20th Oct. I’m very much aware that I have neglected the patch recently, but now that we are well into autumn and I can almost feel winter on the way, I took an hour’s walk around the lake.
The first thing that struck me was the growing numbers of Common Gulls. There is still the odd Lesser Black Backed Gull about along with Herring Gulls and the flocks of Black Headed Gulls. The second thing that struck me was the Goosanders are back. At the moment there are four of them, three female and one male in eclipse. The past couple of icy winters have ensured that Goosanders have never been on the lake in any number and have come no where near to reaching the twenty-five plus of three or four years ago years ago. I guess it is too much to hope for a milder winter this year!
I noted that the two Little Grebes remain and there is now one Goldeneye. I was surprised to see so many Cormorants, eighteen in total. Seventeen of them were in a line, some drying out, and one sat in the centre of the lake on some sort of buoy. They all eventually formed a small flotilla on the lake.
The family of seven Greylag Geese remain and stick very closely together, along with circa forty Canada Geese and I counted one hundred and twenty-four Mute Swans. The record breaking total of Mute Swans was circa forty more than this in the middle of last winter when most of the lake was frozen solid for week after week.
Tufted Duck numbers seemed to have risen and Pochard numbers fallen. Mallards, Coots and Moorhens made up the total.