Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Wild at the park

Few trips to the park fail to produce an amazing sight that rivals any you could have got in remote 'wild' places. Today in East Park, clouds of little black flies, larger than midges, danced over the lake surface, presumably egg laying. Below them, an area of the lake water was spitting like it was raining, although the cause were tens of sticklebacks feeding on the eggs, or the flies, or both, occasionally jumping out. Near this spectacle, a pair of Great Crested grebes were fishing. Before diving, they lowered their face under the water surface, and moved their head looking around for the best prey (above, note the flies!). A food chain in action flies-to-fish-to-grebes. The kids loved it.
  Swallows were hunting over the grassy fields. A pair settled on the ground just after I had explained to my son that they only stopped on wires or high perches (ooops! nothing like the bare facts contradicting what I had just said). I was surprised, until I saw that both birds were collecting nest material. I never knew they bred in the heart of town.
 There was a veritable Greylag geese nursery on the grassy hill by the little zoo. The goslings had grown a lot since last month, some of them almost as large as their parents. They still walked by their parents, fluffy, and awkward. The adults are now moulting, synchronising their moult to the period of the year that they must protect their flightless young, and therefore, little flight is needed. A lone adult, with its charge of grown goslings, walked by a full family.
One o the Great Crested Grebes
Spitting water under flies
My attempt at photographing the cloud of flies
A curious group of coots approached me quite closely
Nearby, this pair of Barnacle geese were much more nervous and I couldn't get any closer.  It has been a while since I saw these species in East Park.
This was the only pair of Canada I saw around, with a single tiny gosling
Posing Greylag family.
A Lesser Black Backed on the jetty
Young gosling
Bird list
  1. Barnacle Goose        
  2.  Blackbird        
  3.  Blue Tit        
  4.  Canada Goose        
  5.  Carrion Crow        
  6.  Chaffinch        
  7.  Collared Dove        
  8.  Coot        
  9.  Dunnock        
  10.  Feral Pigeon        
  11.  Goldfinch        
  12.  Great Crested Grebe        
  13.  Great Spotted Woodpecker        
  14.  Great Tit        
  15.  Greylag Goose        
  16.  Herring Gull        
  17.  House Martin        
  18.  House Sparrow        
  19.  Lesser Black-backed Gull        
  20.  Magpie        
  21.  Mallard        
  22.  Pochard        
  23.  Sparrowhawk        
  24.  Starling        
  25.  Swallow        
  26.  Swift        
  27.  Tufted Duck        
  28.  Woodpigeon 
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