NATURE NOTES.

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Every day I see a pair of Mallards sitting on my lawn. They were attracted no doubt by my small pond and the bird food I spread on the ground every morning. The fact that they are together suggests that the duck hasn’t laid any eggs yet, I cannot see any sign of a nest.

I made a rough home for a hedgehog out of reeds, twigs and leaves earlier in the year hoping to attract them into my garden. Yesterday at dusk a hedgehog wandered across the lawn. It is probably around when I’m in bed. Let’s hope for a family.  My photograph is not that good,I missed its snout.

The male pheasant who used to come for food has gone elsewhere. There is an abundance of blackbirds, robins, sparrows, starlings, great and blue tits all busy feeding their young scattered in hidden nests around the garden. A pair of magpies are no doubt doing damage to the smaller birds eggs.

These three were less welcome visitors.

Meanwhile, up on the Upper Dilworth Reservoir where I park to go bouldering in Craig Y Longridge there is quite a lot of activity. The Mallards had chicks a while back, not sure how many will survive.

The Canada Geese are showing off their youngsters.

The Tufted Ducks are just swimming around though they have nested on the island in previous years.

But the highlight of this week was watching the pair of Great Crested Grebes on the water. I have been keeping an eye on them for several weeks, I missed their mating dance. I saw them building a nest in the reeds, but the foliage growth had camouflaged it, so I didn’t know if she had laid any eggs.  I can see now that she has two chicks and is carrying them on her back whilst the male goes off diving for fish. They are quite a way out on the water, so my camera struggled to cope. The  two young are virtually invisible on her back from this distance, just a flash of white feathers, but when the male returns their heads pop up, and sometimes they take to the water. He feeds her small fish, and I’m sure he was also giving titbits to the young. What a privilege to be able to watch their family life.

While I’m bouldering in Craig Y I often hear a Wren’s alarm call, and today I saw her fly out from low down in the rock face. On investigating there was the domed mossy nest in a crack. I kept well away for the rest of my session.

Oh! And I thought my garden was looking very green. You can’t see the weeds.

PS. I called in to see some friends today after a walk, they have a rough patch of grass in front of their house, and it was full of orchids –  I’m not sure which variety, but I liked them.

9 thoughts on “NATURE NOTES.

  1. Michael Graeme

    They look like early purple orchids, though I could be – and probably am – wrong. I saw a lone one in the Dales this week, but that’s quite a display. Of all the water-birds, I think, grebe are my favourites.

    Reply
    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      Yes I thought so, but they didn’t have any blotches on the leaves. Maybe Marsh Orchid as they are a very deep purple. I find orchids notoriously difficult to identify.
      The male grebe is so busy each day diving for fish to feed his family. Today the chicks are already looking much larger.

      Reply
      1. Michael Graeme

        Amazing how fast young birds grow, compared with the human equivalent.

        I found a way of searching an image using Google’s Lens thing, through a Chrome browser, and it says marsh orchid too.

        Reply
  2. shazza

    The Grebe family are beautiful. 🙂 .
    Went to check if there are any orchids at Brungerley park on Sunday but nothing yet.

    Reply
    1. bowlandclimber Post author

      I’m watching the grebes grow.
      I saw some early purple and marsh orchids this week. Nothing more exciting.
      Let me know if anything pops up in Brungerley or Salthill please.

      Reply
  3. Pingback: GREBE UPDATE. | bowlandclimber

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