Friday, 18 May 2012

Friday 18th. May 2012

Firstly , I had a quick look at Hutchinson's Bank yesterday afternoon , in the hope of finding some Spring butterflies , but failed miserably with the exception of a lone Small Copper . I did find a few plants that were a bit out of the ordinary ,
Deep in the woodland , Woodruff /Galium odoratum , a member of the Bedstraw family ,
the sprawling , hairy Germander Speedwell / Veronica chamaedrys , a member of the Figwort family
and the dainty Goldilocks Buttercup / Ranunculus auricomus .
This morning , unsure of what the weather was going to do , I decided to see how the Nuthatches that I watched making their nest in Kelsey Park , Beckenham , were getting on . I didn't have long to wait
before the adults , I must say looking a bit jaded , and who could blame them given the weather ,
started turning up with food , and reaching right into the nesthole to feed the youngsters inside .
But of course , what goes in , must come out , so every now and again , one of the adults was
required to do 'toilet duties' . In between visits I caught sight of the pair of Grey Wagtails when they flew to and landed on the heronry island , but too far for a shot . All was going well until this male
Great Spotted Woodpecker turned up , probably looking for his breakfast . He could obviously see and hear the youngsters inside , and it was now that the 'claying up' of the nesthole so that the
Nuthatches could just squeeze in paid off , as the Woodpecker was too large to get in , but he did give it a good try . Needless to say , when the Nuthatches returned , they were not happy , and after a
short period of aerial bombardment from the two gutsy little birds , the Woodpecker gave up and left.
Once things quietened down , one of the youngsters couldn't resist trying to see what all the commotion was about . Leaving the Nuthatches , I walked around the lake to see what else was
about . Several young Coots on the water , this one though , still being fed at home .
I mentioned that most of the young Grey Herons had left the nests , but the 'machine gun' calls from young for food can still be heard , coming from these three , and you could almost read on the adult's face , 'when are they going to leave ?' . Not a single female Mandarin Duck was seen today , they are probably sitting on eggs in a hole in a tree now , but eight males , it has got to be said , not as natty
as they were , were found around the lake . Not far from the Mandarins were a total of 10 Canada
Geese goslings , being watched over by four adults , so it was probably two separate familes . It has been the policy at the park to prick the eggs of this species to keep their numbers down , but these
nests were obviously not found . Just before leaving the park , 5 Greylag Geese goslings were having a doze . On my way back home , I made a quick visit to Hayes Farm and the Trout Fishery . On the
horse paddocks a female Green Woodpecker was looking for food , and unusually , a Great Spotted
Woodpecker on the ground , with a beakful of caterpillars . The Trout Fishery produced a single Common Tern , a small Mallard family and right over the far side , a pair of Egyptian Geese were
keeping a very watchful eye on their four youngsters .
And finally , the weather seems to have been very suitable for Carol's pride and joy , her Irises ,

and needless to say , Carol is one very happy bunny .


ShySongbird said...

A lovely post, full of interest Greenie. The Nuthatch/GSW story was nail biting! I'm so glad the Nuthatches had done their job well and that the GSW had to find dinner elsewhere.

That's a great photo of the Coot feeding the little one!

Carol's Irises are lovely too, I particularly like the blue one.

Warren Baker said...

Ive got some of those Iris Greenie, they rarely flower though - a gardener I am not :-)

One up to the Nuthatches! not found my local ones this month yet ;-(