Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A third Great Crested Grebes' nest has hatched out, though there seems to be only one chick.

It is at the west end of the island, probably behind the wire baskets as it can't be seen from the shore. This explains why these grebes were having a territorial dispute with the family from the east end of the island.

And there is a new nest on the Long Water, under the willow tree near the bridge.

It is on the site of a deserted Coots' nest but the Coots didn't seem to be claiming it, although there are a fair number in this area. A grebes' nest here last year was destroyed by waves created by a strong east wind, so let's hope this doesn't happen again. I threw some twigs into the lake in the hope that the grebes would use them to strengthen their nest, which as you can see is the usual feeble little soggy platform.

The Mooorhen and Mallard families, which have been sharing a pond in the Italian Gardens reasonably amicably, had their space invaded by the pair of Coots from the pond next door. They clearly didn't like this, as they had clustered together on one of the clumps of plants. But the youngest Moorhen chick was not with them, and was wandering around alone in the waterlilies, eating algae. When the Coots came past it hid under a leaf.

Beside the Henry Moore sculpture, one of the young Magpies was amusing itself by annoying a squirrel. The squirrel chased it away easily, but the Magpie returned to sneak up behind it and peck at its tail. Here the squirrel turns on its tormentor.

This is one of the young Blackbirds in the Flower Walk, waiting for its mother to come out of the bushes with some food.

The male Little Owl, on his usual branch, was preening his wing.

I saw this male Black-Tailed Skimmer dragonfly near the Little Owls' tree. I have had lots of pictures of this species and would not normally have bothered with another, but I could hear a faint crunching sound, so I took a photograph. The picture shows that it was eating a fly.

It took only about ten seconds to finish its meal, and flew off to catch another.

There is a wasps' nest on one of the nest boxes on the path below the Triangle car park, a swirly construction of papier mâché made from chewed wood.

Antoni Gaudı́ would have loved this beautiful dwelling.

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