Wildfowl Walk - 15 Feb 2015
Back to normal this year. Cool damp grey. Water levels where they should be and quite a lot of water birds. The party this year numbered 13. Our tour of the lake took about two and a half hours reflecting the intense interest in the birds and several members being pretty new to birding.
Wildfowl Walk - 11 Jan 2015
For once the weather was kind; clear skies with a temperature of about 8 Centigrade. So other than the sharp cold wind it wasn't as 'bad' as it has been many other years. And so the eight of us set off. As it happened all of us knew our birds and were stalwarts. We saw/heard 44 species including Little Owl, Kingfisher and Smew. (I think the last was the first record at Stocker's for this winter). So quite a good tally. The full list was:
Butterfly & Dragonfly walk - 17 Aug 2014
A resume of this walk was provided in the October 2014 FoSL newsletter by Barbara James but here’s another, illustrated, version!
Wildflower Walk - 22 Jun 2014
It was a gloriously sunny day, when eight of us met on the causeway at 2.00pm on Sunday 22nd June. The scene was set for a pleasant, relaxing walk to see what wild flowers/plants we could identify around the lake.
The yellow flags were over, but we quickly spotted Hemp Agrimony coming into bloom with mallow, comfrey, nipplewort, hedge mustard and smooth sow-thistle. The distinctive seed heads of Goats’ beard and a pretty clump of meadow sweet were less obvious amongst the Yorkshire fog and s foot grasses.
Warbler Walk - 11 May 2014
Seven of us this year gathered on the Causeway for a walk round the lake at half past eight. The weather cloudy, cold and windy with rain threatening. The sun tried to break through at one point but that was about it. In the end we saw more than we expected and we saw most of what we heard. As we prepared to start off we watched an extensive mixed flock of House Martins, Swallows and a few swifts racing about the sky and over both lakes and the reads. Spectacular! And the display continued on and off throughout our walk. I do not think I have seen as many hirundines on one occasion before.
We started on the causeway with the explosive call of the Cetti’s warbler. He or she was still there when we got back but remained elusive.
HeronWatch - 13th April 2014
A pleasant day this year but a bit breezy so the birds tended to keep their heads down a bit. As last year the herons had decided to nest out of sight of the causeway although there are still plenty of herons nesting around the lake with several flying past just a few yards away. The big news this year is that the little egrets are nesting among the herons and are just as visible as the herons. Anna and I decided to set up telescopes at the binocular resting post along the canal side path from where some 9 or 10 nests could be seen across the lake, four of which were little egret nests. I had just acquired an attachment for my telescope that enables me to use my phone to view what is in the scope field of view and take photos. Having the view on screen makes it a lot easier for people not used to squinting through a telescope , children in particular, to see clearly and easily. (If you want one for your scope and phone In Focus out at Willows Farm is the place to get them and the right advice or visit their web site.)