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



Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Scaup still here, and Goldeneye




First post from here this week, and all the regulars have been about every day.


Doris still ambushes me under the road bridge, and the Robin still waits for his seed.
In between, the female Goldeneye is still here, and the Scaup are still favouring the south lake.
We did have 8 originally, but 4 have left. I visited Willen Lake on Monday, and they have decided to settle there. Good to share.

The weather is still dull, and grey, and not much else of note about the lake.

At home however, I've been invaded by Siskins.
I've counted over 50 in the garden, and added to what is in the trees either side of my small garden, I estimate at least 100. Amazing sight and sound. I'm in the process of putting some video together, which I may post on my  other blog at a later date.











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)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
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)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Total species  29


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Lesser Redpoll, Scaup, Goosander and more




A cold morning, with flurries of snow.



I quickly topped up the feeders, and then headed to the road bridge. I soon found Doris and co., and as they began eating the seed, I scanned the distant gull roost on the south lake.
It was light now, and still quite a few gulls there. The snow was getting more persistent, so a quick decision to make. The north lake, then do the south if the snow doesn't get any worse, or do the south lake, and hopefully check out the gull roost.
Being boat day, I decided on the north first, thinking that any soon to be disturbed birds might fly to the north lake for refuge. Besides, gulls aren't my strong point, even in direct sunlight.


Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits, and Reed Buntings were all in the bushes; and when not feeding, they were singing. No sign of the Heron preparing to dive on the fish this morning at the footbridge, but a couple were flying around the rest of the lake.

Down by the wall of the dam, a couple of female Goosander were briefly fishing, until flying further up the top end. From the river, a third quickly joined them, and as I got by the gully, across the lake were four more, including a male.

The snow had eased a bit by now, and still wasn't settling very much, so I made my way towards the south lake. Passing under the road bridge, I could see four Scaup in the distance; two male, and two female.





It was short lived though, as the boats began to set off for their weekend jaunt, the waterfowl all took to the air. Scaup, Tufted, Wigeon and Pochard, all swirling round in the sky, looking for somewhere to settle.


Reaching the far end, after seeing a couple of Reed Buntings, Stock Dove, and lots of Black-headed Gulls flying overhead, I scanned through the ducks that had gathered close to the hide.
Mostly Tufted Duck.


I walked on to the next hide, and the Robin.




He took a couple of bits of seed from my hand, and then decided he'd have the rest on the ground.



A few Redwing in the trees, and some Blackbirds flicking through the leaf litter, and then I made my way past the rowing club.

Not very much else about, apart from a couple of boats, and as I passed the houses, heading towards the car park, I heard a familiar sound.


A bird I've never seen round the lake before.




A Lesser Redpoll.






 Three were feeding in one of the trees, and seemed totally unbothered by my presence. 











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)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Stock Pigeon [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
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)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39


Thursday, 21 February 2013

Fighting Geese




Finally got to fill the feeders at last.



Good to see the water level almost back to normal, so after doing the feeders, I could get round both parts of the lake. A cold morning though, and quite dull and cloudy.

No sign of Doris under the road bridge, but plenty of other birds in the bushes.

Up towards the footbridge, and the Heron was standing on the bank, looking into the water. Now I've often jokingly thought he'd dive in after a fish; and he did just that.
Unbelievable. He jumped off the bank, speared a fish, and jumped back on the side.
He toyed with it a while, and then flew to the reeds on the other side, being pursued by a gull.




 Not the best of pictures, terrible light. That's my excuse.



A female Goosander was swimming around in one of the cuts, from the main lake.

It certainly made a change to be able to get round the north lake, and as I passed the Kingfisher island, I could hear a right commotion going on. Two Canada Geese were locked in combat.




Two other geese were nearby, keeping well out of it. I can only guess it was some sort of territory dispute? Nesting sites would be becoming a priority about now, and it was quite a vicious fight. very much like the disputes Mute Swans have; lots of wing flapping, neck grabbing, and thrusting the opponents head under water in an attempt to drown them.




