Saturday, 29 January 2011

Introducing you to the Coppice Pond: St Ives Estate Bingley

We had a light dusting of snow overnight but this morning (Friday) the sun came out.  It was a beautiful day: sun shining on snow, so perfect for a visit to St Ives.  St Ives is a huge estate just outside Bingley that is now open to the public.  Needless to say my favourite place is a lake known as Coppice Pond. 

It is home to a resident flock of noisy Canada geese.  The geese are managed by a ranger so any eggs laid are coated with petrolium jelly to prevent them from hatching.  These are the same Canada geese that pay us visits down at Micklethwaite Wharf and last year one pair mated and nested at Greenhill and they produced seven goslings who all survived.  I had great fun watching them getting flight lessons on the Greenhill.  Hopefully we will get more this year.

There is also this interesting little family. 
Two large white domestic ducks make their home there, both males I think and last year one mated with a female mallard and produced this fella.  I'm pretty sure the hybrid is a male because of the green sploches on his head but I could be wrong.  If I don't know something I feel quite justified in making it up :0) I'm no expert after all and will never claim to be.  I am fascinated by bird behaviour and these four stick very closely together.  I think the female will probably mate again this year judging by her behaviour.

It is always a joy to watch and listen to the coots - I just love those huge feet

The Coppice pond also has moorhens plus I saw a couple of male gooseanders but not close enough to photograph. 

The feeding station for woodland birds had a delightful colony of grey squirrels.  Unfortunately they were chased away by blooming dogs let loose by careless owners.  I saw loads of robins, some chaffinches and blackbirds and various tits.  I didn't stay there long as Big Bertha, my Sigma 50-500mm lens, was playing up and I was sulking at having to use the little lens.  I have yet to take a decent photo with the big lens but ONE day I will master it!  Watch this space. 

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