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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Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Another Grebe update

Today has been a gloriously sunny day again and hard to believe that it's only April!

I headed off for a quick nip around Painshill Park. No sign of one of the Great Crested Grebes although the other one was on the nest. She stayed put for quite some time so I wasn't able to ascertain whether any more eggs have been laid.

The area hadn't been "cordoned off" in anyway, but more of that later.

She was looking about her most of the time; she might have been looking for her partner who I did not see at all throughout my visit there.

After a while, a coot dared to approach - and got hissed at in no uncertain terms

As I walked on from the reeds and irises, a Grey Heron landed on the pathway. In a shortwhile it flew off again and I noticed possible nesting material in its beak.

I followed it through and sure enough it fly up high into a tree..

where it soon became apparent that there were two of them

As I walked around the bend in the lake I came across a third one!

"Any fish down there?"

He eventually flew off.

Shortly followed by this Canada Goose

Wandering back with the purpose of leaving, a damselfly flew out of the lake and conveniently landed in an emerging fern.
I believe this is a Large Red Damselfly but if anyone can confirm - or otherwise - I'd be delighted!

Walking back, I came across a small area that I'd not discovered before. More formal planting, as this blooming Peony gave evidence to.

On the way back, I collected my newly repaired and cabled lawnmower; how much????

I'd also sent an email to Mark Ebdon yesterday, (who is the Estate Manager of Painshill) asking if the immediate area around the nesting Grebes could be cordoned off.

I'd had a response very quickly. In his response, whilst Mark was empathic, he felt that the danger was not too great (from the public) and could advertise the nest too much if attention was drawn to it by any netting/fencing. He anticipates that when the water Irises grow they will provide more cover than there is currently. He may have a point.

He also advised that there is a 2nd nest in the same place as one last year. Regrettably last year's fledglings (from this nest) were all predated. I'm now aware of the whereabouts of the 2nd nest so I shall visit that bit again when I'm next there. Mark also mentioned that whilst it's great that many wildfowl nest in the park, it's also heartbreaking when so many young are predated. I'm in total agreement there!

So tomorrow? I shall be cutting the remaining grass and hoping to leave the cable well alone!

And now the camera on my mobile phone has packed up and they need the phone for about 21 days to repair it - under warranty! I shall take it back in due course.

I wonder what's going to be third thing to go wrong????


Chris said...

Lovely post again Tricia. I'm so jealous you can follow the grebes. Me I would have to do hundred of kilometers to do that.... Love the heron pictures too!

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your problems, I know I always worry about things going in threes, is it just an old saying??? Lovely photographs from Painshill again, especially the peony, which is a lovely bright colour.
I was sitting in the conservatory with the door open and Phil's camera on the tripod hoping to get some photographs or a short movie of the outside of the nesting box, out of the corner of my eye I saw a bird in the bird bath having a drink.I haven't seen one like it in our garden before. I didn't have time to turn the camera round and get a photograph. The only description I can give was it was slim, pale and had a red tuft on its head. Can you help and let me know what you think it might be please?

Best wishes, Jackie.

Tricia said...

Hi Chris. If I could send you over a couple I would :D I'm sure you have many birds there that we don't have over here?

Jackie - I would agree up to a point. BUT I'd have to buy and store petrol and, if I couldn't start it, it would be a problem!!

I've sent you an email but could your "mystery bird" be a Redpoll?

Tricia said...

If anyone else (more knowledgeable than me) visiting this post has any ideas for Jackie's mystery bird, we'd be pleased if could leave a comment here?

Warren Baker said...

'Things can only get better' Your Damsel fly is indeed a Large red. By the looks of it freshly emerged too.
I have no idea for jackie mystery bird! must be from an exotic collection

Tricia said...

Warren - thanks for the confirmation. You may well be right about it being freshly emerged. It came straight from the edge of the lake and had a very jerky flight - as though it was a "maiden voyage". Not like they normally fly at all.

An exotic it could well be - especially the red "tuft"

Jayne said...

Sounds like you're having a run of luck very similar to ours here in The Black Country, I'm getting to the stage whereby I'm almost to afraid to touch anything else!!!!
Lovely shots again though sort of makes up for it don't you think???

holdingmoments said...

An enjoyable day by the looks of it Tricia, and beautiful pictures to go with it.

mick said...

A very nice description of your walk today. I especially like the in-flight photos of the heron. Hope your bad-luck has finished!

oldcrow61 said...

Sounds like your days are full of excitement. Great photos.

Midmarsh John said...

An informative and entertaining read once again Tricia. I particularly liked the Grey Heron series. The only Heron I occasionally see here is very shy. It seems to me - the bigger the bird, the quicker it vanishes from view.

Don't forget - lawnmower cable over your shoulder and keep flicking the rest on to the bit you have already cut. That's what I do with my electric scarifier.

Tricia said...

Jayne - Oh yes - getting out especially in the sun, makes up for almost anything going wrong.

Keith, thanks - Was quite a good morning, albeit a short visit.

OC, thank you - I've just been lucky the last few days to have some free time that I wasn't expecting.

Tricia said...

Hi John and thanks. Thank you for your advice - I shall wear my new cable with pride and flick with great(er!)accuracy than ever before :D

I agree about the bigger birds - Herons normally disappear the minute they see someone!

Anonymous said...


Well Tricia it appears you have a "local patch" as you go there so regularly. That was a great present!

The bird in question might be a Lesser Redpoll - there are a number about. If you look at the Bigg Bird Forum post re Linent or Redpoll- there is a pic and references.....

I went to Osterley and Bedfont Park Nature Reserve(the one where you have to be a member - outside of sunday afternoon 2-4) yesterday - birdsong resounding...more flutters than birds seen!

Nesting apace tho.

ShySongbird said...

Great Heron photos Tricia.

Tricia said...

C - One of two local patches. And I'd suggested Lesser Redpoll (having had one in my garden recently) but it doesn't seem to be.

Jan - Thanks :)

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