It hasn’t taken long at all for the woodpecker chick(s) to start peering out at the world. The parents have been in and out constantly with 35 visits with beaks full of food in just an hour. Imagine preparing a meal every two minutes for your kids!!
The male seemed keen to lure this youngster out with what looked like a dead chick stolen from another birds nest.
The chick wasn’t too keen and was firmly staying put however tempting the offering. The female however was still pushing into the nest to clear up the faecal sacks which suggests there’s more than one in the nest hole.
I don’t think they’ll be around much longer so I hope the forecast rain stays away as it would be nice to see them fledge in the sunlight.
One casualty of the Boxing Day floods was the actual river who’s Geography was changed in many ways by the sheer force of water which surged down the channel. One area of rapids was a great spot for sitting and watching the dippers but the flood scoured them away so the dippers moved on.
I’ve seen them flying up and down but not found where they like to dip however I did notice them this weekend flying from the main river and into a small brook which flows in close by. It’s quite near to some locks on the canal so I could stand on a bridge over the brook and watch where they went.
It soon became clear they had a nest nearby as both parents were in and out with mouthfuls of treats for the young, ranging from small fish to grubs and crustaceans. Unfortunately the site wasn’t great for photography but brilliant for watching their feeding antics. Hopefully I’ll keep an eye on the area and see the young soon.
These little guys seem to pop out onto the water!!
The male swan wasn’t too happy about the geese getting close to the cygnets
The swan has been sat on her nest for some time now and the regulars to the park have been constantly asking for updates. Yesterday I was the first to see her new arrivals as three cygnets could be clearly seen in the nest and I happily passed on the news like a proud father. If I’d had cigars I would have been handing them out.
She was constantly fidgeting though which suggests there may be more still to hatch. Last year she had eight who all survived and the year before she had six so fingers crossed there’s a few more to come.
One of the three was clearly more confident than the others and was eager to explore its surroundings venturing out of the nest and pecking at twigs.
It must be amazing to see the world for the first time with new sights, new smells and sunshine on their beaks. I do hope the first thing they saw wasn’t me!!
Great spotted woodpecker pretending she’s an eagle.
As a wildlife photographer I guess I’m meant to shoot what’s in front of me and not get involved but sometimes your emotions get in the way. At first I thought this was just a fight between some male mallards so I began shooting some pictures. However it soon became clear that they weren’t fighting each other and beneath this scrum of eight males was one female who was being thrust under the water as five of them grabbed her neck.
Some loud shouting, clapping and waving of my arms distracted them long enough for her to get away and as she waddled off to float away on the stream I’m sure she gave me a look of relief and gratitude
Not great news I’m afraid, from the original 24 the number quickly dropped to 15!! There are a lot of dangers for these new arrivals from mink, herons and pike to attacks from other ducks and geese.
I’ve been back today and only saw one of the broods. This is the female who originally had 10 but who now only has 4 remaining. When I spotted them they were on the bank huddled up in a ball of feathers.
Glad to see my favourite little odd ball has survived so far, so fingers crossed he can make it.