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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Tuesday, 14 April 2009

A quick update of breeding activity

As regular visitors to and friends of my blog will know, I've been keeping an eye on two pairs of breeding Great Crested Grebes. I'm now aware of four pairs but two of them are in Hatfield Forest (where I visited yesterday) but this is too far away for me to keep an eye on. In this case though, both the mums-to-be are already sitting on their nests. I'll have to rely on Pete to keep me updated.

Bushey Park
Unfortunately yet again, there was no sign of them at all today. I searched the whole pond scanning with binoculars but to no avail. I think I have to accept they've gone elsewhere. I shall monitor of course, but without a great deal of hope.

Painshill Park
I went back today for the first time since I discovered the courting couple on 5 April. So nine days later and what did I see.

Firstly, this mallard had three young ducklings who followed her at great speed.

and, not as far as I know a breeding bird, but certainly a flying one and the only reasonable flight shot of the morning - an Egyptian Goose!

But, the Great Crested Grebes - YES - they were still there in more-or-less the same spot and very much a "pair". There is a possible nesting site but if it is, it's about 12 inches from a Coot's nest (the latter having 6 eggs but the nest unattended).

They were enjoying the calm day (sunny to start with but soon clouded over again!) with some swimming, preening, displays of bonding etc. I was there about 10 minutes after the Park opened and for at least 1.5 hours I just sat in the same spot enjoying watching and photographing such splendid birds.

Another attraction of Painshill Park is that, although it was the school holidays and many children were about, the size of the Park allows you to "get away from it all" and find quiet places. Where I was watching the Grebes was one of them! I enjoyed the quiet too.

(probably my favourite shot of the day)

Eventually I stood up and headed off for some lunch.

(I hadn't realised how damp the ground was!!)

From there (after a nip into the Supermarket for food supplies) I went on to Bushey Park to a) check the Grebes which, as you know weren't there, and also the pair of Egyptian Geese Goslings who look so different.

But that's a story for another day.......


holdingmoments said...

Love those Grebe shots Tricia, they really are excellent. Your local Grebes may not be there, but at least the other pair are keeping the line going.

Anonymous said...

Your favourite shot of the day is quite brilliant Tricia.

Pete said...

lovely shots trish.

amazing how much different the light makes isn't. compare to your shots yesterday!

Jayne said...

Great shots once more!!


mick said...

It sounds like a very peaceful and enjoyable hour+ watching and photographing the birds. Especially nice photos with the reflections.

The Early Birder said...

Brilliant shots of the GC Grebe Tricia.

swatson said...

lovely photographs tricia,especially the ones where the reflection makes for great shots.(which yours always are)

Tricia said...

Keith: Thank you - I'm lucky to have a 2nd pair - hope they don't disappear too.

Roy - thank you so much.

Pete - thank you kindly :) - yes, having some decent light makes all the difference - wish it'd been there yesterday!

Jayne - thank you - it's great to have you visiting so regularly.

Mick - it was really relaxing and wonderful to watch, not only the Grebes, but just to have all the other wildlife going on around you. I think because I'd been sitting still so long, all life carried on as though I wasn't there! Which is what it's all about.

Frank - thank you for those kind words!

Hi Sheila - thank you, as ever.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tricia

Great photograph of the GC Grebe, excellent reflection in the water. We are lucky that there are so many lovely places to visit in Surrey and the surrounding area. Have you read Billy's blog on his recent sighting?


Little Brown Job said...

Lovely close up shots of the Grebes.

ShySongbird said...

Very interesting and lovely photos as always Tricia. Am I to understand you were sitting on the grass itself, after all that rain and for such a long time!! My dear late Mother would have had a few stern words to say about what she thought that could result in ;) !!!

Graham James said...

The grebe shots are superb, Tricia. A species we tend to take for granted but birds don't come much more beautiful than these.

Tricia said...

Jackie - thanks and yes, a great number of great places! I've been over to Billy's blog - lucky chap!

Paul - thank you

Jan - erm, erm, yes I was sitting on the grass but - it was a sloping bank and actually very dry. I'm sure your Mum would have been quite correct in what she would have said too! :D

Graham, thank you - Grebes are definitely one of my favourite birds and never to be taken for granted :)

oldcrow61 said...

Wonderful photos. Those little ducklings are adorable.

Tricia said...

Thanks OC. The ducklings definitely had the "aw" factor.

Phil Wallace said...

Hi, Tricia. Very nice grebe photos with the reflections. You certainly do get around to so many places. Well done.

Regards, Phil.

Neil said...

fantasyic grebe photos

Eagleseagles said...

The photo at the top of your blog took my breath away!

And I see lts of top photos from prfoessional guys!
Terrific...the light does play its part but you have to have an eye and you ae getting better!

Love the Grebes anyway!


Tricia said...

Phil - Thanks. I really like reflections - particularly in water!

Neil - thank you

C - thank you - Grebes are such elegant and photogenic birds!

Chris said...

Hi tricia,
Wonderful post, I love the grebe shots and your favorite one is probably one of the best here, but they are all amazingly beautiful and well composed... Well done.

Tricia said...

Hi Chris - and thank you - having beautiful subjects helps considerably.

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