style. Just from the car park, I could hear Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Robin, Reed Warbler and Magpies chattering away.

Further round the north lake, I'd managed to see as many different species of birds as I did all day yesterday elsewhere; and I'd only just got to the road bridge.

Plenty of Mute Swans out on the water, and a distant pair of Canada Geese, with a single gosling. Great Crested Grebes were in good numbers too, and a few were even flying around.

Across the lake, by the rowing jetty, I could see two Common Sandpipers. Looking at the video, and later, it turned out to be three.

Up towards the footbridge, and bandstand, and there must have been half a dozen reed Warblers calling away. There seems to be good numbers of these birds this year, along with Blackcaps.

Under the footbridge, I watched a Mallard with her 12 ducklings.

Yes, 12. She's going to have her hands full with this little lot. She took them over to the reeds out of sight as I watched, but they seemed intent on having fun, dashing through the water like rowdy school kids.

A sad fact of nature though, is only a few of these will survive the growing up period.

Making my way up towards the wall of the dam, and the three Common Sandpipers flew to the wall. They paraded up and down for a while, but by the time I'd got nearer, they were off; first settling on the boat used by the Common Terns, and then they flew off towards the pub.

One of the floating algae zappers has attracted the attention of a pair of Coots. They're building a nest on the platform. As good a place as any.

A couple of Whitethroat singing from the edge of the lake, a few Reed Buntings, and as I made my way past the weir, a Sedge Warbler flew up, chattering away, and settled back down in some bushes.

Round past the arm, behind the pub, and I saw my first Cuckooflower of the year.

 Just poking through the grass.

Up by the pub, a couple of Pied Wagtails foraging on the grass with a group of Starlings, and by the waters edge, a pair of Greylag Geese with four goslings, some Mute Swans, loafing around in the sun, and the pair of Canada Geese with their gosling.

Still no sign of Doris, as I made my way to the south lake. Maybe she's sitting on eggs?

A quick walk along the riverside to see if I could find any Damsels or Dragons. No luck, but I did manage a picture of a resting Garden Warbler.

Round towards where the Robin hangs out, and the various trees are looking spectacular with their blossom.

No sign of Robin, but a couple of Crows and Magpies have cottoned on to the idea of food being left. They were soon on the scene.

Past the rowing club, and only a single Swallow as it flew overhead.

At the town houses, a very sad sight in the water. A dead Badger. Strange to see a dead one in the water. All the time I've walked round here, I've never seen a dead or alive one. It does make me wonder how it got there.

Another family of Canada Geese swam by.

 Single goslings seem to be the order of the day.

 This one was keeping very close to mum.

A bit further on, another family of Mallards.

 She only had six to keep her eye on. Going to be tough for her though.

Almost at the car park now, and a fantastic morning in the sun.

One last picture to finish on.

 A Magpie enjoying the sun on his back.

And as I made my way back to the car, at the car park, a stunning Orange Tip butterfly in the sun.
Perfect 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)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
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  37


  1. Hi Keith...Just marvelous this post!!
    Lots of oooh's and awww's with the blossoms and all the wee ones swimming about with there Mum's! : )
    The Cuckooflower photos is gorgeous!!
    Love all the reflection such a good day with quite water for that!!
    Glad you had such a wonderful morning such as this!!

  2. Thanks Grace. I had a fantastic morning. Perfect.

  3. What a great day you had. It inspires me to have another go at video.
    I hope the fishermen are catching the Pike. Easy food are ducklings. How she hatched twelve I don't know as the weather has not been over warm this last few weeks.
    A great day...bloody damp and nasty up here.

  4. Love the Canada gosling, poor thing, it must be due a large thing, like a crow, gull or something go lives under the waves. Great Reed Warblers and Garden Warblers.

  5. Lots of new arrivals Keith.

  6. Adrian it was a corker of a day.
    I've no idea where these Mallards have been nesting; haven't seen any sitting on eggs, but they all seem to have done well so far. I doubt this one will keep all 12 though.

    Thanks Bob. All the new small life is easy prey for the bigger animals. Still, they've all got survive somehow.

    It was great to see so many Roy.

  7. What a wonderful day you had adn lots to see and hear. It must be warmer over there than here as more duck/geese have already been hacked. I did notice a Dandlion seed head. over here (N.I.) our Dandlions are just blooming and now that the sun is out it is making the place look lovley and bright. I would love to know how to add the video bites together. Looks very good the way you do it adn I always feel I have gone bird watching along with you.

  8. Thanks Margaret. Glad you enjoyed the post and video. It's been another hot day over here, but set to get a bit wetter the next few days.

    I use a programme from Serif, called MoviePlus X5 to join all the clips together. Windows also have software that comes with the operating system called Windows Live Moviemaker, which is pretty good.

  9. WOW what a glorious day you had, every which way you look its just stunning! AAAWWWW to all the new lives just starting out...I really WISH they all can make it..that would make my heart happy.

  10. Thanks Sondra. It really was an excellent visit. Sadly today, it's dull, dark and raining. :-(