Saturday, 1 September 2012

Bits and Pieces

1st Sept.  Can it really be that autumn is approaching/here?  I did read of some warm weather in September so haven’t given up hope of that Indian summer.  I was looking at some trendy sunglasses today in anticipation!

I feel that I haven’t done the ‘patch’ justice so far this year and can hardly remember the last time I walked along the wagon-ways.  I read that North Tyneside Council and Northumbria Police have in partnership dismantled some drinking dens along the wagon-ways.  Good grief, and I hadn’t even found them!  I have been keeping an eye on what I can only call a quiet lake in recent weeks, although it hasn’t been without some interest.  I say quiet, but it isn’t quiet of Mute Swans.  I know some residents are getting concerned about what they perceive as the growing numbers of Mute Swans on the lake.  I also know about the concerns of over feeding of these birds with, literally, sacks of white bread being thrown into the lake.  I certainly agree that the bread cannot be doing the Mute Swans and other birds any long term good, nor can it be doing the lake habitat any general good.  However I am not at all convinced that the numbers of Mute Swans increased only because of such feeding.  I believe there may have been an increase during the recent bitter winters when council feeding was taking place and birds were attracted from the many frozen lakes and ponds.  I’m also not convinced that it is only the bread that is damaging the lake ecology.  As far as I’m aware there is a flow of water from surrounding areas into the lake and this has caused poisoning in the past and the loss of thousands of fish.  There is also a good deal of garbage used/caused by humans that finds its way into the lake and is often there for sometime.  I don’t know how often it is cleared, but it is often there.      As far as the sacks of bread are concerned I personally feel   there is a need for education, and if that doesn’t work official sanctions and a bit/lot more education.  As for the Mute Swans I’m told that some come from a very wide area and may be simply passing through.  There has been no successful breeding of the Mute Swans on the lake this year, although nests were built and eggs appeared and disappeared in three spots I know of.  My guess is that it is not only the density of Mute Swans, but the interference of human hands that had an effect here! 

Now Comrades, Ive called this special meeting following concerns expressed as to the growing numbers of humans around our Swan Lake.  Hiss hiss hiss.
I was down at the lake on 20th Aug and watched a few Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins.  The latter species not seen by me at the lake for some time.  Numbers of all three species have not been as well represented over the lake as in recent years.  Oddly enough Swift numbers appeared to me to have been higher in the area.  A few Common Terns remained as did the lone Goosander, which I assume will remain now until others return for the winter.  It will be interesting to see if it leaves with them next spring.  It is able to fly.

I took the chance to point the camera and take some interesting shots.  Can you tell what they are of?

I had to pull out of a birding trip to the coast this week, although I did get the chance to get out and add to my growing photographic gear.  Thanks go to Sam for the help with this.  If the neighbours are wondering why I was in the garden on my knees this week I can tell them…………..its the spiders I was after.  Some results below.  The leggy insect was on patch too.

I've been here before
But this time it feels like the end
I should've known better, I know
But my memory's no friend
Well, I've tried every thing
That I know will get rid of this fling
And I can't understand
Why I'm wide eyed and legless again
Andy Fairweather Lowe 

 Oh yes, and you may have guessed that the point the camera images are of Killy Lake.  I fancy a large reproduction of one of them painted on canvas might sell well at the Baltic.  Especially if no one knows what it is!


  1. I think most folk will mean well concering feeding the swans and other birds bread. They probably think that giving them this by the ton load is the best thing, lol. So yeah education is needed.

    Nice pics!

  2. Thanks Mark.
    There is little doubt the sacks of white bread are given with the best of intentions. However even people with good intentions need to listen to reason sometimes. Hopefully they eventually will. There are simply no benefits in ignoring sound advice. As I suggest though, I'd be the last person to discourage youngsters with their families from being introduced to the birds and feeding them and I'm sure that there will be no intention from anyone to be seen to be doing that. Cheers.

  3. True.

    Hopefully the more knowledgable people could give them friendly tips, (as I think a lot of folk act without thinking things through properly).