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, 6 April 2009

Taking a risk!

This morning, prior to having to do some shopping, I saw two Lesser Redpolls on the feeders (one must have turned tail and run back to Richard!!) and a visit from the male Brambling. I was really surprised to see him; but very pleased nonetheless.

At the end of the afternoon, I had a very quick trip into Bushey Park. This was just to see if the Great Crested Grebes were there as a couple of days ago I couldn't find them. Well today, and this is where I'm taking a risk, I found them and managed a few more pictures.

The risk? I'm in danger of boring everyone silly with yet more Grebe tales!!

I walked to the little island and the Mute Swan was still on her nest as was the Coot that's nesting just a few feet away.

I saw the Grebes immediately I arrived. The coot, that took over their nest on the corner of the island, is still very much ensconced there, so the Grebes seem to have taken over an original nest.

However, I'm really concerned as this nest is between the small island and the bank - about 5-6 feet away from the bank and an easy distance for a dog etc. to jump across. I do hope they have a nest elsewhere and this was just temporary!!

The nest with the bank to the left.

The female was on the nest as I arrived and was prostrating as she does. At her side, the male was more interested in something below water level She wasn't calling this time and in a few seconds...

she was sitting up..

it was quite windy at that time, and a few feathers become somewhat ruffled

They both went hunting for supper and there was some success..however, just after this picture was taken, the fish was dropped and became the "one that got away"!

I left them to it, happy to know that they were still there.

As I arrived back at the car, a pair of Mandarins were on the opposite bank of a stream. The female was having a doze...

whilst the male strutted about looking important - as they do :D

A very aggressive coot arrived on the scene and chased the male into the water.

However, the mandarin soon rejoined his partner and they wandered off into the setting sun

(Well it wasn't actually setting - far too early - but it makes a good ending )

I will be keeping an eye on the Bushes and Painshill Grebes but I shall try not to comment too much about them.


avalon said...

Never get bored with your stories or your photographs for that matter. We are all waiting with bated breath to see the outcome of the grebes! You seem to bring things to life thankyou!!

Tricia said...

Aw J - what a lovely thing to say - thank you...

I just hope that, after all this build up, at least one chic is forthcoming between the two pairs! (Or will my face be red then!!)

Cheryl said... are joking Tricia....far from boring.
I am actually worried about the Grebes nest now....I do hope that it will be okay.....

Billy said...

I wonder why the Grebes changed their nest site from where it was last time!?
I'll try talking them out of it when I go there tomorrow!
Are they quite tame? It looks like you are looking down on them, when I saw them they were skulking in the middle of the lake (my luck!)


mick said...

Different photos and different observations - I'm not bored! More of the same please!

Graham James said...

You're never boring, Tricia. That shot of the drake Mandarin is a stunner.

Midmarsh John said...

Great photos as always, Tricia.
Love the fish catch.
That dozing female Mandarin has half an eye on you! The male is so photogenic.

holdingmoments said...

I never get bored of the Grebes Tricia. (good catch with the fish too). Handsome birds, as are the Mandarins. :)
Great set of pictures, to accompany an interesting post.

Warren Baker said...

Bored of GC Grebes......Naaa! I wish one would visit my patch, not had one for years! I like that coot photo!

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
It is indeed quite cool to be able to see them in their next phase, eg the nest building, and it is not boring at all!! But I have to say I'm more attracted by the mandarin duck as I have never seen them.

Tricia said...

Cheryl: Thank you. I shall keep on eye on things - they may have another tucked away somewhere!

Billy: A coot has taken over the nest that is just behind the left-hand corner of the island. The Grebes fought it off a couple of times, but I think it hopped on quickly and stayed there! They're not at all tame. I'd taken quite a few minutes moving closer. Fortunately there was noone else on the path at that time. Which was amazing considering the park was full of people!!

Mick: Thank you - I'll try to keep it interesting!

Graham: thank you too. Mandarins are like chiselled sculptures with their very exact feather colouring!

John: Indeed they are. The female was finding it difficult to keep her eye open - I had to take several shots just to get this one!

Keith: I agree about never being bored with Grebes - I could watch them forever. I just hope that there will be some little stripy heads to entertain us!

Warren: I'm sure we could spare you one or two.

I think the Coot was glaring at me - he was surely feeling very aggressive!!

Little Brown Job said...

Great to see the Grebes still doing well, love watching this story unfold.

Joe said...

Nice photos, Tricia. The Mandarin is just stunning. I'd love to see one for myself. Interesting Grebe story too- such elegant ducks.

Tricia said...

Paul: fingers crossed the story will continue

Joe: Thanks - I think Mandarins came into being just to be photographed!

You've hit the nail on the head describing the Grebes :)

Tricia said...

Chris: The Mandarins are fascinating birds and I see more of them in the spring/summer than the rest of the year. And thank you for your kind comment.

Eagleseagles said...

Never be bored with your tales ofthe
grebes...we will all follow their progress just like on a web cam....
except we will have a record.....

(cant help it have to mention it an Osprey flew over my garden this morning! An OSPREY!!)

Tricia said...

C - thanks. Congrats on the Osprey.

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