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, 9 June 2009

Painshill update

Grey skies, black clouds but no wind. By early afternoon I needed to get out so headed off to Painshill Park to see what was happening generally and specifically to the Great Crested Grebe pair. They'd had one nest predated and I discovered a new nest with one egg before I went on holiday.

As I came around by the lake, seven adult Greylag Geese with their combined offspring were grazing through the vineyard.

I looked up from watching them as a Grey Heron flew across in front of me

As I walked further around the lake, this wonderful old tree trunk begged for my attention

On now to where the Grebes were normally found. I found one Grebe and the nest. Whilst I gazed at the unoccupied nest realising the one egg was no longer there I feared the worst. Whilst watching, one of the volunteers came up. Apparently upto last Thursday there had been four eggs - now - nothing! He was unaware they had been predated and, like me, had come for an update.

Sadly there is a mink around the park and specifically on the island where the nest is. The lone Grebe was swimming around and calling. I watched for some time and my friendly volunteer advised me had had seen both of the Grebes this morning. I continued walking around the lake but to no avail.

I came across this Grey Heron having a preeen.

Most the of the birds - few in number now - were sleeping or preening - this female Mallard had difficulty keeping an eye on things!

I walked around the entire lake and, on my way back, the lone Grebe was in a place I'd not seen them before and still calling. Such a sad and plaintive call.

So - a bit of a mystery as to where it's partner was. At least there had been two this morning.

As I walked this Egyptian Goose flew up into an adjacent tree for a preen!

A family of two adult and three young Canada Geese wandered about. I think these must be the youngest of all the goslings in the park.

I'd not really paid much attention to this in the past; I believe it must be a pump of some sort. It's situated between the river and the lake.

As I made my way over the footbridge leaving the park and back to the car, I was rewarded with the sight of two Great Spotted Woodpeckers as they flew up into the tall conifers. A family of blue tits were deep in the trees and I could hear them calling to be fed.

My final spot of the day - a rabbit trying to be invisible as I finally left!

It's really sad that the Grebes have lost yet another batch of eggs - especially to an animal that shouldn't be here in the first place. Hey ho!


Pete said...

nice heron shot

mick said...

I hope the mink is taken care of soon. Its too bad for it to be in a place where the birds must be so easy for it to take.

Midmarsh John said...

Great shots again, Tricia. Love the Heron in flight ones. Still finding the awww ones as well I see :)
Let's hope you manage to solve the mystery of the missing Grebe next time.

Joe said...

Nice photos Tricia,

Unlucky with the grebes. Loved the heron shots. Its only when they fly that you realise just how big they are.

Tricia said...

Thanks Pete - it was one of my better flight shots :D

Mick - Couldn't agree more - it shouldn't be there.

John - thank you. I certainly hope both the Grebe and I find the missing one!

holdingmoments said...

Great post Tricia, tinged with a little sadness. A real shame about the nesting Grebes.
Good discovery of the old ‘pump’ thing. I love coming across old stuff like that when I’m out and about.
And the flying Heron; brilliant!

Lily said...

Lovely photos as always. There are lots of ducks where I work and I've always wondered why they sleep with their necks twisted round and their beaks buried in their backs, they look so vulnerable. Anybody know?

Liz said...

So sad to hear about the Grebe eggs, such wonderful birds!


ShySongbird said...

What a shame about the Grebes and very bad news that there is a Mink, I do hope the other Grebe turns up okay. Lovely Heron photos. It's raining again here :(

Tricia said...

Keith - tis a shame indeed but I still hope to find the 2nd one!

I don't know why I've not really noticed the pump before.

And thanks for the comment about the Heron shot :D

Liz - they are such wonderful birds and for them to lose their eggs for a 2nd time too!

Jan - really bad news about the mink. I don't know whether the park authorities are going to do anything about it. I might just send an email!

And it's been tipping down all day here (Wed) - oh joy!!

Tricia said...

Lily - thank you. I don't know why they sleep as they do, but many birds sleep like this. I agree that it makes them seem more vulnerable - perhaps someone will have the answer.

Jayne said...

Oh how I wish my photography skills were just a little bit as good as yours - lovely photo's

Tricia said...

Jayne - thank you for the very kind comment.

The advantage of digital - keep trying lots of different settings until you know which suits each type of environment.

and.... you should see the number I delete!!! Many more than I keep.

neil said...

great photos. Shame about the grebe eggs, mink are never good news. Lets hope the uneducated never manage to stop the cull of them in the UK

Tricia said...

Thanks Neil. Yes it's a great shame. At least last year there were 3 young but it's not to be now for this year.

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