Wednesday, May 15, 2019

When is a lake not a lake?

In winter I live a 10 minute walk away from a lake.

In summer I live a 10 minute walk away from a field.

And twice a year as one shifts into the other I live a 10 minute walk away from a marsh.

The marsh time is my favourite, and the horses, which always have the choice of dry land, often favour the marsh as well.

I've taken some snaps of the wildlife of the lake/field/marsh over the years, perhaps most surprisingly the kingfishers which appeared for a week or two in two of those years, but it was only recently I thought about making more of a project out of it, now I have more time.  So here is instalment 1, spring marsh.

As you look out over the grass small (mostly) mounds stand out.  At first they are bare, a result of my appearance, but wait a minute and the occupants sneak back.

It's nice to see coots at peace for a change, but as always they can manufacture a squabble anywhere.

Interestingly when a horse walks up - much nearer than I ever am - the birds remain glued to their nests.

Other occupants of the marsh also ignore the horses.

The egrets are a bit skittish, but come in if you are still and quiet, breeding colours evident on some.

The grey herons are more nervous and tend to hold back,

and the little grebes are …… well they're like all little grebes, shy and inquisitive at the same time, popping up unpredictably and revelling in my inability to get a decent snap.

The swans built a massive mound, which like most of the nests is now vacant.

The odd coot egg seems to have been predated, probably (whisper it) by a corvid of some kind,

but I hope at least some youngsters have made it through and headed for the nearby reen which rarely dries up.  The lapwings are still chasing the crows, so I hope that's a positive sign for them

and the shelduck are paired up, but not apparently yet hidden down rabbit holes.

The rabbits watched them, but the fox was a few fields away, so they were ok for now.

A lone greylag stood on a coot mound yesterday for minutes, looking around then called a few times before wandering off, still alone.

To see larger versions just click on a picture.

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