Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Wednesday 15th. May 2013

Another  Winter-like day today , but after being confined to the house yesterday , I had to get out , so wrapped up well , and made for Kelsey Park in Beckenham , which in the conditions , found that I had it almost to myself . By the lake , the wind felt like I was back on top of the Cairngorms , it was bitter . Not a single gull was seen today , they must be all off breeding , so it was quieter than usual , but the Canada Geese in particular , were doing their best to keep the noise level up . My main objective was to see if the Nuthatches were nesting in the large London Plane , but 20 minutes watching their favoured hole , not a single movement was seen . I suppose the female could be on eggs , so I will make another visit in the near future . The pair of Grey Wagtail were on the path nearby , but before I got either in the viewfinder , they flew over the safety fence , stopping briefly on
the wall before flying to the island . A bit further around the lake , a Grey Squirrel appeared from the vegetation with a slice of bread , obviously health conscious as the bread was wholemeal , and
proceeded to have it's breakfast in front of me . Staying on the 'grey' note , across the lake , an adult
Grey Heron was stalking it's breakfast in the shallows . Several Coot and Moorhen nest dotted around the lake , and young Coots seen too , but the most interesting nest was this Moorhen one , looking
like it was built in the roots of a tree that has appeared in the Beck , just before entering the lake . Just hope all is finished before heavy rain and the whole lot gets washed away . Across the bridge and onto the other side of the lake , and tucked well into the edge of the Beck , a female Mandarin with 8
very recently hatched ducklings , the male was not far away watching over the family . I wondered if these might be the pair I photographed looking for a nest site in the trees in the area . It was then back
to 'grey' , when this proud pair of Greylag Geese waddled in with their 9 goslings . Although small ,
the goslings knew exactly what to do with some seed that someone had left . Not to be outdone , they
were followed by a pair of Canada Geese , with exactly the same sized family , and the adult on the right made sure that the noise level was ramped up on their arrival . Over the lake , 10/12 Swallows were hawking for insects , and although the conditions were bad , I spent some time trying to

photograph them in flight . Needless to say , the vast majority went straight in the bin when I got home , but had there been better light , one or two might have been passable . There appeared to be
fewer youngsters in the heronry this year and with it , less noise , but this nest had three juveniles , two having a good workout , the third looking like it had the hump about something or another . Once again I hoped that an adult would return with food whilst I was there , but again it didn't happen . I
did get a close flypast by this adult though . At one end of the heronry island , is the biggest nest that
I have ever seen , measuring at east a metre high , but the strange thing was that it seemed unused . That was until I had a closer look with binoculars , which revealed that squatting is alive and well in
the realms of the Greylag Goose . I would love to be there the day the goslings take their first steps into the big world outside . At 1530 , the sun came out briefly between the clouds , too little , too late .


Warren Baker said...

At least you made an attempt to get out Greenie, I gave up after less than an hour :-(

I think those Swallow shots are quite good mate :-)

Marc Heath said...

Considering the crap weather, you managed a few nice shots.

ShySongbird said...

This weather really doesn't bode well for wildlife Greenie especially after last year! Well done with the Swallow photos, they're not easy in the best of conditions. Lovely to see all the ducklings and goslings and the Greylag in that huge nest was a surprise :-)