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

Friday, 10 January 2014

Flooded lake and a Barnacle Goose

My 5th visit this year, but the first post for the year.

Caldecotte is a balancing lake; it takes excess water from the sky and the river.
It's certainly doing that just now. A very wet Caldecotte again, so just the south lake, and a little bit of the north. The rest I need a boat.

Crisp, cold and sun; perfect weather.
The sun rising over a flooded lake got things off to a good start.

The river alongside the south lake has spilled over slightly, and made the footpath linking north and south impassable.
At the far end, the bird hide is flooded, but giving the Heron some new areas to explore.

The early light was pretty good too.

Quite a few Redwings were flicking their way through the fallen leaves under the shrubs and trees. A favourite spot of theirs; and sometimes Fieldfare join them too.

A flash of movement higher up, and I spotted a Goldcrest.

A bird I must try and get a decent shot of this year.

I walked down to feed the Robin, and heard a Song Thrush singing merrily high in a tree. Did my best to find him, but no luck.
A male Bullfinch though, and a Crow perched high in the tree. A Dunnock, Long Tailed Tits; and of course, the Robin.

Past the flooded rowing club.
A few Tufted Ducks out on the water, along with one of the plastic jetties.
The water level is up to the top of the fence, so thankfully the higher path meant I could get round.

More Tufted Duck in the circular areas in front of the houses, along with a few Pochard, Mallard, and a few Black-headed Gulls. A couple of Common Gulls with them too.
No sign of any Goosander though. The first time I've been this month and not seen any.

Back at the car park, and I decided to cross the road, and walk up towards the gully on the north lake.
The road is like a race track, cars rushing to wherever they are going.
Even cyclists on the path zoom up behind with no warning.

Safely across to the other side, and the path under the road bridge is flooded all the way past the pub

The workmen are back at the pub now, so probably not long till it's all finished.

A large flock of Greylag were grazing on the grass at the edge of the lake, but soon took to the safety of the lake as I got nearer.
Across to the far side, it looks like most of the footpaths are under water.
The wall of the dam is invisible; I guess the water is pouring over the top, and flooding the field beyond.

As I scanned through the flock of Greylags on the water, I found the Barnacle Goose that has been tagging along with them.

A fine looking bird.

A few Coots out on the water

one or two Gadwall, the usual Wigeon flock, and some Pochard.

A walk up to the hill overlooking the gully, and the water is level with the swollen river. One big lake now, with no sign of a gully.

I wonder how much longer the lake will be flooded.

Full list of today's sightings

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Greater Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Barnacle Goose (Branta leucopsis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Gadwall [sp] (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
Goldcrest [sp] (Regulus regulus)
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)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  37


  1. A marathon post today. It is good to see the Goldcrest. If it stays mild they should have a good winter.
    The lake is very impressive but it appears to be doing it's job.

  2. A tad damp underfoot this morning then Keith? Some beautiful light though. Ever thought of getting one of those floating hide thingy's, it would be just the job? The water does make for some lovely vistas and reflections though...[;o)

  3. Thanks Adrian. Yea, got a bit carried away today. I've almost done a post a couple of times before, but just didn't get round to it. Today I did.

    Very wet, and a bit muddy Trevor. A great visit though.

  4. Thats a really good shot of a Goldcrest Keith, they are little B…..s to try and catch in the frame.

  5. HI Keith ...Wow looks like a small ocean, sure hope things get back to normal there at the lake!!
    I wonder what those water birds think, and how it affects the food finding!!

    Great color in your photo's, looks like it was a decent day!!


  6. Enjoyed the photos here and on Flickr.. You sure see many of them. We have a few birds here but not many .. A few chickadees and Bluejays that I hear off in the distance. Perhaps if I looked a bit hard I might see more.
    Happy New Year Keith.

  7. Thanks Roy; they're not easy.

    Thank you Grace. Yea, a lovely day at the lake. Very busy here at the moment. :-(

    Thank you Lisa. Some of the birds do take some searching; they're good at hiding lol
    Happy New Year to you too.

  8. You have had more than your fair share of the wet stuff so far this year. It can take ages to run off the hills, especially when the land is so saturated.
    The Herons seem to be getting used to you. It doesn't seem long since they used to disappear as soon as you pointed a camera in their direction.

  9. Thanks John. The water levels are slowly going down. Very slowly.
    I think the Herons are juveniles, which would explain their tolerance.

  10. Nasty wet stuff, but, lovely birds though.

  11. Cheers Bob. Got plenty of it here.