Saturday, 17 May 2014

Three's a crowd

Usual Saturday morning down the Lodge. Beautiful weather and the place was looking in good form. It even seems to be drying up a bit now, although there is still more standing water in the "everglades" than might be expected.
First stop was to go round to Long Hedge to check on the grebes. On the way there was lots of song - blackcaps and chiffchaff mainly. When I got to the hide the first sight was a bit of a surprise. There was a pair of red-crested pochards swimming across the lake. They are common, or at least regular, on Stocker's Lake, but we only get occasional reports. This pair were pretty flighty though and flew within 30 seconds or so. No sign over the rest of the day, so must have relocated to another lake. My guess was that they were only here because of the disturbance from the canal festival on the main lake anyway.
The great crested grebe looked settled on her/ his nest and the little grebe nest was empty. I could see one over by Shell Hide so I relocated. One adult was in front of the hide but as soon as i opened the flap it moved, slowly, round to the sheltered bay to the left. I did manage to grab a few shots. I could see one head sticking up from her (?) back and one other youngster trailing.

What I hadn't realised though was that if you look closely at the middle photo there is actually two birds on her back. you can just see another eye poking out. So, its a brood of 3.
After that I pottered round to Rotunda where Colin was already on rail-watch. No sign but the garden warbler was showing and singing well, a reed bunting visited the feeder and the usual reed warblers were scratching away if not showing themselves.

The Cettis was also shouting like mad but was pretty elusive to see. Surely it (they?) must breed this year, although it could be difficult to pin them down. Terns were around but showing no signs of nesting this year, as their rafts are full of gulls. The kingfisher was about but no sign of hobbies. Swift numbers had declined from last weekend, but they were still over the reedbed in good numbers. Finally, the treecreeper was feeding its family in double-decker. so, a pretty good morning.
Afternoon was over the Aquadrome for the canal festival, where the only "spot" I had was this one.