Tuesday, 23 June 2009

The ahhh Factor. Proud Parents!

Red Admiral Butterfly
Sun Shines...Wallet Opens!

Red Admiral Butterfly

Proud Parents!

Tidy Nest!

Mute Swan Cygnets

Mallard Chicks

I had some business to sort in town today and whilst sitting having a cappuccino and ice cream in what seems to have become a real cosmopolitan city, especially when the sun shines, is all very good it doesn’t match up to birding. I was tempted by a couple of books and have them downstairs. I have heard good reports about The Wisdom of Birds/Tim Birkhead and Extreme Birds/Dominic Couzens caught my eye too so I treated myself. I had actually intended to buy a novel ,but that was forgotten once I got to the natural history shelves. I usually get my books much cheaper from the internet these days, but must have caught a touch of the sun today and pulled the wallet out! I had noticed the Great Crested Grebe had left the nest as I past in the bus this morning so I took a walk down to the lake on my return.

I found a rather easy to photograph Red Admiral Butterfly in typical surroundings in a sun lit area between the trees as I passed through the church grounds. It seemed to be attracted to me and was sussing me out as it flew around seeming to inspect me. More likely I suppose, it was attracted to the clay pathway. I watched it at length.

When I reached the lake I found a guy digi- scoping. No one off this site, as I asked! He was photographing the Great Crested Grebes with three youngsters and he explained in great detail that there had been four youngsters, but that one had been taken by the Grey Heron which had stood on the grebes nest the day before. The Grey Heron stood in the reeds as he spoke. Well as it turned out after we both watched for sometime there was not three, not four but five youngsters being fetched food by the male Great Crested Grebe as at times all five youngsters rode on the back of the female. A great sight. I’m afraid my compact digi could not do the scene justice, but this other guy should have some great shots I reckon. As it happens, I don’t think the Grey Heron had taken any chick at all and an assumption was made, although I understand Great Crested Grebes can lay up to six eggs. The moral being, always check things for yourself, as whilst information from others can be a great help, it can also be wrong on occasions! Anyway it will be interesting to see how these youngsters get along. Only one bird survived last year, from what I think was a clutch of three. Happily the weather seems to have been in the birds favour as in previous years I have seen the nest flooded time and time again. I also found one of the Little Grebes on the lake and watched as the Coot tidied her nest whilst the chick looked on. Common Tern, Swallow, House Martin and Swift flew overhead. Numbers of Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies had increased again and I found one newly emerged.

On the larger lake I found the lone female Goosander along with families Mute Swan, Mallard and Coot. I counted the Mute Swans recently and there was not far short of 80 birds and I may have missed a few. As I counted a male flew in and mounted a rather reluctant female and they were still together when I left.
No apologies for photographing the families, as I think even the most earnest birder enjoys the ahhh factor on occasions.

No comments:

Post a Comment