It's been a while - I've been off other places taking photos - primarily Bempton Cliffs the RSPB reserve on the Yorkshire coast - and then my camera broke! It is still in for repair almost 4 weeks later and I am not a happy bunny. They tell me the first part that was delivered was wrong and now they are waiting for it to be replaced. I imagine they are going to charge me for the privilege too.
Anyway - I took a walk along the canal yesterday to check up on my old friends. The young Aylesbury ducks and Blue Swedish ducks seem to have taken up residence alongside TweedleDum and TweedleDee at the boat yard. Did I tell you that TweedleDum had been injured earlier in the summer? He seems to have recovered all his tail feathers but has a distinct limp that I'm sure is now permanent. You even notice it when he is swimming - bet you didn't know you could limp swim, or swim limp.
I think only one duckling survived from the Swedish duck's second brood. When I was along there last week there were two with mallard colouring. Remember there was 1 in the first brood of 5 ducklings.
We now have 5 little white mallard ducks on our piece of the canal. I found Smudge in the company of the three - Goldie and her two surviving youngsters and there was one more up near the boat shed. Apart from Smudge with her distinctive black spot on the top of her head, it is going to be hard to tell the other apart. Smudge's partner is still close to her side. The male mallards are still moulting but their colour is beginning to reappear.
The new tidied up bit at Greenhill hasn't impacted on the geese at all as far as I can see. They manage to get under the fence no problem and get into and out of the canal with no bother. There must be about 100 of them now which does worry me slightly - how are we going to feed all that lot in winter?
The Micklethwaite moorhens have had 3 broods this year. She is looking a bit thin, they hens lose body mass when they produce eggs and she has had 3 lots of 7 eggs each time. I haven't been able to follow this last brood much. The first juveniles have moved off but there are 3 from the second brood and I think 3 from the 3rd. I only saw 1 adult moorhen yesterday. Further along the canal I spotted another 2 juvenile moorhens probably from the nest up there.
Well that's about it for yesterday's walk - no sign of the two adult Blue Swedish ducks or of the swans or the Canada geese but I'm sure they won't be far away.