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, 20 June 2014

A few young ones

My first visit for a while, and just a quick one, as I had to be back for a delivery of bird seed.

The Crows and Magpies soon appeared at the car park, once I'd put some digestive biscuits down; they hadn't forgotten.
Chiffchaff calling from the trees, Garden Warbler and Song Thrush ........... all heard, but unseen. I did see a Robin on the footbridge though, and a Great Tit.

I walked round to the road bridge for a quick look at the north lake through the binoculars, before heading round the south lake.

Greylag, and Canada Geese, a few Mute Swans, a Black-headed Gull on one of the buoys, a circling Common Tern, and Mallards.
The Mallards had recognised me too, as the man with food, and they soon came out of the water running towards me. What surprised me, was that one female had her six ducklings in tow too.

Now usually they'll keep them away from humans for safety, keeping a very watchful eye on things. This mother apparently felt safe in my presence, and allowed her offspring to come within inches of me.

A bit worrying though, in case a dog walker passed by, and they couldn't reach the safety of the water in time. There were a couple of Magpies too, watching things from above, perched on top of a street light.

After a few minutes I slowly backed away, hoping the female Mallard would lead her ducklings to the safety of the water.
Thankfully she did, so I carried on over the road bridge, and made my way round the south lake.

A new sign from the Parks Trust stands in the grass, alongside the road, telling us this is 'Caldecotte Lake'. So now I know.

Along the path towards the far end, a group of Greylag Geese were by the waters edge feeding. Goslings of varying ages; a mixed family. Very social these birds.

Further along a family of Canada Geese were grazing in the long grass. Another mixed family I suspect, with one attentive lookout, who constantly hissed at me, warning me to keep my distance.

Fair enough.

At the bottom end of the lake, a pair of Great Crested Grebes were busily fishing for their three young ones. Successfully too.

A mixed diet of fish, and large Crayfish.
I suspect the latter was the invasive American variety, so that should keep the fishing bailif happy.

Interesting to watch how the grebes deal with such large food items.
They thrash them down onto the water, and twist and turn with their long dagger beaks, seemingly trying to snap off legs and claws, which are then fed to the young.

Another family further round were not having so much luck in the fishing department.
The adult constantly diving, whilst the young were constantly calling, and a pair of Mute Swans were feeding with their four cygnets.

I carried on to look for the Orchids that grow at the far end.

I found one, and one other in a different place.
Maybe they had flowered earlier, and had finished now.

On round to where the Robin is usually about.

No sign of him, but I left some seed anyway.
I did see a male Blackcap though, searching for insects in the trees.

The rowing club has an array of solar panels on its roof now; looks enough to power my house too.

A couple of Mallards and their young were sitting along the edge, making use of the weed that had been pulled from the lake.

Another Common Tern cruised overhead as I made my way towards the houses.
I wondered how the grebes had fared with their nesting there.
The first nest and egg had been destroyed by the wind and waves prior to me visiting Wales, and I understand a second attempt had been unsuccessful.

It seems they have got the idea it is not a good spot. No sign of them.
As I made my way back to the car park, I did see a pair nesting in the reeds.

It would be nice to think it was the earlier pair, and they have now nested safely.

A good visit, even though a short one.

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)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species 23


  1. Stunning Keith the ducks recognising you as a friend. I'll watch the rest of the video later as I seem to be short of bandwidth.
    I would have been in tears. It must be their second clutch that have hatched.
    Brilliant to see. Thanks.

  2. Hi Keith I see you are back again from Wales and it was lovely to come with you on your walk around the lakes. The birds certainly had not forgotten you. I loved the video and it was amazing to see how the GCGrebes dealt with the largish fish before feeding their young. Have a great weekend

  3. Yes, it's babe time. Aren't they lovely, especially the no.2, beautiful photo.

  4. Thanks Adrian. It was great when the female brought her youngsters out from the lake.

    Back for a little while Margaret. Yea, the grebes are fascinating to watch when they are feeding the young ones.

    Bob, it's great to see so many youngsters around.

  5. Lovely to see the new generation doing well around the lake Keith, It's amazing how Mrs. Mallard recognised you and felt safe enough to bring her brood over to meet you, I reckon you'll soon have to walk around with the food in a wheelbarrow if you're going to keep all those fed?
    It's good to see that you haven't lost any of your videoing skills while you've been away in darkest Wales. Nice one...[;o)

  6. So many bundles of Joy!! Love it. They missed you and now they are thrilled to have you back. Great shots of the grebes with the family.

  7. Thanks Trevor. I was really surprised when she got her chicks to come over to where I was. Never seen that before.

    Sondra, it was great to see all the new life. I'm lucky enough to have quite a few family's of grebes around the lake.

  8. It seems to have been a good breeding season for many birds Keith. A great opportunity to get some close shots of the young Mallards.

  9. Thanks John. There seems to be an abundance of new life.