Sunday, 8 February 2015

Sunny winter afternoon at Oak Road Lake

It has been ages since I have been at Oak Road, and there is no excuse as I love the place and is just a short drive from home. It has been a glorious winter day today, still and mild, with a wide open blue sky and a sun that definitely feels higher in the sky. 
 There a new area planted with trees, which is new to me. A Great Tit sings from atop a willow.
Although there is still some snow patches here and there, the lake is mostly ice free and there are a bunch of birds on it. A drake Pochard half sleeps by the reeds, the pair of Mute Swans with a young one from last year approach to check if I have any food, I don't but there is a dog walker who does.
 Coots and Moorhens aplenty on the lake, and an eight strong flock of Gadwall, with six males who display calling their funny grunt-whistles, and preening in front of the females. It is only after a while that I notice the drake Shoveler, it must have been feeding in the reed beds. He seemed a bit wary of the walkers around the lake and kept to the middle, often with the Gadwalls.
 I walk on the bank by the river but it is very muddy and I see nothing of interest, so I return to the lake perimeter path. A Song Thrush sung loudly from the willows by the lake. Blackbirds, Great Tits and Dunnocks by the newly planted area.
 I take a walk on Green Lane, which is extremely muddy. A commotion of Starlings; a speeding shadow of a Sparrowhawk chasing a starling. I see the Sparrowhawk again twice, flying low along the lane shortly after, and then soaring over the fields and dropping onto the wood by the lake. A pair of Stock Doves on the lane was nice. There are large puddles on the playing fields, with crows, common gulls and black-headed gulls feeding. With the sun setting it is time to go home.
Newly planted area.
Great tit
Pair of swans with young of last year on the right.
Resting drake pochard (with eye open, though!)
Is there any food coming?
Female Gadwall
Drake Gadwall
Shoveler swimming by the ice

The shelf of ice gave these gulls some quiet resting space.
Bird List
  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Carrion Crow
  5. Chaffinch
  6. Collared Dove
  7. Common Gull
  8. Coot
  9. Dunnock
  10. Feral Pigeon
  11. Gadwall
  12. Goldfinch
  13. Great Tit
  14. Greenfinch
  15. Herring Gull
  16. House Sparrow
  17. Long-tailed Tit
  18. Magpie
  19. Mallard
  20. Moorhen
  21. Mute Swan
  22. Pochard
  23. Robin
  24. Shoveler
  25. Song Thrush
  26. Sparrowhawk
  27. Starling
  28. Stock Dove
  29. Woodpigeon 
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