West Hallam - Swan Lake Again
w/e 05 July 2020
All of this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Site Plan

We made the short trip down Derby Road to the very edge of Ilkeston and crossed the town boundary to West Hallam and Straw's Bridge Nature Reserve or Swan Lake as it is more commonly known. Once there we followed a figure of eight route around the two larger lakes as shown on the plan above with the majority of the images below coming from around the largest lake.

Bad Hair Day

As we pulled onto the car park this unusual looking bird was preening itself on a fence post, occasionally lifting its head to look our way. I'm not sure whether it's a rare breed or just a normal duck that's been rolling in the dirt and having a bad hair day!
(I am now reliably informed that this is a Muscovy Duck)

As we started our walk around the lakes another duck of the mallard variety was watching her ducklings clambering up the bank.

Coots were visiting the local take away but found it closed!
Black-headed Gull

I hadn't noticed the other creature in the water when I took this photo of the Black-headed Gull but on closer inspection I think it is probably a water rat.

We passed under the former railway bridge to walk around the larger of the other two lakes and across the water spotted a family of swans complete with several cygnets.
Wild Flowers

Returning to the main lake we continued along the opposite side to the car park noticing many more wild flowers on this side.
Canada Geese

As we neared the car park again Canada Geese were the most prominent species.

But there was just one large white duck. I think it is actually a Pekin Duck and with thoughts of Beatrix Potter's Jemima Puddle-Duck in mind we walked on.

Swans In A Row

Having your ducks in a row means being well-organised. prepared, and up-to-date and it probably means the same when applied to swans too.
Water Rats

We're used to seeing all sorts of birds when visiting Swan Lake but in all the time we've been going there, we've never seen water rats before. This time though several of them were scampering about along the water's edge and scavenging among the tit-bits left for the birds before disappearing down holes in the bank.

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