September 03, 2010

Pics - Valentines Park

Having been away for two weeks, needless to say the first thing I did on my return was to visit Valentines Park- good news and bad news.
Good news: To my relief the Great Crested Grebe family were still all on the Boating Lake. I found the two adults dozing side-by-side under an Oak tree. After a time, one of them swam off. On his return, he approached the other bird and gave him- or her- a nudge with his beak. Getting no response, he swam off again!
I first saw the chick out and about on the lake, then later dozing under anAlder tree three trees away from his parents. I was interested to see how he is maturing. He now has the definite beginnings of a black crest andmore signs of russet-red in his general plumage, although he still retainssome of his zebra-like neck stripes.

Bad news: Satisfied that the Grebes were fine, I then went up to the Fish Pond. There I was very distressed to see the Heron's nest-tree had fallen into the lake- nest and all! OK, it was dead but this was still a shock, having had fond hopes that the Herons might one day return to their nest...I am attaching both before-and-after pics, as well as one of the broken off stump.

I was, however, cheered to see the two Egyptian Geese nearby. As has beensaid, we don't know whether they are "our" ones, but then they were on aspot by the shore where they often sat and one had a ring on the same leg aspreviously- but then probably hundreds of them do!!

I was also pleased to see the white hybrid Goose by the Boating Lake and lots of Little Grebes bobbing in and out of the water...

Gillian Ware

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