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



Monday, 12 May 2014

Last one for a while



A quick visit and a short post today; heading off somewhere different for a while.


A dull morning, with some nasty looking clouds, but the rain kept off until I got home.
A few goslings by the pub, and a lot of Swifts over the lake, with Swallows, Common Terns, Sand and House Martins. The Cetti's Warbler is extending his territory; or maybe he just fancied a change of scenery ......... like myself.

It was good to see a pair of Kingfishers fly over the lake this morning, and the Oystercatchers are still pretty vocal, as they fly by.


Sadly the Great Crested Grebes nest up by the houses, was destroyed by the elements the other day. The strong winds whipped up the water, making waves, and destroying it all.
It saved the Parks Trust from getting back to me, anyway. Thank goodness it wasn't something important like a broken piece of trim-track equipment.




And as I walked back to the car, I spotted my first Poppies of the year.









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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
British Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major anglicus)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
British Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos clarkei)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  36


Friday, 9 May 2014

Great Crested Grebes and the trim track








A quick visit to the lake yesterday, found a pair of Great Crested Grebes that have nested in a rather precarious place. Next to a public footpath.






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






My guess is they are first timers at this nesting business. I watched them a couple of weeks ago, performing their weed dance, and had hoped they would nest somewhere sensible.
Alas, no. They have already lost one egg over the past weekend.


Whilst I was there, I had a quick wander to the far end of the south lake, and I must admit I was rather surprised to see some construction work going on, of some fitness equipment. Especially as it is so close to the so called 'Conservation Area'.







But back to the Great Crested Grebes.



When I got home, I sent a quick e-mail to the Parks Trust.



As someone who walks round the lake on a regular basis, and enjoys the flora and fauna of the area, I am writing on behalf of some of the dog walkers and residents regarding a pair of Great Crested Grebes, that have decided to nest in front of the houses in Monellan Crescent.
The nest had an egg over the weekend, which disappeared; and this morning there is another egg.
It seems in a very vulnerable position, so close to the footpath, and we were wondering if it would be possible to erect a temporary fence around it, to minimise any possible future disturbance.
I have seen this done very effectively in parks in north Wales. 
We appreciate the financial cost involved, but we feel sure the goodwill gesture would be worth it; and also boost the kudos of The Parks Trust.
Hopefully some money is left to do this, after the recent erecting of the 'fitness' areas on the south lake, around the 'conservation area'.


Thank you for taking the time to read this.



A few minutes later, I did receive a reply.



Thank you for your e-mail. I have passed it on to our biodiversity officer, Martin Kincaid who will contact you in due course. The trim trail equipment has been supplied, installed and paid for by Walton Parish Council, not The Parks Trust.
Kind regards
Briony

Briony Fox
Head of Community Engagement


Well, I went out later to visit my mum, and hoped for a reply by the time I got home.

Nothing.


This morning I took a quick walk over the lake, to see how the Grebes are doing.






One of them is sitting tight on the nest. I'm guessing the incubation period has begun.









I do hope these beautiful birds are successful; but I doubt it very much.
Incubation of the eggs takes 25-29 days.
Let's hope they can last that long.



To date, I've still heard nothing more from The Parks Trust



On the way back to the car this morning though, I did notice that some grass cutting had been done.



Keep safe


Sunday, 4 May 2014

Common Sandpiper, Swifts and Garden Warbler



A sunny start to the day, and some excellent birds too.


The Crows and Magpies had a feast by the car park this morning; some bread, grapes and digestive biscuits. The sounds of Reed Warblers were coming from the reeds to the left, but they were pretty difficult to see.

On towards the north lake, and my first Garden Warbler of the year here, was calling from the bushes along from the footbridge.




Over by the pub, a Mallard had quite a few ducklings,




and close by a couple of Greylag were keeping a watchful eye on their goslings.





A few Common Terns were flying over the water, and a couple took a quick break.






On towards where the Cetti's Warbler hangs out, but he wasn't so co-operative today.
A shame, because some pictures in the sun would have been nice. Another time, maybe.
I did see a juvenile Robin, looking very grown up, as he flitted through the trees.


Quite a few Reed Warblers calling from the reeds, a few House Sparrows feeding, which was good to see, and some Reed Buntings around too.


Up towards the wall of the dam, and a few more ducklings swimming close to mum.

Towards the weir, I was hoping to see a Whitethroat; a favourite spot over the last couple of years.
No sign today, but as I got by the gully, I did hear, and see, a Sedge Warbler belting out his song.





A little while ago, there was a Mallard that had her ducklings stuck in the gully. They were swimming aimlessly up and down, as she frantically called out to them. This of course attracted the attention of one of the Grey Herons, that thought he'd have an easy lunch. She did an amazing job of seeing him off a couple of times while I was there.
When I returned a couple of days later, the Mallard family were gone from the gully. Had they managed to escape using the new ramp? I'd like to think so.
Well, today, a Mallard, with coincidentally five ducklings, was swimming happily in the lake, not far from the gully.






Further round the corner, something caught my eye, feeding along the shore line.




 A Common Sandpiper.


To my knowledge, they have bred here before, and as I saw two this morning, then there's a good chance they may breed here again.



Past the pub, and on towards the south lake.

By now, a few boats were out on the lake, and a few more people walking and jogging too, enjoying the good weather.

As I passed under the road bridge, I could hear a familiar 'screaming' sound.
Up above, a group of Swifts were wheeling around overhead, and began to descend, skimming over the water. A great sight and sound. The first I've seen here this year; a bit later than past years, but only by a few days.


Down to the footbridge, and another chance to hopefully see a Whitethroat. A good spot, in the brambles and bushes by the footbridge. I was in luck. Difficult to see, but at least one Whitethroat there; possibly two. An equally hard to see was another singing Garden Warbler, a Wren in a tree, and a much easier Dunnock, that posed for a while.





Down to the far end, and something I noticed ............. the sparcity, compared to last year, of the Cuckoo flower, or Lady's Smock.
A few growing here, but nothing like past numbers. Last year the area was covered with them. Maybe the flooding has taken its toll on them?
Something else that was short on visible numbers, despite the sun, was butterflies.
I only saw the one.



Green-veined White



After feeding the Robin, I made my way past the rowing club. A Song Thrush was having a last minute sing song, before settling down to forage for some food.
More Common Terns were swooping over the water, and at least a dozen Swifts too.

Past the houses, and as I neared the car park, a quick look at some mushrooms growing under some trees.




No idea what they are.


The Sedge Warblers were still calling from the reeds, as I got into the car.


Another excellent day.









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)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Common Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
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)
Cetti's Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Garden Warbler [sp] (Sylvia borin)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus obscurus)
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)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  33