The best laid plans.... went astray today when the garage cancelled my car's visit to them. It was due there at about 5.30 to I could collect a courtesy car and they could assess the problem from a cold start tomorrow morning.
So at the end of the afternoon I nipped into Bushy Park for about an hour.
The island where I originally saw the Great Crested Grebes, was still being used by the nesting Mute Swan and Coots.
The Island - where all the action is..
However, the cygnets must have hatched because the park's authorities have very sensibly erected a barricade on the bank of the pond to prevent, presumably, dogs and people interfering with the Swan family
Not only that, but a ramp up the steep bank, has been provided to enable the cygnets to clamber up and down to and from the water.
(taken through the screen!)
On the top of the island, mostly hidden by the new growth, the new mum looks after her brood
whilst she gazes down on her partner...
who was guarding his mate the whole time I was there.
A Grey Heron had been standing by the bank, but decided to get closer to the island, landing on a dead branch.
Eventually s/he moved lower down and its gaze now was very concentrated
as, underneath and at the edge of the island, was a family of three young coots, and an adult still incubating eggs
,I'd been watching for a while, but had to leave. As I did, I heard a screech, and as I turned the Heron dived down - I couldn't see what happened.
Nearer the car park, I stopped to watch this pair of Mallards preening
And finally, a female mallard landed, creating quite a wake!!
Off home now I think..
Blenheim Palace - Part 2
2 hours ago