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!
7 hours ago