It seemed to go on for ages, and eventually the aggressor felt he had made his point, and went to noisily join his partner, leaving the other one to noisily join his.
A couple more chases across the water, and then they seemed to settle down a bit. 




 Point made.



At the top end, a group of Wigeon flew in to join the small group already there.

Up by the gully, it was still covered in water, and the path was passable with care.

A Pied Wagtail around by the pub, but still no sign of Doris.

I made my way under the road bridge, towards the south lake. Over on the far side, a group of Pochard, and just further along I counted three of the Scaup.

Heading towards the far end, I found a female Goldeneye. She soon flew over to the far side though.

A small group of Siskin were up in the Alders near the offices, and then I went to look for the Robin.

I found him, and he half heartily took some food from my outstretched hand, so I put the rest on the ground for him.

Down past the rowing club, and I could walk alongside the lake on the path, for a change. At the first bay, in front of the houses, another female Goosander amongst the Tufted Duck and Black-headed Gulls.



A quick look at the feeders, and then home.









Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Common Goldeneye [sp] (Bucephala clangula)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
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)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  33


Saturday, 16 February 2013

Scaup and weekend boats




Not a bad start to the morning; but the lake is still flooded.


It's gone down a bit since yesterday, but I still can't get to the feeders. Maybe in a couple of days if we don't get any more rain.
Unfortunately if the rising and falling water levels keeps happening, it's not going to help the soon to be nesting birds around the edges, and later, in the reeds.

The north lake was a no go, so just the south this morning.
As I made my way towards the road bridge to look for Doris, I disturbed a Sparrowhawk finishing off the remains of a kill. Hard to tell what it once was; and no sign of Doris either.

Onto the south lake, and in the distance I could see the Scaup amongst a group of Pochards. A group of boats were out too, so the views of the Scaup were short lived, as everything took to the air, and began flying around overhead.





As I made my way to the far end, a pair of Great Crested Grebes were looking as though they were about to perform the weed dance. Just as they dived though, one of the boats came cruising up to where they had been. The end of that ritual. And still the group of birds were flying round overhead. They must use up a lot of energy.

I just missed another pair performing the 'head waggle', who were nearer to the far end, and safe from boats. In the distance a couple of Teal, and as I reached the far end, a pair of Mute Swans swam over hoping for food. They didn't seem impressed with the seed I had. I think they're more used to bread.


A small group of Long Tailed Tits were busily working their way through the bushes searching for insects.





Round to where the Robin usually is, but for the second day, no sign of him. I left some seed anyway, and scanning the water I found one of the male Scaup along with some Tufted Duck, and three Gadwall.

Past the busy rowing club, and then around the bays in front of the houses.
The final bay had another male Scaup, and past Cormorant island, a group of Pochard.


Not a bad morning in the end.











Full list of today's sightings


Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)


Total species  27



Thursday, 14 February 2013

7 Scaup and 1 Goosander




First day round the lake after getting back from a snowy Wales yesterday.


And yet again, the lake is flooded. I've never known it to be flooded so much, and so often. Just the south lake this morning, and a quick visit.


I found the Scaup straight away, swimming with a group of Pochards.




Four males, and three females.





At the far end, the water is over the seats at the hide, but I managed to see some Little Grebe swimming around with a group of Tufted Duck.


A quick hello to the Robin, who took some seed from my outstretched hand, and the on past the rowing club.
A group of Herring Gulls out in the middle of the lake, and as I passed the houses, a lone male Goosander amongst the Tufted Duck and Coots.





A poor set of pictures today, and a rushed post. Lots to do, and catch up on.










Full list of today's sightings



Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
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)
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)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Total species  28


Sunday, 3 February 2013

Swan trouble




An even quicker visit today.



I wasn't going to bother with a post today as I'm off to Wales tomorrow, and a lot to do today; hence this late post.

Still flooded. It doesn't seem to have gone up or down for a few days, so I guess they've left the plug in for now. Still can't get to the feeders without a boat, so I've left their filling in Trevor's capable hands whilst I'm away.


Before crossing over the road bridge to the south lake, I stopped to feed Doris and co.
I told her to behave herself whilst I'm away, but she seemed more interested in the seed I put down for her.


