Wednesday, 25 May 2011

24th May Update

I've been away for a few days so Tuesday was my first chance to check out what was going on along the canal. 
The second, or beta female, is still sitting on the nest under the hawthorn tree but I suspect it is a futile exercise now.  I think if there were any viable eggs, they would have hatched by now.  It remains to be seen how long she stays there.  She is still gallently defending it from the cows though.

There are a lot of little yellow dots seen on the site but most were too far away for any decent photos.  The first lot of goslings to hatch were there though, and they are so  big.  They are almost completely white and are almost as big as the adults.  It is interesting that they are still sticking close to the adults.  They are not completely feathered yet, still a lot of down in evidence.
I sould only spot two of the original moorhen chicks.  The adults are definately sitting on more eggs.  I watched the shift change, with one adult taking back an attractive leaf for the nest... what are they like?  The juveniles are growing but still asking for food from the adults.   They have lost that bug-eyed look completely now.

At Greenhill itself, there is one Canada goose family.  I did think three families were too much and didn't think it would be tolerated.  Sure enough the other two families have moved further along the canal.  This is one of the gosling left in residence.  Judging by its size I don't think this is the first Canada goslings hatched.
Rather, they (the first Canada geese goslings) are much further along the canal.  The break-away group of geese who had taken up residence in the field above the allotments were chased out by the machinery cutting the grass for hay.  Some did go back to Greenhill but about 7 adults and the 5 young goslings from the allotment nest, have made their way further out.  That is where I spotted the other two families of Canada geese.  I couldn't get any decent pictures because of the distance and the angle of the land.  There are 2 Canada geese families there.  The first are quite big, probably those that hatched along near the mill flats.  The others are smaller and these are the ones first seen at Lingcroft Wharf.   The little ones are hidden in the grass here.

Ever present - a heron.  The heron as well as the pike in the canal have descimated the mallard ducklings this year.  I saw very few on my walk.  Goldie is down to three, two yellow and one ordinary coloured and other mallards have none or one left.  That is nature for you.  I would have loved to be able to see how all the different colourings turned out, but it is not to be.
The culprit -

The remainder:

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