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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Monday, 20 April 2009

Mum and Dad to be.....

Roy had asked me if there was any further Great Crested Grebe activity. Well.....
I haven't been back to Bushey Park since the last post and I suspect I'm not going to find them there again.

BUT I did visit Painshill Park again today to check on the courting couple that I'd observed there over the last week or so.

I arrived just as the Park opened - it's great to be somewhere early and I just wish I could have gone in even earlier than I did!

I walked down to the spot on the Causeway where I had last seen the courting couple. Only one of the Grebes was around - this indicated to me that either a) the other was on the nest or b) - well we won't go there!

This is the area known as The Causeway and out of the picture (to the left) is where I'd spent some considerable and enjoyable time, first photographing the Grebes.

And it was where again today that I discovered the solitary bird!

And whilst he was dipping and diving, this Mute Swan was undertaking his morning ablutions!

whilst a little further on, so was the Coot!

At another point along the Causeway where there was much Goose activity and comings and goings - Greylags seem quite numerous here this year, as do Canada Geese.

By now I've been scanning the edges of this side of the lake and still no signs of a nest or grebe. So I walked on....

Now I was on the opposite side looking back to the area where I'd just been and.....
Whey hey - a nesting Great Crested Grebe!

This picture was taken from the very far side of the lake but at least it's a record of where the nest is.

So back I went to a point I'd passed not that much earlier! And there she was - incubating!
I'm assuming this is the female because both male and female Great Crested Grebes undertake the incubation of the eggs.

She was very close to, but not on, the nest - I'd seen her get off as I arrived

As a result I could see that one egg has been produced. Incubation is 27 - 29 days and they fledge between 71 - 79 days. By my reckoning and, for the sake of calculation let's assume the egg was laid yesterday (19th), the youngster should hatch on or around 17 May onwards.
Only time will tell - fingers crossed they and the future generation will be safe.

\I was pleased to see her get back on the nest to continue incubating.

In terms of flutters that I'd seen - Green-viened White, Comma, Orange Tip and

Because the Grebe nest is so close to a main path through the park, I located a chappie who has promised to relay my request (to the Estate Manager of Painshill) to supply a cordon of some type around the grassy area just by the nesting site. He promised to have a word with the appropriate person to see if this could be done. I do hope so as the nest seems very vulnerable where it is.

I walked right to the far end of the park, to a conifer wood high up on a hill. I saw only two other people.

It was wonderful. The sun was out and very warm; I was in a short sleeved tea-shirt; it was so quiet and the bird song was lovely. I heard a Goldcrest in the conifers but couldn't see it.

There I heard, and had a very quick glimpse of a Common Buzzard. They are known to frequent that area and, although I was in the right spot to see them close too, they were not playing ball today.

Up in one of the trees were a Nuthatch and Great Spotted Woodpecker - happy in each other's company!!

I'd arrived at 10.00 a.m. and left about 3.30 p.m. I'd walked about 4 miles and thoroughly enjoyed the tranquillity the day brought!


holdingmoments said...

A perfect day, both the weather and the bird sightings Tricia.
Good news about the Grebes, and I hope they can put some sort of fence round for them.
I do like those Coot shots, especially the second.
Painshill Park looks a lovely place to visit.

Midmarsh John said...

What a riveting read beautifully told and illustrated Tricia. I found myself holding my breath at one stage.
Great shots of the Grebes and also of the various birds in action.

Tricia said...

Hi Keith - it was almost a perfect day. I think the Coot thought so too as it was obviously enjoying itself! And yes, Painshill is a good place - it's large to you can get away from the "honeypot" spots if you want to.

John - glad you enjoyed the read! It was a bit of a cliffhanger trying to find the second Grebe, fearing the worst then finding the best!

Chris said...

HI tricia,
Oh My, I love this set of pictures, it is very colorful, dynamic and very sharp. I simply love this perfect day of yours.

Roy said...

Fingers crossed for the GC Grebe pair and hopefully a couple more eggs yet Tricia.

mick said...

I enjoy the scenic photos you include which give me a much better idea of the habitat you describe. All lovely photos! And I'm glad you found the nesting grebes.

Tricia said...

Chris - Hi and I'm glad you enjoyed my day too.

Roy - I shall go back in a couple of day to check progress - but she'll have to be off the nest again which might not be too good a thing.

Mick - thanks. I've quite a few "scenic" pics but they're for another time when time permits.

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful pictures as always. Great to hear that you've found the grebes nest. Hope everything goes well for them.

Jayne said...

What delightful times you always seem to share with your beloved birds - great shots yet again!!

Dean said...

Good on you, Tricia. For enquiring about fencing the Grebes nest off.

Tricia said...

OC - thank you. Fingers crossed for them.

Jayne - thanks - it's great to have so many around my way to watch.

Dean - thanks. I've sent a follow-up email but not received a response yet. I'll go back in a couple of days and see what's what - if anything!

ShySongbird said...

I can only think I must have failed to publish the first time Tricia :-( so will have another go!
Great photos as always and nice to get an idea of the look of the place you were visiting, it looks lovely and very peaceful.
The GCGs are such elegant looking birds and you must keep us posted on their progress, hope the powers that be comply with your request for protection of the nest.
Altogether a lovely day out, what I would call a golden day.
It was a pleasure to share it.

Tricia said...

Hi Jan and glad we've now caught up with the missing comment!

Painshill is a very peaceful place to visit and big enough to get away from other people if you need/want to.

Hopefully I will find the 2nd pair (that I've been made aware of) and find out what stage they are at! Fingers crossed.

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