After a quick bacon and egg butty at the cycle centre I had to decide where to go next. As I needed to visit Slimbridge it was a bit of a no-brainer, but I wasn't sure there would be too much to see. There were the usual residents :
a curious jackdaw
and a young woodpigeon
but not too much else in the way of wildlife. I wandered into the pond zone - from my childhood I've had a love of things aquatic, even to the extent of considering marine biology as a career. Instead I went another way, spent many hours fishing but never did learn to scuba dive. Still, like rockpooling, whenever I find dipping ponds, etc I find myself drawn to stare in. There were the usual snails ....
So did you guess the clue I posted yesterday? It's the egg shape just above the waterline.
As I walked up to this particular pool there was a distinct and frankly unmistakable 'plop'. Have you got it yet?
Sitting around for a while it became clear there were at least two juveniles and an adult. I took some more shots, and had such fun I've been back a couple of times since. The background isn't the easiest for the most picturesque shits, but they were quite unconcerned by my presence if I stayed still. I couldn't believe they were wild, but an email exchange with a very helpful lady called Sue Porter confirmed they were wild visitors, although they had only known one was using the site. At one time on the Slimbridge site as a whole they had just 5 breeding pairs, now numbers are estimated at 300, and they are spreading out into the local canal.
You do need to be patient - like the voles at Cromford canal feeding comes in short bursts, but I can assure you you will never get closer views. At times I could have just scooped them out as they swam past, and the youngsters could be watched swimming underwater. It was a a bit like watching young grebes when they first try and swim - all energy and bluster, but not too much grace.
A few of the following shots are slightly cropped to remove extraneous vegetation, but the first couple for example are full frame. Love it.