Wednesday - and heavy rain woke me in the early morning. I sank back down under the duvet!
After a depressing morning, the rain stopped by about 2.00 p.m. so undeterred and in dire need of some exercise and fresh air, I headed off to Bushy Park.
Had a walk around the large pond; the cygnets were dozing after their soaking in the morning.
A Tufty was being lazy and resting on the Boating pond
Near one of the streams, a female Mandarin was contemplating life
and in the Woodland Gardens this one (of five) male Mandarins was already losing his feathers and going into eclipse!
One of the last remaining rhododendron blooms for this Spring
The squirrels were out in force and this one was very much "well if I don't look at the camera, it won't see me"
Further along this one was scurrying along a fallen branch
and yet another Mandarin looking very bald and sorry for himself!
When you enter the woodland gardens, you walk underneath a large area of Gunnera. Most of it reached high above me and looking up, the sunlight is seen through the large leaves
A new leaf is opening out
Whilst some have only just emerged as buds
The Woodland Gardens are fenced off to prevent damage from deer eating the plants. Unfortunately, this Red Deer hind must have not been attending the briefing as to where, and where not, deer are allowed to go.
It seemed as though it was snowing with some of the trees covered in these "cotton like" seeds
and several had landed on the water where they floated
This was the tree that produced the seeds
(If anyone can ID it, I would be grateful :D)
A very young Moorhen, sat on a Lily leaf whilst looking to be fed
Alarm calls from a few birds alerted me.... the cause being this fox deep in the undergrowth
Back out into the main park, these Mallard ducklings were snoozing on the opposite side of the bank
A Grey Heron hiding behind the grasses
Several notices are posted around the popular dog-walking areas, asking for dogs to be kept on leads for the moment. The Hinds and Does are giving birth to their young and currently are nervous as the bracken isn't always high enough to hide the little ones.
I came across a small herd of Red Deer females and they had young ones with them. Mostly hidden in the bracken, but I did manage the occasional glimpse.
This one seemed bigger and was much different in colour
Four fawns were playing deep in the bracken and crossing the stream. As this one paused I managed to get a shot of it whilst it investigated the grass on the stream edge.
A Grey Heron flew past me and landed high up in the tree - just above a coot's nest!
As I walked back to the car, I met a friend so we stopped for a chat and a cuppa. A large flock of Starlings were wheeling about so eventually I went over to investigate.
This represents about 1/3rd of them!
And today? Thursday. I had to go back to Painshill to see if I could find the second Great Crested Grebe. Whilst I had a good walk, I could still only find the one solitary bird. Today it was in exactly the same spot as usual but not calling much at all.
I think we both have to accept that it's partner has gone. Hopefully, just flown away to find somewhere else to live!
The damsels and dragons weren't too evident today albeit the sun was shining. Perhaps I was too late in the day. However, I did spot this female Banded Demoiselle.
So off to the supermarket, where I was going before I got side tracked into nipping into Painshill and investigating Grebes!