Thursday, 27 February 2014
Checking out Keith’s birds
Earlier this week I had occasion to visit Milton Keynes and, as Keith is away sunning(?) himself half way up a Welsh mountain at the moment, I decided to have a quick look to see how ‘his birds’ around Caldecotte Lake were fairing during his absence!
I only had a short time so was only able to have a look at the ‘arm behind the pub’. The lake is now back to it’s normal level after the recent flooding but surprisingly there wasn’t many birds around…perhaps Keith has taken them all away with him?…a few Wigeon and Tufted Ducks, a few Coot and a couple of Mute Swans and in the distance three Grey Herons were having a bit of a set too, with quite a bit of squawking and chasing around going on, watching through the bino’s it appeared to be an adult bird giving grief to a couple of juveniles…time for them to be on their way, I guess?
A pair of Great Crested Grebe appeared not too far away doing some ‘head wagging’ unfortunately they didn’t get into the full ‘weed dance’ routine and seemed to lose interest after a while and drifted away.
I then spotted, close into the far bank, a male and two female Goosanders. I slowly moved down to the waters edge and tried to hide behind a small group of bushes in the hope that they would swim out into more open water. Eventually one of the females ventured a little closer.
I don’t know what spooked them, perhaps they spotted me?…but all of a sudden they were up and away.
There were lots of Black-Headed Gulls, some just cruising around….
…and others just loafing on the water.
A good many of them have started to acquire their brown head covering now.
In amongst the Black-Headed Gulls I spotted a couple of 1st. winter Common Gulls and as they flew around I noticed that they both had leg rings, I spent quite a few minutes attempting to get some images of them, I eventually, after almost melting the shutter on the camera!!, got some images where I could read the numbers on the rings. This one has a white ring on it’s right leg with 17EB on it, it also has a metal ring on it’s left leg.
This one has a green ring on it’s right leg with JO59 on it, it also has a metal ring on it’s other leg.
The same bird…resting!
The next day I sent off the ring details to the Euring ring recovery service, the following morning I received an email from a Mr. Morten Helberg in Norway telling me that ‘JO59’ had been rung, presumably as a chick, at Tveitevannet Lake in Bergen Norway on 19th. August 2013 which is 1001Km (622 miles) from Caldecotte Lake although, apart from a few sightings as it travelled south through Norway, we don’t know where it’s been or how far it’s travelled in the interim.
It’s always interesting to get information on how far, and where, a particular bird has traveled from and to and also to know that, now my sighting has been logged, I’ll always be a small part of that bird’s history.
I’m still waiting on any info/news of the travels of ‘17EB’…I’ll keep you informed if I hear anything.