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

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Hobby day

A sunny morning, with no rain.

From Cormorant island, the pair of Mute Swans were out this morning, with their new additions.

Seven cygnets.

I watched them for ages, as they fed together, pulling weed from under the water, and stripping new shoots from an overhanging tree.
Close by was a female Mallard, with her five ducklings. A good start to the morning.

I made my way to the north lake, and stood watching the Swallows, House Martins and Swifts flying over the water. A couple of Mallards came over for some seed, and after feeding them, I decided to take some pictures of the Swallows.

Suddenly, all the birds flew up in the air, and spread out.
A Hobby was hunting, swooping down and around. Not sure if he caught any, it all happened so quickly, and he soared off towards the trees.
All was quiet for about fifteen minutes. No sight or sound of any birds.
Eventually they appeared, and carried on with their day, as though nothing had happened.

I carried on around the lake, stopping at various spots to watch the birds skimming over the water. The Swifts were shooting past me so close, I could hear the rush of wind as they passed; and the Swallows expertly skimmed the water.

Eventually I was at the south lake, searching for any sign of yesterdays Spotted Flycatcher. Nothing.

Lots of the usual birds seen though, and quite a few just heard. No matter how hard I searched, I couldn't see some of them. The leaves on the trees are making it more difficult now to spot them.

Past the rowing club, and boats were by now out on the water.

A last look at the Mute Swan family, still feeding, and then back to the car.

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 Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Hobby [sp] (Falco subbuteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Feral Pigeon (Columba livia 'feral')
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
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)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36


  1. A great morning Keith.
    Lovely to see the ducklings and cygnets. It's ages since I've seen a Swift.

  2. HI Keith...Well first of I had to look up what a Hobby was...I thought maybe you had taken on something other then Photography to do !!
    Bird of prey ..I should have watched the video first then I might have had a better idea ; )
    Is there anything more precious than those little adorable signets and ducklings!! Perfect post for us US Moms since it is Mothers Day here !! Such good Moms those Swans, just wonderful shots and video!!
    The dandelion path is lovely ..people here complain about then on there lawns, but the bee's sure love then!!

  3. Thanks Adrian. The Swifts have arrived en masse here now. Great to see them swooping and screaming as they go. I could watch them for hours.

    Thanks Grace. These swans sure are good parents; they raised four healthy cygnets last year. They might struggle with seven this year, but I wish them all the best.
    Dandelions are such bright and cheerful plants; there's a place for everything in nature, if we just leave well alone.
    And, Happy Mothers Day to you. Hope you have a good one.

  4. Hi Keith, I thought we were in for the weed dance at the end but not quite :-) Lovely to see the swan and duck families, mum and dad have a lot to do now to keep them safe.

    Well done on spotting ;-) the Spotted Flycatcher yesterday. I'm surprised that tree comes back with growth each year after the caterpillars strip it so heavily!

  5. Nice to see the 'new arrivals' at the lake Keith, I hope they all 'make it'!

    How resourceful was that Swan when feeding her cygnets?...nature at it's best!

    Excellent shots of the cygnet and the Swallow and well done with the tracking shots on the video!...[;o)

  6. Jan, I really thought so too. I've only seen a few half hearted attempts of the weed dance this year.
    It's amazing how nature bounces back after the caterpillar attacks on the trees here.

    Cheers Trevor. Yea, that swan was pretty smart using the tender shoots for her cygnets.

  7. Aha, the start of the awwww season, great to see the little ones.
    I can watch Swallows on the cricket field for ages. Incredible how close they get to the ground while travelling at full speed.

  8. It certainly is John. :-)
    I agree, Swallows, Martins, and Swifts, I can watch them for ages; masters of the air.

  9. Loved the video especially the Great crested Grebes at the end

  10. You did well keeping up with those Swallows Keith.

  11. Thanks Margaret. A shame the grebes didn't perform the full 'dance'. Maybe they weren't in the mood.

    Thanks Roy. Yea, it can be very hit and miss at times; but fun trying.