Thursday, 2 October 2014

The Coots' nest at Peter Pan, long guarded by its jealous builders, has gone in a single day. Having been there for months, it was swarming with insects, and the Mallards and Moorhens decided to pick it to pieces to extract these, taking no notice of the angry Coots' efforts to stop them. This picture was taken yesterday.

And here is the nest today, stripped down below the waterline.

One of the Great Crested Grebe chicks on the Long Water extended a pair of fully grown wings.

It had a few practice runs, but it will be a while before it actually gets out of the water. Grebes have a very high unstick speed, and have to race frantically across the water for 50 yards, propelled mainly by their feet, before they can get airborne. Years ago I saw a Short Sunderland flying boat taking off. It was a very similar spectacle.

Another grebe chick was much more in its element fishing around the wire baskets near the bridge. But it is still not catching much, if anything, and remains dependent on its parents for food.

Here, seen across the Long Water at the Vista, are three kinds of duck, all male: a Tufted Duck, a Pochard and a Shoveller.

A female Ring-Necked Parakeet was eating berries in a yew tree in the Flower Walk, picking them with a foot rather that biting them off.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place in the pair's nest tree, awake because he had just been preening.

The female Little Owl had been doing the same in the chestnut tree next to their nest tree.


  1. How do you tell gender with parakeets? Is it as with budgies, where the above-the-beak area is either blue or muddy pink? (and I have wondered if it's something like that where our daft habit comes from, of boy blue and girl pink..? Or am I reaching here?)

    1. Much easier than that. Only the males have a ring round their neck.