I set out with an aim today, I have noticed recently that the Coot are getting aggressive to one another and I wanted to try and capture the fighting, it is quite a spectacle to see two placid looking birds suddenly go at it hammer and tongs, feathers flying as the try to kick each other out of the lake with their enormous green feet. But as they say "The best laid plans of mice and men often go stray" today the coot were back to their placid state even though the sun was shining and it felt more like spring than winter.
|Eurasian Coot in all it's splendor|
Anyway, I've talked about my plans and how they didn't pan out but the real aim I guess was just to get out in the sunshine and see what was about, I wasn't planning a long one (to be quite honest I'm knackered, on my night shifts I've been cleaning my mums house in preparation for sale - see link for property If you are looking to buy lol), first bird when leaving the house was a Lesser Black-Backed gull (actually 7) seems they are increasing as I saw a few more later on as well.
I headed to the duck feeding platform (which is where I started photographing the Coots) and as well as the a fore mentioned Eurasian Coot, there were the regular Mallard, Canada Goose, Black Headed Gull, and Moorhen as well as three swimming Cormorant. It was alos here that I found a rather confiding Dunnock.
From here I continued round without seeing much until I reached the small link lake between the two main lakes, this is often a nice spot to stop and I was rewarded by Kingfisher and 3 Little Grebes that dived in amongst the over hanging bushes, tantalizing me with their presence without really coming out into the open (see photos below).
|Hiding Little Grebe (in near summer plumage|
|More winter plumage Little Grebe|
|hiding in the bushes|
After a frustrating half an hour they moved off (still hidden) and dispersed to the main lake (I did see them later but the usual distance away rather than nice and close like above), I continued around still not seeing much when a flock of Herring Gulls alerted me to their presence by calling loudly above me (it always reminds me of the sea that call!), a quick stop by the fishermans island didn't reveal the water rail I was hoping for but allowed me some nice photos of displaying Great Crested Grebes.
|The Dance Begins|
A quick check of the fields for still no Pheasant and I headed into the hills and hollows area for an explore, there wasn't much apart from Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed tit, a lone Bullfinch, some chaffinches, a nice perched female Sparrowhawk and some loudly calling Jay but it was nice to visit (well until I slipped down a hill and got a bit muddy).
A quick check back at the lake and I headed home.
|Regal sunlit mute swan|
|Great Crested grebe|
|Black Headed Gull|
|Lesser Black-Backed Gull|
|Great Spotted Woodpecker|
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