On a log at the far end , I found this pair of mating Crane Flies-Tipula maxima . As I walked the other side , I noticed that the female Mallard I saw last visit , has already lost one of her youngsters . The fishermen say that the ponds hold big Pike , and they have seen ducklings taken by these large fish . In the corner where the family had been feeding the ducks , a surplus of bread was floating on the water and attracted three Black Headed Gulls . I sat for a while in an attempt to get a shot of one of them taking the bread , but something was making them nervous , and although they made many passes , no bread was taken . Eventually , they gave up
All the time , the males were making a Wigeon type whistle . As they got to the overhanging trees at the bank , I could hear them getting off the water and onto the branches . Some I could see actually doing it . Within one minute , all were roosted , and the area went quiet again . They must have been roosting when I walked round , without bread , and came out when the family arrived . Whether the family knew the Mandarin were there I will never know , but I'll give it a couple of days , and I'll be back with a loaf in one hand and the camera in the other .
After lunch , I had an hour on Hayes Common , pleasant enough , but no butterflies , just several Common Lizards basking in the watery sunshine .