Wednesday, 6 April 2011
First young already Hatched
After nearly a week of rain and cloud the sun finally broke through today and produced a very nice and warm day although the winds remained relatively strong. After school I made my way down to Carleton Crematorium to see if the fair weather had livened up the bird life in the area and also see if any migrants had turned up. There was some building work being done near the pond last week which lead to reduced numbers of ducks present, however today they had finished which meant that the Mallards had returned to normal numbers, 15 in all, 10 of which were males including the bird with a broke leg. 2 Canada Geese had also returned after the disturbance and at least 2 Greylag Geese were calling out of sight in the fields to the south, although many more could have been present. I spotted half of the resident pair of Coots repeatedly feeding in the shallows before returning to the same area of reeds, so after a while I headed round to get a better view and spotted the second bird sitting on the nest. As the two birds met to pass a food parcel two small red heads appeared from under the adult on the nest, 2 new chicks! This was a big surprise to me as I don't expect to see any young for at least another month, and from what I could see there was still at least 1 more egg waiting to hatch so hopefully by tomorrow there will be a whole family together. The photo below is from Dorset last year as today I stupidly forgot to put the memory card in my camera, so no pictures unfortunately! A male Reed Bunting was flitting around the reeds all the time I was there so you never know, they might breed here as well. The other surprise from here was a Cormorant which flew in at 16:05 and began to fish on the pond, the first time I have seen one on here. After catching a fish it flew off south at 16:23 and apparently according to Cliff Raby it did the same thing last Friday. Also today I took my first look at a new pond just round the corner from the crem which is behind a house and therefore not properly viewable from a public area. I spoke to the owners and they have allowed me to go onto their property to view the pond and do some counts of the birds which visit it throughout the year. It is clearly a site with some potential and since it is more out of the way it is less disturbed than nearby Bispham Marsh which may account for the higher numbers of different ducks present. The highlight was an adult Little Grebe with the other birds present being 6 Teal, 2 Tufted Ducks, 4 each of Mallard and Coot, and 2 Moorhens.