Saturday, 24 March 2012

Out and about again

After a week keeping my leg elevated, I had to get out with my camera again this morning.  Thanks to the high pressure zone stationary over the east of the UK, the weather here has been warm for March, but also increasingly foggy.
I waited for signs of the sun breaking through then headed to Caldecotte Lake - with a fall-back plan to call for a lift home i the leg wasn't holding up.  Spring really is in full swing now. Several hedges,trees and walls on the way provided a perch for singing dunnocks and robins, with a general background of song.

Eight, in front of the hotel
As I approached the lake the path was edged with a swathe of daffodil, blackthorn blossom filled the hedgerows and the sun got stronger by the  minute.  Pairs of mallard were dotted along the dam - sleeping and preening.  I watched this male for a while, demonstrating some eye-watering flexibility to repair his wing feathers.  The rowing club was in full swing, cutting through the remaining fog in front of the hotel. As usual birds were being pushed to the sides of the lake.
Two male goosander inrning sunlight
The winter waterfowl population has dispersed, leaving the usual suspects, although the goosander seem to have decided it may be a good place to live - two males and a female were feeding behind the hotel - one male obviously in charge of the partnership, seeing off the second male if he got too close.  I managed to flank them at one point, using bushes to mask my approach while they were more concerned with one another - but a barking dog finally spooked them and off they went - I believe I saw them later by the cormorant island although of course they might have been different birds!
Dominant male
Goosander take flight
I headed south - follwoing a trail of evidence that Keith had been there ahead of me - small piles of strategically placed bird food- but they's obviously better things to be doing, as the bushes were relatively quiet and there were very few birds on the feeders. My knee was objecting after the enforced rest but there was a final treat before I called for a lift home:  a chiffchaff landed immediately above my head, posing and giving me a clear demonstration of it's distinctive call.


  1. That's a lovely shot of the Chiffchaff Marilyn.
    Quite a few calling round the lake now, and a couple of vocal Blackcap too.
    Spring is certainly here now. :-)

  2. Great photos, Marilyn. Love the ones of the 8 rowers. Also love the flowers that are around the lake. Great shot of the Chiffchaff.