Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Weekend Stroll - Stoke Lake (Part 2)

Continuing from my previous post I gave up trying to photograph fast flying Dragonflies and Darters and stopped to enjoy the company of a family of Mute Swans that I spent time with last month. My attention then turned to a number of resident Mallards that were upending in order to feed. This is the rear end of a female.
I then watched a male having a 'splashing' time by constantly diving fully submerged and then re-appearing for a few moments before repeating the process.

He eventually stopped his diving activities to show me that he can also walk on water!
A little further long the waters edge we watched several pairs of Common Darters paired up, dancing just above the water, and ovipositing every so often. I tried desperatly to get a good clear image but this was the best showing their reflection and the ripple after the event.
When we stopped for a rest I noticed this Seven-spot Ladybird also resting nearby.
Other sightings (not photographed) were Great Crested Grebe, Black-headed & Herring Gull, Grey Heron, Magpie and Jay. Regretfully no sign of any Wagtails at the lock.
From the lock we made our way back along the river to the car park without any new sightings, but an enjoyable stroll in decent weather. FAB


  1. Great photos..I always knew Mallards were special! you proved it.
    That ladybug photo needs a frame! would look lovely!

  2. What a wonderful post. The Mallards are so much fun. I love the Darters with their reflection; and the ladybug is so sweet.
    Sunny :)

  3. It looks very tranquil by the lock gates. Lovely shots of the Mallards, especially the 'walking on water' one.

  4. That was a nice stroll Frank and you made the best of the limited opportunities. Its a funny time of year at the moment when we are between the bird seasons.

  5. Hi Frank,
    Nice post sir. I love the mallard sequence of bathing and eating. Me too, the ducks feeding pictures make me laugh all the time.

  6. Sometimes just being out is reward enough isn't it Frank.
    Good catch of the water walking Mallard.

  7. I, too, enjoyed my stroll with you. I loved the Mallards and of course, the dragons! They are difficult to capture in flight. The young cow photos were fantastic, too. I have mixed emotions on reading of your employment concerns. I am so sorry to hear of your difficult decision...BUT...I pray that another brighter and more meaningful chapter of your life follows. Most sincere thoughts and prayers to you, Frank.

  8. Lovely scenery and great photos. The mute swan family are especially nice. Oh what a change from out here right now! Very peaceful, very clear - just beautiful!

  9. Nice post Frank. Mallards and Swans when they are digging around under the water with their B's in the air can be amusing to watch!

  10. Ha, Lynne said "duck butt"! (Sorry, couldn't resist!) Seriously though, a fantastic series of photos in both parts 1 and 2. I especially enjoyed the cows and the "bathing" mallard. Oh, and thanks for your sentiments about our departed one - we deeply appreciate it. Cheers!

  11. Lovely photos of the mallard splashing around. I always love seeing the splash of water. I really like the ladybug photo...such a contrast of the bright red and the faded seed head. And...how cute--I love the young white cow.

  12. Excellent second part of your stroll. Love the duck shots especially the bottoms up one!! I also love the little ladybug shot on the plant that has gone to see. Very pleasant contrast shot. Wonderful.

  13. Hi everyone. Thanks for all your lovely comments.

    dAwN. I rarely print of any photos but on this occassion you may be right.

    Sunny. So glad you enjoyed the post.

    Lynne, Heather, Chris & Angie. Now 'Bums' they always make me smile..whoops, that's another story!

    Midmarsh John. The lock is often a hive of activity with boats passing thro' but we were lucky to find it so peaceful.

    Roy. Cheers. The lack of avian activity just makes you look more closely at everything else around you.

    Keith. Agree absolutely.

    Kim. Hope to share some more strolls with you in the future.

    mick. I do hope the sand storm has blown through so you can get out.

    Kelly. I must remember to keep the button pressed to get a full action sequence (the brain is still working in FILM camera mode!)

    Crista. Thanks. If we hadn't stopped for a rest I may never have spotted the Ladybird.

  14. I'm glad to see someone else post pics of the Mallard - the drake is a handsome bird, but because it is so common, we ignore its beauty. Your diving picture looks as though he is just bathing. One winter I was surprised to see a Mallard actually diving - right along with some goldeneyes and scaup.

  15. Chris P. Yes, he was bathing but he actually upended, then completely submerged for some time before re-appearing and the a bit of preening.


I hope you enjoyed your visit and I always appreciate your comments and feedback.


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