When I arrived at Painshill yesterday and was just about to cross the bridge, a male Blackcap was singing up in the tree - such a wonderful song.
After leaving the car park, you walk along a footpath through a small field to a very modern bridge, scanning the River Mole, before going through the visitor centre and out into the main park.
This is looking towards the exit and the Walled Garden is on the right.
On this occasion I decided to wander below the bridge and was caught by the reflections of it in the river below
Walking through the park, the vineyard was reflected in the lake below.
A Grelag goose decided a swim was in order
Further around the lake, this Canada Goose had a family of 10 goslings to look after!! In all I came across three separate Canada Geese families and I'm sure there will be more.
Another family of Canada Geese - just 8 this time - were swimming about where the overhanging trees coloured the water green.
The first Greylag Goose family swimming in tight formation along the lake
Then, standing on the Chinese Bridge I used my binoculars to inspect the group of rushes and irises on the opposite bank. This is where the Great Crested Grebe has been nesting. I couldn't see anything and was hoping it was the increased amount of vegetation hiding it from view.
I walked around the head of the lake until I was closer and no - it wasn't hidden. The nest was deserted and the (at least) one egg was not there. The nest is not far from the bank, so I can only assumed the egg(s) had been predated. Saddened I walked on.
But much to my delight, the pair of Grebes were very much visible in the place I first saw them and they were still very much a pair.
Whilst there had been some very half-hearted courtship displays, the main activity was sleeping so I left them to it. It looked as though they had built another nest in a different place so I shall go back to investigate. I hope they try again!
The sun had gone by now and the light was really strange. The water seemed murky today, I don't know why. Perhaps the rain had churned it up a bit.
On my way out, there were three of these chaps in the picnic field.
A quick pit stop in Bushy Park before going home. The park is now dominated (or so it seems) by Coots and these two youngsters - well, I'm sure their mother loves them!
These four male Mandarins seem to stick together. I presume they are the same group I've seen in the Woodland Gardens but I didn't have time to check out my theory!
I was delighted to observe that one Great Crested Grebe is back on the Boating Pond. No sign again of the second one but at least it's an improvement.
Not a bad day after all!
The Parish Church of St Alphege, Solihull
12 hours ago