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....

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

En Guarde

The best laid plans.... went astray today when the garage cancelled my car's visit to them. It was due there at about 5.30 to I could collect a courtesy car and they could assess the problem from a cold start tomorrow morning.

So at the end of the afternoon I nipped into Bushy Park for about an hour.

The island where I originally saw the Great Crested Grebes, was still being used by the nesting Mute Swan and Coots.

The Island - where all the action is..

However, the cygnets must have hatched because the park's authorities have very sensibly erected a barricade on the bank of the pond to prevent, presumably, dogs and people interfering with the Swan family

Not only that, but a ramp up the steep bank, has been provided to enable the cygnets to clamber up and down to and from the water.
(taken through the screen!)

On the top of the island, mostly hidden by the new growth, the new mum looks after her brood

whilst she gazes down on her partner...

who was guarding his mate the whole time I was there.

A Grey Heron had been standing by the bank, but decided to get closer to the island, landing on a dead branch.

Eventually s/he moved lower down and its gaze now was very concentrated

as, underneath and at the edge of the island, was a family of three young coots, and an adult still incubating eggs

,I'd been watching for a while, but had to leave. As I did, I heard a screech, and as I turned the Heron dived down - I couldn't see what happened.

Nearer the car park, I stopped to watch this pair of Mallards preening

And finally, a female mallard landed, creating quite a wake!!

Off home now I think..


holdingmoments said...

Good of the park authorities to erect the screen, and ramp.
Great series of pictures Tricia; and I can only guess what the Heron was after. :(

Chris said...

Hi Tricia,
A good tour and a nice post. Nice that the park people are trying to protect as much as possible the new born, but maybe people should also make some effort in that direction. Are swan breeding for the second time now? Incredible. I saw the first small birds giving food to their chicks today here, and I guess that ducks chicks are still not there!

mick said...

Great photos and the swans are especially beautiful. I like the idea of the ramp. Guess it works for lots of creatures as I have used one when raising small domestic animals.

Midmarsh John said...

I was also impressed by the care and consideration for the nesting Swans. It's great to hear.
Beautiful series of the Heron. Your words and pictures bring your visits to life.
It always looks painful for the birds when they land on water.
Hope your car gets sorted soon.

ShySongbird said...

Like the others I was very impressed by what the authorities had done, how nice that someone there cares and is knowledgeable enough to know what is needed to protect the swans. Great sequence of Heron photos.

oldcrow61 said...

I felt I was there with you. Good news to hear that the park authorities have put up a screen and ramp.

Tricia said...

Just to mention to everyone, that I emailed the Wildlife Officer at Bushy Park today; just simply to say thanks!

Keith - think you've guessed correctly about the Heron's intent!

Chris - the Swans are breeding their first brood; I'm sure you'll get your ducklings before too long :)

Mick - yes; there's something about Swans - more about the ramp in my next post!

John - thank you for your very kind comments. Couple of weeks now before the car can go back in

(By the way John, I've emailed you through your blog - don't know if you've got it?)

Jan - Thanks for your kind comment.

OC - it would be nice to have you with me on one of my walks

Midmarsh John said...

Sorry Tricia - nothing received on the email front as yet.

Tricia said...

John - thanks for letting me know. I've tried again in a (I hope) more appropriate way. Doh

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