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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Sunday, 17 May 2009

More youngsters!

I have, currently, my Grandson staying with me and this morning the heavens opened and it tipped it down. By lunchtime the wind had chased the black clouds away and left us with scudding white clouds, a little blue sky and a small amount of sunshine.

So after a quick bite to eat we headed off to Richmond Park for some exercise and fresh air.

Walked around the wooded area and down to Pen Ponds. These are two ponds, at completely different levels, separated by a causeway. The lower of the two ponds was playing host to.....

A family of 8 Mandarin ducklings who were swimming about in the wind-whipped water. It was blowing a gale by now!

We noticed that one of the little ones was often swimming by itself and then..

my Grandson noticed that it had a nasty and bloody injury on the back of its neck :(

We continued walking as about a dozen Swifts shot around us and dipped, skimming the pond water as they went - great to watch and listen to their screaming as they again whirled overhead.

A pair of mallards came into land as we stood on the bank, trying to stay upright in the wind.
Coming into land...
"Mission control - we have lowered the undercarriage"

"We are ready to touch down..."

"We are touching down, can't abort landing now..."

"We have touch down"....

"Mission control - we have landed"

A very large rough area covered with tufts of grass and last year's dead bracken has several warning notices around it - this is to keep walkers and their dogs away to protect the nesting area of Skylarks. We heard a few and I think it was the young calling. Nothing was flying! But I head a different song and then finally saw this lone Reed Bunting perched up nicely.

Having completed our circuit of the pond and coming back to our starting point, we came across this Mute Swan family of 5 cygnets.

Dad was being very aggressive and an Egyptian Goose was firmly chased away..

whilst this female Mallard dared to come rather close..

and hastily changed course at the last moment

Off swam the Swan family but..

Dad was being unnecessarily aggressive this time. The Mandarin and her youngsters were huddled by the bank having a rest, when the Cob, hissing loudly, pecked at the mother bird. This caused them to swim off.
(Click to enlarge and the Mandarins will be found in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture)

Now, I asked myself, could the Swan have been a contender for causing the injury to the young Mandarin duckling. We'll probably never know.

Having been battered about quite enough by the wind, we headed back to the car - just as the heavens opened again.

But we'd had a wander and some excitement so now - back home.


Warren Baker said...

well done for braving the elements tricia. you got some nice photo's as a reward

Midmarsh John said...

Lovely family groups again, Tricia, along with the landing sequence. The water certainly looked more than a bit choppy. Torrential rain stopped play here a few times today, literally, as the village cricket team was playing.

Cheryl said...

Hi Tricia.....sad the little duckling has been injured.....I doubt it will survive.....

You always manage to capture such interesting goings on. It is always a pleasure to work my way through the photographs.....I am never disappointed.

Lovely post......

Anonymous said...

Really nice Reed Bunting Tricia.
Those Mute Swans can be a nasty piece of work sometimes.

mick said...

Great photos of the Mallards coming in to land - and two together - fantastic!

Little Brown Job said...

Love the Swan family images. Braver than me going out in that weather!

Tricia said...

Thanks Warren - it was well worth it.

John - sorry the cricket was a wash out - literally. Were you watching or playing?

Cheyrl - I hope it will recover but... I'm glad you enjoy the blog. :D

Roy - the Bunting was a lovely surprise. I've seen them around but never managed to get one so close. They're normally hidden in the trees.

Mick - thanks - it was rather like "synchronised landing"

Paul - it was a matter of escaping from the house all day or.....

holdingmoments said...

Really enjoyed your wander Tricia, and great pictures to go with it.
Shame about the little Mandarin; could well have been the overprotective swan.
Had torrents of rain here too, but like you, you've got to get out though.

Rajesh said...

Very beautiful snaps with excellent narration.

ShySongbird said...

What a shame about the little one, swan daddy could well be number one suspect.

You are braver than me, we had torrential downpours in the afternoon and any thoughts of outings rapidly dissolved!

Lovely photos again.

Warren Baker said...

Hi again Tricia,
Turtle Doves songs are woderful! They cannot be confused with any other bird, they just ''purr,purr,purr'' you just have to hear it!

Tricia said...

Jan - I think we were just lucky to have dodged the worst of the showers!

Warren - I listened to their song on the RSPB site - as you say, very distinctive! Thanks for coming back on this one.

SPD said...

Now do you believe me swans nasty thingys...good roasting tho! Only joking

Tricia said...

My apologies to:
Keith, and Rajesh for taking so long to reply to your comments.

Keith I fully suspect the Cob Swan! I do hope the rain is now abating!!

Rajesh - thank you for visiting and glad you enjoyed the post. Hope to see you here again. I will pop over "your way" shortly.

SPD - Eat! Eat! Shame on you :)

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