A wet weekend in London but some sun on Saturday tempted me out – only to be rewarded with a soaking and few photographs. I visited Darlands Lake at Totteridge, a few miles north in Middlesex, to try a photograph the Mandarin Ducks with their broods. I found a couple of extremely shy pairs with small ducklings but the rain and dogs put paid to any proper views – maybe next weekend.
This small site of woodland based around a small secluded lake created nearly 200 years ago was managed by Herts & Middlesex Wildlife Trust but I'm not sure if this is still the case. Perhaps it’s back in the hands of Barnet Council. In either case some work is apparently being undertaken to dredge the lake which has been silting up for some time. Of course, this is essential management to ensure it’s continued future – but at this time of year? Surely this is a most inappropriate point in the year when the breeding season is in full swing. Many healthy & mature trees have been removed along one bank of the lake, presumably to allow the dredging machinery access to the site. For the time being, Mandarin, Mallard, Coot and Moorhen are breeding but in less than scenic surroundings for which the lake is so popular with visitors and locals.
Lapwing, Kestrel, Lesser Whitethroat, all three woodpeckers, Treecreeper and Nuthatch were noted among the common birds. Below are a few shots grabbed before the rain.