Thursday, December 20, 2007

Thursday 20th December

It was another lovely crisp morning today. After a heavy frost the temperature felt very cold, this deterred most of the local dog walkers, and caused the Lake to be covered almost entirely with a sheet of ice. The sounds that were created by the ice were quite extraordinary. Every now and then the ice would ‘moan’, or create the sound of a whip or wire snapping, or make bizarre hollow popping sounds, and when the ice would suddenly crack from one Lake edge to the other, the atmosphere felt as if I could have been up in the Arctic not in my local park!

Surprisingly, no winter thrushes were seen during the walk, however the cold weather did cause many of the smaller birds to form small flocks, and one of the main bird species flocking together were the forever charming Long-tailed Tits. 2 Coal Tits sang from Pine trees on Jenner’s Bank, 1 Jay was heard calling, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers were seen, 4 Goldcrests was observed fluttering about in a Scots Pine, a flock of around 20 Siskin fed in wet woodland along the River Len, with another small flock feeding in an Alder on the Lake’s northern edge, and a male Green Woodpecker was observed clambering up a Sweet Chestnut on Jenner's Bank.

On the Lake were at least 2 Mute Swans, 35 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, and the countless Mallards, Coots and Moorhens. The gull flock on the Lake consisted of at least 36 Common Gulls, even more Black-headed Gulls, and 2 noisy adult Herring Gulls. In addition to this, a Grey heron perched up in an Alder in the wet woodland along the River Len, and I was treated to a brief but brilliant view of a Water Rail as it searched for open water in the small pool on the eastern edge of the Lake. This is a favourite spot for wintering Water Rails, and if you are lucky can produce fantastic views.


Steve said...

Always fantastic to see Water patch is teaming with them but I so rarely get a good view...

Dan said...

Hi Simon

Im a local and Keen to tick off a Water Rail. can you give me a better idea where to look..i cant find a decent map of the park...was going to have a walk there today but maybe tomorrow now?

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