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!
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