My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
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Saturday, 12 April 2008

Walking the dog - Day 3 Gosling, Cormorants and Woodpeckers

Yesterday a Starling posed very nicely for me in the early morning sunshine. I love the irridescence of the colours in their feathers.

After very lengthy walks on the previous two days and in view of the forecasted rain for the afternoon, today we stayed local and went to Bushey Park.

Left at about 8.30 a.m. and expected to have the car park virtually to ourselves but - NO! It was full. There must have been a "Run" somewhere as all cars were expelling (mostly lycra clad) runners. Other smaller groups obviously training were also littered around the park.

Headed off for the pond to check out the Eyptian Goslings - all four there - but what a change, not only in their size, but their plumage. I feel that the Goslings should have their own blog now but it's a bit late in the day for that. You'll see below the "growing up" pictures from the first time I saw them.

Walked off after that and came across several deer. There were some young stags already showing signs of their new antlers. I was busy taking pics and noticed that were headed determindly towards my right. They were starting to chase the dog! However, being the obedient young lady she is, she came at my call immediately and we moved away - very quickly, but safely.

Walking through a more wooded area I could hear a Green Spotted Woodpecker "laughing" and also the sound of drumming. As I walked I realised that I was between two trees and each had a Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming; one answering the other. I managed a picture of one of them (heavily cropped as it was at the top of an Oak Tree about 60' tall!)

On the way back I returned around the other side of the pond and the Goslings with Mum and Dad were now having a swim. All was calm until a nuisance of a Jack Russell went barking into the water chasing the Goose family. The parents tried to ward off the dog but unsuccessfully.

The owner of said Terrier timidly called the dog; a couple standing near the scene expressed their anger suggesting, in no uncertain terms, that the owner put her dog on a lead. Well done them! However, the owner merely replied "I'm will do but he's difficult to catch and won't come when he's called". There are some people who should not be responsible for dogs. Terrier repeated his chasing exercise twice more before he was put on the lead and lead away. Words fail me!

Walking past a small (newly created) island in the pond, I noticed two cormorants. Although they nest along the River Thames, I can't recall having seen them in Bushey Park before. They were being lit by the sun so great photo opportunity. I was amazed at the colours of their feathers and what bright blue eyes they have.

Back at home just in time for a very typical April shower.

Early bird sunbathing.

Goslings on 1 March 2008

Goslings on 4 March 2008

Goslings on 3 April 2008

Goslings today - 12 April 2008

Drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker

Cormorants sunbathing!


Pete said...

those geese are growing!

Tricia said...

They are indeed Pete. Also losing their "cuteness" and getting the adult plumage!

Lynmiranda said...

Hi Tricia,

I love your pictures. The gosslings are looking a bit tatty while they are going through the change. I think the reason why I still have Siskins is that I do live near a conifer plantation and I believe Siskins are attracted to conifers. I counted 7 males and 5 females this afternoon. The niger seed is disappearing very fast just lately. The seed feeder holds 250g of niger seed and it is all gone by the end of the day!

Anonymous said...

Dog owners have a lot to answer for when they dont keep their dogs under control.

I love starlings in the sunshine!

Felix who I am walking at mo is pretty well behaved. Yesterday we walked along the Thames and I was worried as he headed down some steps to the River..."Felix" in that special dog tone was sufficient to bring him back up the steps....and a reward of a treat!

He had had a little paddle earlier in a stream...


Island Rambles Blog said...

I love these dog walking posts tricia and the goslings and the cormorants pictures are wonderful!!cheers.

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