Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Canadian Invasion

What a good year for the roses
Many blooms still linger there
The lawn could stand another mowin
Funny I don't even care
As you turn to walk away
As the door behind you closes
The only thing I have to say
Its been a good year for the roses
Courtesy of Elvis Costello

Highlights for October were definitely watching the male Hen Harrier, and a first Merlin for me on patch.  Oh, and the Subalpine Warbler wasn't bad either.

6th Nov.  I counted 129 Canadian Geese near the smaller lake today with a few more at the western end of the large lake.  One was displaying a look as if it held some Barnacle Goose blood.  There were five Greylag Geese in amongst the flock.  Probably the family that had nested at the lake sometime ago, at a time it was still possible to nest on the floating reed-bed.  OK, so I know Canada Geese are not everyone’s cup of tea and they make a mess etc etc, but to be honest I thought the flock looked rather good in the poor light this afternoon.  As the ‘Swanbusters’ are engaged in discouraging the Mute Swans, I can only wonder if they have noticed the arrival of so many attractive Canada Geese.  I counted only around 60 Mute Swans today, but lots of model boats, so if it’s model boats your into Killingworth Lake is the place to be!  Not so sure that any discouragement of Mute Swans has been a success mind you as Sam reminded me this evening just how up and down numbers go and that many of the swans leave the lake for other areas during the day.

I only had the compact with me today (who called out that they can't tell the difference:-)), but managed to catch this guy standing out from the crowd.
I was surprised to see that we still have a single Great Crested Grebe on the lake.  I’m sure the family had left.  Perhaps this one has made a return.  I think it is one of ‘the family’ as it kept close to the nesting area, although I believe this is a good feeding area too.  I found only one Goldeneye.  I’m sure they were here in large numbers by this time last year.  There are I think six Goosanders.  One of the birds, possibly the long stayer, was flying up and down the larger lake, so I wasn’t sure if it was in the party I later counted or not.  Still only a couple of Pochard.  Where are they all?  One of the Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew across the lake and into the woodland.

The land has been well and truly prepared for the housing estate which is replacing the old British Gas site.  How will this effect the area I wonder especially as I’m sure more houses will be built near by before too long.

A generally quiet walk across the fields and through the church grounds where only a large concentration of Blackbirds and the odd Common Gull was of any interest.  I listened for Redwings without success.  I find some rather attractive fungi before heading for home and thinking that there are still an unusually large amount of leaves on the trees.

I think Mr Costello would have sang 'It's been a good year for the fungi' in 2013!
Added Coot to my garden list today (heard only) when as Sam was leaving this evening he pointed out that we could hear Coots calling on the lake.  I’ve only lived here since the 1970s so have an excuse for not noticing before.:-)

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