Monday 24th wildlife walk around Lodge Lake Milton Keynes

So the kids are back at school today, and although I was offered a lie-in I woke to see some wonderful sunshine, so decided to heck with the extra sleep (although god knows I need it!) instead I would head out and see what I could find to photograph. I'll warn you now there are quite a few photos from today, for your enjoyment.

Canada Goose, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Canada Goose, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
I wasn't sure which way to go today, but something compelled me to head first to the feeding platform, weather this was just in case there were some interesting gulls here early or because there have been a few tufted ducks from here in February I'm not sure but I am glad I did as I quite quickly spotted three Tufted Ducks swimming near the bungalows. There were a little too far off for decent photos but as they moved down the lake I thought they might present themselves in a more photographable position.

I ducked down into the corner of the lake nearest Dansteed way (one of the surrounding grid roads of Milton Keynes) and ensconced myself in the bushes to wait and see if they would indeed come out. While waiting I managed a quick photo of a drying Cormorant before it deserted it's post (presumably due to my presence).

Cormorant, drying, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Cormorant, drying, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
After a short wait the ducks were visible to me, although right up by the gardens of the bungalows (if only I had their gardens!) they did briefly move into the lake a little more, but again were a little distant for great photos and were soon scared off by some Great-Crested Grebes that were obviously holding the area as their territory, although I did get an interesting shot of the two males in flight.

Tufted Ducks in flight, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Tufted Ducks in flight, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
I decided to move around a little so I could see the area they were frequenting a little better (or so I thought), there was still the distance but the views were not through bushes now, although they were no in direct sunlight reflecting along the lake so the photos were rubbish. I moved along a little more and the distance was too great but the action hotted up in front of me, firstly with the resident Mute Swans doing their mating dance with their long necks dipping into the water in synchronisation, before a bit of copulation, the female or hen really can hold her breath well while the male or Cob holds her under the water, this took place a few feet in front of me (obvious exhibitionists!) so too close to film with my long lens on.

Synchronised Mute Swan dancing, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Synchronised Mute Swan dancing (1st Pose), Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Synchronised Mute Swan dancing (2nd pose), Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Synchronised Mute Swan dancing (2nd pose), Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Synchronised Mute Swan dancing (3rd pose), Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Synchronised Mute Swan dancing (3rd pose), Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
And then the three Tufteds put in a brief appearance (only one photo managed to not be too heavily backlit).

Tufted Ducks together on Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Tufted Ducks together on Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
And finally some more Great-Crested Grebe's were defending their territory over an intruding 3rd grebe. And not only attempting to drown the poor chap (no idea if it was male or female sorry) but actively searching the water for where it had gone.

Great-crested grebes peering into the water for rival
Great-crested grebes peering into the water for rival

Great-crested grebes peering into the water for rival
Great-crested grebes peering into the water for rival

Great-crested grebes peering into the water for rival
Great-crested grebes peering into the water for rival
I did manage some more action shots (not of the drowning attempt that was over all to quickly) but of the grebes themselves preening or swimming in close quarters, so here are a few more images of them (I actually think I could spend hours photographing grebes they are such pretty, interesting and often exciting, as well as being great posers).

Fast swimming Great-crested grebe, Lodge lake, Milton Keynes
Fast swimming Great-crested grebe, Lodge lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Great-crested Grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Great-crested Grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Nice posing grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Preening Great-Crested Grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Preening Great-Crested Grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes (look at that foot!)

Great-Crested Grebe, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Shaking grebe
The tufted ducks had moved off so I continued on my walk round lodge lake, only stopping to photograph, Eurasian Coot, Wood Pigeon, Canada Goose (the first photo on this page), a Blue Tit, and a Common Gull flying over.

Eurasian Coot Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Eurasian Coot Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Wood Pigeon Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Wood Pigeon Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Blue Tit Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Blue Tit Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Common Gull Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Common Gull Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
On the off chance that the Tufted ducks might be in a decent position if I wandered down the middle piece of land that divides the main lake (I must think of a name for this), and I was proved right! I neared the end and the ducks were back feeding near where I had last photographed them, this time though I had the sun to my back and they were on my side of the channel. I took my time approaching only moving when they all dived and eventually I was in a position to get some great shots (although they did eventually move off again, back to the bungalow area (quite a few tufted duck photographs follow, sorry for the lack of originality in the titles).

Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male, Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male, Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male, Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male, Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male, Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male, Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Tufted Duck group, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Tufted Duck group, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes

Male Tufted Duck (again) Lodge Lake
Male Tufted Duck (again) Lodge Lake

Male and Female Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Male and Female Tufted Duck, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
I finally left, pretty happy I had finally managed to get some really good photos of what may be a common duck to most in the UK but is a real excitement to me on my little patch.

Oh and one last photo, but just a nice one of a Mute swan that I also had from today (it didn't fit with the rest of the narrative but I wanted to add it here as I like it.

Cob Mute Swan, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Cob Mute Swan, Lodge Lake, Milton Keynes
Anyway I hope you have enjoyed today's posting and the accompanying photos.


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