It was mid afternoon before the skies started to clear after rain or drizzle from early morning . The first sign of the sun had me heading for the Farm lake . needless to say , by the time I got there , the sun had disappeared again behind grey clouds . I found very little happening on the lake , apart from the single , young , surviving Coot , which seemed very subdued , nothing like the 'I'm hungry , feed me' that is usually heard . As I walked around the bank , I noticed a new family , tucked away on the floating platform , were three Moorhen chicks , and the parents must have told them to keep still , as they stood like statues , without uttering even a 'cheep' . I don't know where the one on the right gets it's eye make up from ! Everything was serene , until someone strayed into someone else's territory , when a fight broke out between an adult Moorhen and Coot . It didn't last long , and was more like 'handbags' at three paces . Still just one Little Grebe showing , but , watching that one , I'm still pretty sure that the female is on a nest in amongst the Yellow Flag Irises , as this assumed male had found a tasty morsel , and had brought it to his partner . Nothing like banking a few 'Brownie points' . Whilst watching the goings on , a small bird flew into one of the Silver Birches around the lake . It turned out to be a male Yellowhammer , and later I heard him singing , something about 'cheese' or the lack of it . On the far side of the lake , I found the female Mallard , preening , and in the grass to her left , the one remaining duckling , but no sign of the Mandarin family . On my second lap of the lake , in the opposite direction , a surprise was waiting for me back at the floating platform . The Moorhen brood was four not three , and both parents were in attendance too . I also tried to photograph a pair of Green Woodpeckers , but my stalking let me down big time , and they flew off well before I got into camera range . Just a few teneral damselflies were seen , but this lake is fed from an artesian well , and cool water from 200+ feet below the surface and the fact that it is in a frost prone valley , always means that emergence is later that at other sites . Just one Green-veined White butterfly was recorded on my visit .
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