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



Saturday, 28 June 2014

Early start for the weekend




An early 5 a.m. start at the lake this morning; sunshine, and not too many people.



A quick look at the island first, and lots of sleeping Mallards and geese. The Mute Swans were swimming around with their seven cygnets, a couple of Great Crested Grebes, and a Kingfisher flew in, and disappeared amongst the bushes.
Good start.


The north lake next, and the sound of birdsong filled the air. Chiffchaff, Reed Warblers, Wrens and lots of Blackbirds foraging under the bushes.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes began some head waggling in the early light; and junior was getting in on the act too.






A few Common Terns were dive bombing the water, searching for small fish, and a couple of Grey Herons were standing at the waters edge, searching for bigger fish.


At the top end, quite a few Canada Geese were busily grazing, until my presence upset them, and they headed off towards the safety of the water.


Towards the pub, and a lot more geese and young ones.
And from the distance came a Mallard, running towards me, with two ducklings running behind. She seems to have lost some since I last saw her.
A few handfuls of seed, and they were quite happily feeding; but she furiously saw off any other Mallards that came too close.


On towards the south lake, and a few clouds were gathering.
The Swifts were flying above, snatching the insects in the air.


At the far end, I stopped to watch a very worn looking Whitethroat.




He was keeping a watchful eye on his three offspring that were much closer, and hiding amongst the bushes.





At the rowing club, a female Mute Swan was busily feeding her cygnets,





and the male wasn't too far away. He was more interested in herding an unfortunate Canada Goose away, that had wandered too far to their breakfast table.


Round past the houses, and a few House Martins had joined the Swifts overhead.

A quick check on the island again, and they all seemed to be asleep still.
A family of Coots swam past,





and then it was back to the car.


An enjoyable walk.








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)
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)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
British Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes indigenus)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Eurasian Jackdaw [sp] (Corvus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
British Bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula pileata)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)


Total species  34



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