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
No Google Adds here.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Caldecotte Lake

A leisurely stroll around the local lake this morning, before I went shopping.
I'd normally post this on my other blog of the lake, but I'll do it here for a change; no video though.

A warm sunny morning, and plenty to see, made it a good visit today.

Great Tits, a couple of Robins, Dunnocks, Magpies and Crows around the car park area, and overhead, some Black-headed Gulls, Cormorants and Common Terns.
I crossed over the footbridge, and made my way towards the north lake first.
Under the road bridge, my regular group of Mallards came for their feed, and a Grey Wagtail was running along the waters edge.
Over on the grass, in front of the pub, a gang of Canada Geese, more Mallards, and even more Black-headed Gulls.

I carried on down the path, and in the trees some recently fledged Greenfinches, and Long Tailed Tits were busily searching for food.

Up towards the bandstand, and over by the island, a Grey Heron, knee deep in water, patiently waiting for a hapless fish to swim by.
As I crossed the footbridge, a pair of Kingfishers flew from the reeds, skimming past the Mallards and swans that were floating past.
The water is looking especially disgusting at this part of the lake, like an oily artists pallet of green and blue. How anything can live in this is beyond me; but it seems to.

Past the reeds, and a Migrant Hawker was ....... hawking I guess.

Thank goodness they hover long enough to get pictures.

Further round the lake, in the distance, was a Little Egret.
I slowly walked nearer, but he eventually decided it was time to leave.

Flying past me, and eventually heading towards where I'd come from.

Up towards the wall of the dam, and the Common Terns were noisily splashing down into the water, in their search for fish. The few that had managed to catch something, were being pursued by others, hoping to steal their prize.
Along the wall of the dam, a row of Black-headed Gulls just watched.

Along the path, a couple of bags of rubbish; mostly beer cans, were discarded in the bushes. I'll never understand why people can't take their rubbish home with them.

Fluttering past in the sunlight, and finally settling, was a Speckled Wood.

The arm that runs at the back of the pub, plays host to quite a large number of waterfowl in the autumn and winter months. Today, their numbers were steadily building. A few Tufted Duck have remained all year, and they are now being joined by a small group of Wigeon.

A few Gadwall have arrived over the last few days too.

A smart looking duck

On the old boat that is tethered in the middle, and serves as a convenient nesting spot for the Common Terns, was this morning taken over by a group of Cormorants, now that the Terns have finished.

It frequently plays host to all manner of birds, that stop off and chill, watching the world pass by.

Round past the pub, and the reflection in the algae infested water made for an interesting picture.

Under the road bridge, and on down the south lake.

A couple of Crows were waiting in the trees, for me to finish my apple, so they could enjoy the core.

A couple of butterflies, Red Admiral, flew past searching for some wild flowers to settle on. Sadly, most have been cut down now, but a few still remain along the edge of the lake.
One or two Common Damselflies were resting there, and as I slowly walked through the grass and dying flowers, grasshoppers were leaping in front of me.
Over in the bushes a Chiffchaff was calling, and a Whitethroat broke cover, and flew towards some trees.
In the reeds, some Reed Buntings were foraging.
A Jay flew overhead, and higher up, circling, were half a dozen Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

One of the pieces of fitness equipment that has recently been installed around this part of the lake, is due for some repair.

I can't help thinking the money spent on these bits of metal, would have been better spent on other things. Things that could have benefited more people that use the lake, and not just a few of the fitness fanatics.

I wandered off to feed my friendly Robin, down by the bird hide, and then headed towards the rowing club.
On one of the jetties, a gang of Black-headed Gulls and friends, were chilling in the sunshine.

I was soon passing the houses, where a small group of Swallows were skimming the water, and occasionally scooping up insects. Soon be heading off on their long journey.

Over in the distance, Cormorant island had a Little Egret preening in the trees.

The small white blob near the middle.

Scanning the water around the island I found some more Wigeon, Gadwall, a small group of Shoveler, and a couple of Little Grebe.

As I neared the car park, something bounded across the grass, near the path ahead.

A rather elegant looking white faced Rat.

Further in the distance, not quite so elegant ........

I hope he's got some sunscreen.

An interesting walk, with plenty to see.
A total of 39 species of birds. Not bad for a place dismissed by most MK birders as somewhere that doesn't have nothing.
Unless it's found for them, and then they flock here.


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)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
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)
British Herring Gull (Larus argentatus argenteus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
British Dunnock (Prunella modularis occidentalis)
British Robin (Erithacus rubecula melophilus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
British Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus rosaceus)
British Great Tit (Parus major newtoni)
British Jay (Garrulus glandarius rufitergum)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Total species  39


  1. Great shots today. I was only thinking about all the exercise stuff the other day. I'm amazed it has lasted as long as it has.
    I thought they had put some electrical apparatus in the lake to kill the algae.

  2. The algae killing machine seems to have broken; a bit like the fitness stuff.
    The lake looks bloody awful at the moment, and no sign of it getting better.

  3. A glorious morning Keith and plenty to see around the lake as usual.
    How long before interest in that fitness gear is lost and it all ends up as a broken and abandoned eyesore?
    I hope you reported your last find to whale watch?...(sorry, that's cruel!)...[;o)

  4. lol

    I think there's good money to be had in scrap, so maybe they could re-coup some of the money.

  5. laughing at the last shot. :) beautiful rat! love your wigeons, too.

  6. Thanks Theresa. The sun certainly brings out the best in people. lol

  7. nice set of pics keith. I can always tell when the seasons change at Hatfield by when the Mallards are joined by other quackers!!!

  8. I was very happy to see the Wigeon again...beautiful fowl...
    Yeah by the kilo that stuff would bring a pretty penny as we say!

  9. I like the rat with the white face, it reminds me of Dick Turpin :-) sadly you know Autumn is kicking in when you start to see Widgeon and Gadwall

  10. That chap looks as if he fell off the keep fit gear........great read and photos Keith.


  11. Thanks Pete. Autumn is definitely upon us now. The year is just going so quickly.

    We get quite a few Wigeon here at this lake Sondra. I love their calls.

    Yea, I was quite taken with that Rat Doug. Won't be long before the Pochard start to arrive.

    Thanks Peter. Maybe that's how the equipment got broke? :-)

  12. Nice collection of photos this time. Except for the last one...

  13. Hi Keith, been a long time since you were on my page, my fault. Lovely birds, especially the Little Egret flying.

  14. Thanks Choy. Yea, last one a bit scary. :-)

    Thank you Bob. I've not been on blogger much recently.

  15. Great set of shots (with one exception!) - I think the rat must have a domestic relative in its history!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

  16. Thanks Stewart. Yea, I think you're right about the rat. Maybe a pet, that no-one wanted anymore, met up with the local population here.

  17. HI Keith Just trying o catch up on some of my favourite blogs as I have just arrived back from a 6 weeks away in Malawi and South Africa. Thousands of photographs to edit and process now which will take weeks/months but I will get there eventually and post them. This post shows that walking round your lake regularly is really worthwhile and you saw a great number of birds and a 'beached whale'! Hope you had a great summer and are keeping well. Is Wales beakoning again soon?

  18. Thank you Margaret. I bet you had a good time away.
    I've not done a great deal on blogs recently; been busy with other things.
    Hoping to get back up to Wales soon.

  19. Superb flight shots Keith especially the L/Egret.

  20. Thanks Roy. These birds are becoming quite regular here.