Windy and cold as I walked towards the far end of the south lake. Some of the water at the edge has frozen, even with the wind whipping the water to the edge.
Bloody cold.


I managed to see a lone female Goosander, and further along with three Tufted Duck, was a female Scaup. No sign of the other seven, so they may have moved on elsewhere. 


So if any local grown ups are looking for the Scaup, I'm afraid you'll have to do some leg work; she's not near the car parks anymore. Still, you'll get to see some of the lake you don't usually see maybe.


At the far end a young Heron played hide and seek for a while, before giving up, and settling in the reeds.
On round to see Robin, and he took a quick snatch from my hand, before I put the seed on the ground for him. A little extra today, because I won't be here for a while.
I just hope he remembers me when I come back.


As I left him, I walked towards the rowing club, and heard a crash.
As I turned to look, I could see one of the lamp posts in the car park of the offices swaying, and a glimpse of something large as it fell to the ground behind the bushes.

I hurried over, fearing the worst.

A Mute Swan cygnet was sat in the empty car park looking rather dazed.
I walked slowly towards him, talking softly as I got nearer.
He seemed OK outwardly, but didn't stand as I got nearer. His breathing was quick and deep.
(Racing through my mind was 'shall I call a rescue place?' I have a couple of numbers stored in my phone.)

Luckily I had some slices of bread in my pocket, and as I got closer, I broke a few pieces off, and offered it to him.
He took them from me, and after a while rose to his feet.
A good sign.

After a few moments he began to walk in the direction of the lake. A couple of gaps in the hedge, thankfully. I didn't fancy trying to carry him.
As he got nearer the lake, an adult male Mute Swan swam over to the edge.
I'm guessing he was the reason for the cygnets crash landing. Chased by an aggressive male, seeing him off from 'his' territory.


I walked towards the male Swan, who started hissing at me.
Yea, obviously the hard man!
Whilst he was busy telling me off, it gave the cygnet a chance to get into the water.

Pretty soon, the male realised what was happening, and left me, to pursue the cygnet.
Thankfully the cygnet made a hasty retreat to the centre of the lake, furiously flapping its wings as the male followed briefly.

It was good to know there were no injuries to the cygnet other than a dent in its pride.

He swam safely away, and eventually made it to a group of other cygnets opposite Cormorant island.



I hadn't seen as many birds as usual, but  an interesting 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)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

Total species  27



Saturday, 2 February 2013

Flooded again




A quick post today.



I've been over most days this week, but the lake has been flooded again. North lake has been out of bounds via the footpath, and under the road bridge has been flooded.
I've just walked the south lake, and so I've not seen as much as usual.
Having said that, this morning was pretty good.

No way of getting to the feeders still; the last time I filled them was on Monday.
Maybe the level will drop a bit tomorrow, so I can fill them.

Doris and the gang still catch me under the road bridge though, and today a couple of Swans tagged along.

Round the south lake, very little. No sign of the Scaup most of the week, and today the birds were all flying. Boat day.

Very few gulls on the water, but a good variety nonetheless.
A Common Gull was doing the foot stamping; pretending to be rain. Yesterday I watched him, and he was quite successful at catching a few worms.





At the far end, the first hide is still flooded, and very few birds there.


On round to see the Robin, and he soon appeared. I had to get down lower today, for him to quickly snatch a seed from my outstretched hand.

Past the rowing club, and round by the houses. A few Tufted Duck, and Coots, but not much else. Once I was back level with Cormorant island though, a few more birds.




A single Scaup, female.






A single Goosander, female;



and at the far end, a couple of Teal.
A group of Tufted Duck and Pochard made up the rest, with a pair of Gadwall.



Back at the car park, a quick look round the footbridge area, and there was Chaffinch,




Bullfinch, female



Dunnock, Robin, and the usual Tits.


And a couple of Reed Buntings too.





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









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)
Common Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Greater Scaup [sp] (Aythya marila)
Goosander (Mergus merganser merganser)
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)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
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)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  36