Monday, 6 January 2014

Westport Lake

This morning, the local weather forecast was for a calm before the storm, breaking around mid-day into high winds and rain.  It seemed sensible to go out for a walk before the weather changed.  Setting out from Fenton in Stoke, we headed in the general direction of Tunstall, without a destination in mind.
In the event, we ended up at Westport Lake, a site run by Staffordshire Wildlife Trust in what was an old quarry pit within The Potteries.  This site has a visitor centre and cafe, and an excellent level walk around the open water, as well as short woodland walks.
The Mallards were in abundance, most of them seemed to have paired off into male and female pairs.
Canada Geese were also well represented within the area.  I observed some of these geese bathing and grooming in the lake.  One goose was also diving down for weed.  The bird was so buoyant that when it came up, it almost cleared the water surface before settling down to swim.  I have not seen this type of behaviour in Canada Geese before.
The Great Crested Grebes are always interesting.  You will see one and by the time you have levelled the camera, it will have disappeared under the water.  The fun is guessing where it will re-emerge at the surface.  Eventually, a chance of a picture will present itself.
These two Muscovy ducks are lakeside residents.  The species is from South America and Mexico, but they seem at home in the UK.
Just time for a coffee and toasted teacake at the cafe, overlooking the lake, before we go to the supermarket for supplies, and hope to beat the weather home.

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