Sunday, 9 June 2013

Burton Constable lake walk

This afternoon we went for a walk on the grounds of Burton Constable. It was cloudy, but pleasant enough. On arrival, by the reception buildings, Swallows, House Martins and Swifts fed on the air, while House and Tree Sparrows chirped from the roof.
 We took the lake's walk, which we missed last time we visited. A long, straight path over long grassy pasture land with scattered trees and small copses leads to the lake. The kids run ahead as there is an 'adventure playground' by the caravan park at the other side of the lake.
 A Great Spotted Woodpecker chips from the trees.
By the lake on the shore, a Pied Wagtail busily hunts insects for its hungry fledgling (above).  The lake shores have lots of Yellow Water Lilies.
There was a large flock of Greylags and a few Canada Geese with grown goslings.
Also by the lake, a large cloud of House Martins passed overhead. As we leave the lake area, we watch Swallows and sand martins on the short grass collecting nesting material.
The wagtail fledgling
The male Mute Swan. None of the adults were ringed
Sleepy Cygnet
The always entertaining Rooks making for an interesting composition
Mallard family with ducklings jumping over water lilies.

An unusual tree, probably grafted between a Horse Chestnut with white flowers and a hybrid Horse chestnut (red flowers). The base of the trunk was not obviously divided.
The kids got very excited about a white stag in the distance, but it was just a well placed sculpture
A resting mallard family
view of the Burton Constable house
Large shells of Swan Mussel, Anodonta cygnea, left on the side of the lake. They were about 15 cm long. 
Bridge over the lakes. Large swathes of Yellow Waterlilies in front of it
The promise of an ice-cream had the kids rushing back on the long straight path
Male swallow by the stables. He sung, and then engaged in a long preening bout, only occasionally raising its head.
The sperm whale skeleton lays on a large room by the stables. The author Herman Melville, was inspired to write a passage of Moby Dick after seeing the whale skeleton.
Sculpture of 'Herman' the sperm whale
Two busy House Martin nests. Two 'guano' mounds accumulating on the window sill.
An adult peeks from one of the nests
Bird list
  1. Blackbird        
  2.  Canada Goose        
  3.  Carrion Crow        
  4.  Chaffinch        
  5.  Collared Dove        
  6.  Feral Pigeon        
  7.  Goldfinch        
  8.  Great Spotted Woodpecker        
  9.  Great Tit        
  10.  Greenfinch        
  11.  Greylag Goose        
  12.  House Martin        
  13.  House Sparrow        
  14.  Jackdaw        
  15.  Lesser Black-backed Gull        
  16.  Linnet        
  17.  Mallard        
  18.  Moorhen        
  19.  Mute Swan        
  20.  Pheasant        
  21.  Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)        
  22.  Rook        
  23.  Starling        
  24.  Swallow        
  25.  Swift        
  26.  Tree Sparrow        
  27.  Woodpigeon

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