Everything has it's beauty, but not everyone sees it. - Confucius
Sometimes the picture doesn't have to be perfect; it's the captured moment that counts. - me
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Sunday, 29 March 2009

A close encounter of the Goose kind

Sundays plan was to catch the sunrise at the local, and then head off somewhere different for a change. My plans seldom work out, and this was no exception.

The morning was dull and overcast, so no sunrise; or trips out. I resigned myself to a day in, and maybe some tidying up. By eight o’clock the sun was pushing through the clouds; it was getting better by the minute. I grabbed the camera and set off to the local. There didn’t seem to be many people about, so I set about a leisurely stroll round the north part of the lake.

A Song Thrush and Chiffchaff were competing to see who could sing the loudest, whilst remaining invisible. I think it was a tie. I did see a Coot though, struggling through the water, dragging a large chunk of reed with him. Hard work this nest building.

I watched a Heron being a statue for a while, trying to fool the fish. He made a couple of lunges, but was unsuccessful.

A couple of Great Crested Grebe were too busy to notice, they were more interested in bouts of head shaking.

Further on a Robin gave me the once over, and posed for a picture, before flying off.

I could still hear the Chiffchaff singing from almost every tree as I carried on, but none were too keen for pictures, preferring the higher branches, out of range of my lens. As I continued my circuit back to the car park, I spotted a lone female Goosander. There have been a few here recently, but this one seems to have been left behind.

Back at the car, I decided to pay a visit to local number 2. Willen Lake. Larger than Caldecote and always busy with people. There’s a couple of sporty keep fit places, a large bar/restaurant, water sports and even a small fair at times. Thankfully all of this activity takes place round the south lake; I’m heading north. It’s a bit quieter.

Plenty of Magpies and Crows around as I make my way to lake edge, to walk to the small hide.

The hide looks onto a small island, that houses quite a large Heronry, but this year the Little Egret have claimed the Herons favourite tree.

I sat for a while watching a pair of Swans doing a spot of housework on their nest, some Gadwall and Teal cruising up and down in front of the hide, and noisy Coots chasing anything that passed.

And more Chiffchaff, chiff chaffing. I was determined to get a picture, so I followed the nearest sound. Found him sitting high in the tree, as usual. I asked him nicely to ‘come down a bit’. Yea, I have these mad moments at times.

Then he did just that. He flew down the tree a few feet, and sat singing, just long enough for me to get some shots. Happy!

By midday I was getting hungry, so started the walk back. Up ahead were some Canada and Greylag Geese, munching on the grass, and amongst them a white goose. They all started honking together, staring whilst I stared back.

Suddenly big white took off and flew towards me. I raised the camera for some shots, but it wouldn’t focus. He was too close by now, and as I turned my head, I swear I felt his warm breath as he brushed past my shoulder and landed in the lake behind me. He climbed out, and seemed to puff out his chest.

One nil to the White Goose.


  1. It was obviously worth you going out. I particularly liked the shots of the Grebes & the Chiffchaff. Good to see Little Egret in your neck of the woods. Have a good week.

  2. Oh those honkers will get ya...by the looks of the shots you brought back it was WAY better than tiding up the place...Enjoyed this photos very much...the teal shot is wonderful!

  3. Cheers Frank.
    The Little Egrets are going from strength to strength round here, and I got lucky with Chiffchaff. Someone up there likes me :)

  4. Thanks Dixxie.
    The white really took me by surprise by his boldness.
    And I agree, walking the lakes is so much better than doing housework ;)

  5. You're seeing all kinds of stuff lately Keith. I look forward to more as the spring moves on. Love the Chiffchaff pics. I have never seen one !

  6. Thanks Nick.
    It's the best time to see Chiffchaffs at the moment, till the Willow Warblers arrive, then the ID becomes a bit difficult if they're not singing. :)

  7. What a selection Keith - great shots as usual. A picture of a Chiffchaff is very much on my "most wanted" list!

  8. Thanks Tricia, I was lucky he decided to come down the tree a bit.

  9. What a lovely selection of photos and a very nice day out. I loved the Heron shots, the Teal, Robin and ChiffChaff. I don't think I have ever seen a Chiffchaff and don't know it's song so will nip over to the RSPB site shortly to listen to a sample of it's voice for future reference. The last pic of the goose was very comical.

  10. Thanks ShySongbird. The Chiffchaffs song is quite unmistakable, it almost sounds like he's saying his name. The Canada Goose just casually ambled past me whilst I took some pictures. I think he was telling me it was his 'turf' lol