My blog is mostly about wildlife, particularly birds, walking, days out, all growing things and anything else that comes to mind.
To view pictures in larger format, just click on any picture for the picture gallery....

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Staying very local...

I have a young man staying with me at present and he will be with me until the end of term. As a result I've not wanted to wander too far from home to ensure that I can be at school at the right time to meet him. Unfortunately for J, the walk from school to me is not the nicest so we have to be unfriendly to the environment and use the car. (Don't talk about the buses in this area please - the answer can only be "What buses?")

In addition for the entire of this week has been the Hampton Court Flower show (under 2 miles from me) - which jams up the local roads with impunity! Nice! You begin to feel a prisoner in your own home and any journeys out need planning well in advance and leaving some considerable minutes earlier than one would normally. OK - bit of a rant, but over now!

So I went in the opposite direction and headed off for Black Pond on Esher Common to hunt for Dragons! But, the sun (which had shone brilliantly from early morning) decided to be shy and hid behind a cloud. No damsels or dragons for me today.

I wandered down the road a bit and went to (National Trust) Claremont Gardens for a wander. I was also feeling very hungry so had a sandwich (expensive!!!) and a drink in their cafe.

Claremont has a large lake and today a company specializing in Wetland maintanence was clearing vast amounts of blanket week! The smell assailed the nostrils - not particularly pleasant. Claremont has a mixture of captive water fowl and wild ones. Just a selection from today - the sun? Well it peeped out occasionally but that's the best that can be said!

Other than the captive birds, and a some wild ones (including large amounts of Canada Geese and Greylags), it was very quiet - well that's about right for this time of the year. Very few flutters and one dragon right out in the middle of the lake.

An interestingly coloured female Mallard
The resident Emperor Geese
A very late brood of Mallards..
I then came across three Shelducks - this one having a preen
I'm sure this must be a youngster
and the final one of the trio - no doubt Mum Dad and Junior!
A Greylag Goose demonstrating how easy it is to sleep balanced on one leg!
(Don't try this at home!)
Two (of six) very young Mallards

from a very blonde Mum!
The Greylag gosling is beginning to look like its parents
Whilst this male Mallard is going into eclipse and losing its brilliant emerald green head feathers.
and finally - a picture taken from above the grass Amphitheatre of a beautiful cedar - which is enormous!

So finally off home via the supermarket and then to school.
A pleasant wander albeit under grey skies!


Warren Baker said...

Hi Tricia,
One of the good things about writing a blog, is the fact you can ''rant'' all you like. :-)

ShySongbird said...

Yes it was a very pleasant wander. I thought the blonde mum was a pretty young lady, they certainly do have some variation colour wise! I love the way the young Shelduck is stepping out.

karen said...

Lovely pics Tricia, looks beautiful there, even if the sun wasnt shining!!! Love the creamy coloured mallard x

holdingmoments said...

You've got some very nice 'spots' to wander where you are Tricia.
That Cedar looks huge; and the people in the picture really show its size.
Love those Emperor Geese, they look very majestic. Never seen those before.

Midmarsh John said...

That Cedar even dwarfs my Leylandii. You always manage to find interesting birds to photo and never miss the awww shots. :)

I would hate to live near one of the popular events which clogs up the local roads. The nearest here is Cadwell Park, several miles away, which draws in hundreds of motor cyclists on to our narrow roads.

Miranda Bell said...

Sorry I've been rather absent over the last weeks and am at home today not feeling great so thought I'd catch up on a few of my fav blogs! I'm sure your little visitor must enjoy staying with you with all the interesting walks you got on - love the pics of the ducklings... and although the traffic must be an absolute pain must admit I'd love to take a peak at Hampton Court Flower Show one of these days - a bit more civilized than Chelsea? Take care and enjoy your weekend Miranda

Tricia said...

Warren - how very true; I'd not thought of blogging like that before. I wouldn't want to bore my readers though!

Jan - The young Shelduck did seem very determined in "the flesh" as well!

Karen - thanks - it's one of the smaller NT gardens but good for a gentle stroll on the doorstep - sos to speak!

Keith - yes I'm very lucky to have so much at close quarters. There's Emperor Geese in Kew Gardens as well - they are rather elegant aren't they!

John - it's enormous and I was pleased the couple of people wandered into shot to get some perspective. There's also a very very large one not far from there at Painshill - it must be something in the soil!

Miranda - I think my young visitor is enjoying himself - but I'm sure he'd rather be at home by the seaside with no school though ;)

I've been to the Flower Show a few times but have given it a miss for the last couple of years. It's much larger than Chelsea and is in a wonderful setting of course. More civilised than Chelsea? - not with the hordes of people visiting if you don't like crowds (as I don't)

Hope you feel better soon!!!

oldcrow61 said...

Awww, you just can't beat the moms and babies. Great pictures.

Tricia said...

Hi OC - I quite agree - Mom's and babies steal the show every time don't they!

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