Friday 5 June 2015

The Canada Goose nest on the island in the Long Water is hatching, and three brand new goslings could be seen from the Italian Garden.

With luck they will vacate the nest just in time before the Mute Swans want to occupy it.

There is another new family in the Italian Garden: a well hidden Moorhen nest, unsuspected by anyone, has produced seven chicks. They wouldn't get together for a group photograph, but here are four of them.

Unfortunately, this is in the northwest pond, where the local Grey Heron often goes to fish for perch. Let's hope that no chicks wander into its reach. It can only stand on the planters in the pond, as the water is too deep for it elsewhere, and herons don't swim if they can avoid it.

The Gadwall drake of the pair at Peter Pan is losing his smart grey breeding plumage and turning brown.

In the case of bright coloured drakes, such as the Mallards and Mandarins which are also going into eclipse, this is a useful safety measure, as they will also be moulting their wing feathers and be unable to fly, and in that state they can't afford to be conspicuous. But Gadwall drakes are so sober in colour that it makes no difference.

It will be interesting to see what the pale Mallard drake on the Round Pond looks like when he goes into eclipse. He is always at the northwest corner of the pond, and easy to find.

The edge of the pond is noisy with young Starlings begging for their parents to feed them.

Around the Long Water, most of the noise comes from young Great Tits. Here is one calling and fluttering its wings to goad its parents into action.

Its father took a pine nut from my hand and promptly fed it to the young bird, silencing it for a few seconds.

This is not the bold Pied Wagtail I photographed a few days ago. He is another one, slightly scruffy but equally unafraid of people, and was running around under my feet near the Dell restaurant.

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