September 24, 2010

Farewell to Gillian Ware

Today I fly back to Los Angeles, where I'll be until the end of January. I therefore felt very sad today when I went in the rain to Valentines Park Boating Lake to say goodbye to the Great Crested Grebe family to whom I have become so attached- especially the chick who I saw when he was first hatched- not to mention having followed all his parent's misfortunes over stolen nests and eggs!

Today his parents were busy fishing and swimming together. Yesterday, they did the first movements of their Spring display when they met. Then today, when they were sheltering under an Oak tree, one of them (the female, maybe?) climbed up onto an old Coots nest and started rearranging the bedding, which made me wonder if they had got confused by our brief "Indian Summer"!! The other bird got impatient and nudged her/him to move off the nest...

The chick was swimming about in the rain, especially around the boats covered with tarpaulins, where he seemed to be finding food. The two adults were there too and soon chased him off as usual. Yesterday he had been again cheeping around them, only to be rejected. I wonder where they will be when I return?

The Cormorants were very busy fishing on the lake too and I was pleased to see four of them on the boats. I can't wait to get back and see what happens next in Valentines Park!

(Gillian Ware)
...A big thanks to Gillian Ware for her dedication and enthusiasm in reporting the goings on at Valentines Park over the last few months, we really have benefited from the insight gathered by following the stories of the Grey Herons, the Swans, Egyptian Geese and latterly the Great Crested Grebes. We wish you well in LA, and look forward to your reports in January 2011 (hopefully of Valentino!!!). May God bless you, and watch over you on your journey...

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