Wednesday, 4 July 2012

At last there is a Great Crested Grebes' nest on the Long Water, the first this year. The emergence of young fish in reasonable numbers has finally persuaded them to start breeding, and it is not too late. However, it is in a crazy place, on the tip of a dead poplar tree that fell into the lake several years ago in a violent storm (I saw it fall). Not sure it can succeed in such an exposed spot. Heaven knows why the birds chose it when there are many excellent sites vacant around the edge . This place had a Coots' nest originally, which is why the nest is higher than the low, slummy platform that grebes usually build. But you can see that they have made it their own by draping it with algae.

Meanwhile on the Serpentine island, a crowd of Grey Herons near the first grebes' nest has persuaded them to take their chicks round to the south side of the island. I saw a parent and two chicks from across the lake. This does not mean that the third chick has been lost. When their young are large enough to keep up with their parents, grebes often look after one or two each.

The Coots nesting in the Italian Garden now have three eggs. Here the male bird bites neatly through a purple loosestrife stem to present to his mate for furnishing the nest. They will not stop until they have reduced the entire carefully planted clump to ruins.

There is a Moorhens' nest with two chicks in the Dell. I had watched this being started, but reckoned that the Grey Herons who often visit the Dell would soon destroy it. Good to be proved wrong.

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