A typical April/Bank Holiday day , is how I would describe today . Cold and very windy this morning , rain through the middle part of the day , and now , mid afternoon , the sun is trying to come out .
I ventured out in that cold and windy morning , but very little was showing . My first stop was the Farm Lake , with the surface of the water looking more like the English Channel , being whipped up by the strong wind . Birdwise , it was just Coot , Moorhen , Little Grebe and Mallard , but the owner tells me that she is getting regular visits from a pair of Mandarins again , and also morning visits from Canada and Greylag Geese . A couple of LTTits , a small flock of Goldfinches and a pair of Jays , made up the only sightings . A lot more frogspawn has been deposited since my last visit , and if just a small percentage of it hatches out , the water will be black , like last year , with the numbers of tadpoles . I looked for toadspawn , but didn't find any , perhaps I'll be more successful when this wind dies down . The only brightness around the lake was in the form of the Coltsfoot , now full in bloom , and the first signs of Cowslips coming into flower , but they could well change their minds , and wait for things to warm up .
Keston Ponds was my second and last stop , as the rain was already in the wind by the time I arrived . Just a single male Mandarin on the bottom pond , along with a female Coot , high above the waterline on her nest of last year's reeds . Two pairs of Mandarin and the usual Mallard types on the middle pond . The water level on the top pond is very high , due to floating weed blocking the outfall to the middle lake , and the surplus water is starting to seep through and flood the path between the two . Joining the two Coots already nesting there , a pair of Canada geese , on the floating island on the top pond . Still one of the few Blackthorns that I have found in flower , this was the one I posted some time ago with just a handful of flowers , now becoming covered with blossom , and the first leaves opening too .
18 hours ago