Saturday, 19 November 2016

By the Lake

19th Nov.  Bright sunshine but strikingly cold today I met up with Sam down by the lake.  Frost remained in a few areas where the sun had not managed to break through.  The smaller of the lakes held a good number of birds including a pair of Wigeon, two pairs of Shoveler and five Gadwall, three of the latter birds being male.  Perhaps there were three pairs and we missed one of the females.  Whilst I remember the odd Wigeon visiting the lake years ago it is a species that vanished for some years and it is only in recent times that they have made a return.  Gadwall and Shoveler  (I’ve given in and have begun to spell Shoveler with one l) are both quite new species to the lake in recent years.  Other species included Mute Swans, numbers now dramatically reduced by the measures taken to ensure that this occurred, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard and Tufted Duck.

The larger lake by contrast to the smaller was very quiet indeed.  A few Mute Swans, one male Goosander, a Great Crested Grebe, a lone Cormorant and a lone Pochard were easily found on a quiet lake surface.  Approximately ninety Canada Geese were in two parties at the far end of the lake and an odd Greylag Goose was amongst them.  Gulls seen were Black Headed, Common and Herring.  A single male Reed Bunting was seen in the trees by the side of the lake and not far from here a Grey Heron moved to and fro along the edge of the water to avoid us.  A return walk through the trees brought little, apart from calling Long-tailed Tits hidden somewhere in the tree tops.

I walked across the fields towards the church grounds on my return home and apart from finding Dunnock and hearing a little of the song of Robin there was little to report, although I did find a couple of apple trees which I must have passed by hundreds of times without realising what they were.  My hour or so on patch had been cold, but enjoyable.  It was the type of day I enjoy and I was warmer by the time I arrived home.  I found it hard to believe that a week has passed by since our visit to Musselburgh and Aberlady and Sam and I have given a talk concerning the islands of Northumbria mid week.  Having put fresh seed out this morning along with some fat from yesterdays chicken and having chased the damn cats the garden was still quite active with birds.  I caught a glimpse of a male Bullfinch lit by the sun, as well as the visiting Song Thrush

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