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



Sunday, 19 January 2014

Correction to yesterdays Scaup



After the initial excitement of what I thought was a Scaup when I first saw the bird amongst the group of Tufted Duck, I checked through various books I have and online.

Greater Scaup was begining to be ruled out. Was it a Lesser Scaup?
The number of dodgy pictures I had kept nudging me away from Greater, and nearer to Lesser.
The head colour for one, and the small 'peak' on the head.
The size didn't fit though.
Was it a hybrid? A cross between a Tufted and something else?


More checking with what I had at hand, and then I put a couple of pictures on Twitter.


After some scrutiny via the medium of Twitter, by others that are far better birders than myself, the general consensus came back that is was a hybrid.








A male, Tufted x Pochard.



A big thank you to all the people on Twitter that took the time to look and help out with the ID.


I think birds should wear name badges.






Saturday, 18 January 2014

Scaup



A dull, miserable morning, with some drizzly rain.


And the lake is still flooded.





After feeding the Crows and Magpies with their biscuits, seed and bread, I negotiated the 2 lane race track that doubles as a road, to cross over to the pub.
The roof tiles are in place, and most are already down.





Some of the path is still under water from under the road bridge, but the rest is pretty good.
A quick scan of the arm that goes at the back of the pub, found mostly Coot, Wigeon, some Tufted Duck, a few Pochard and a few Gadwall.
I walked up towards the gully, and looked down from the grassy hill.
Still flooded.
The water stretches from the lake, across to the river; one giant lake now.



Back across the race track, and I was soon making my way down to the far end of the south lake.
A few Mute Swans out on the water, and a handful of Tufted Ducks, but most had made their way to the safety of the allocated 'reserve'.
Yes, weekend means boat time; and a few were trundling up and down the lake.
It also means joggers, but not so many today. Perhaps they didn't want to get their trainers wet.



Up in the trees at the far end, there were plenty of finches: Bullfinch, Siskin, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Greenfinch. Great to see such a variety.
Amongst the leaf litter were Blackbirds and Redwings, and a couple of Robins singing merrily.
Two Buzzards slowly drifted overhead, and soon disappeared from view as they crossed over the railway line.

I wandered down to where my regular Robin waits for his seed, and he soon appeared.



While he was feeding, I quickly scanned through the group of Tufted Duck out on the water.



There amongst them was a male Scaup.



A few more pictures,




and then I made my way back to the car park.



The footpath all around the rowing club is still under water, and the level is still quite high by the houses.



I think they're safe though.



Despite the lousy weather, an excellent morning.








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)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
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)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
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)
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)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
British Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs gengleri)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  38


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