Sunday, 23 August 2009

Two Fat Ladies join a rather old grey male hybrid duck on Duck Ait

One of two newcomers to the river

Two very noisy white female ducks have been befriended by gentle old Grey Job and spend their time either on Duck Ait or its vicinity clamouring for food. One of them looks quite old, judging by her beak. We don't know where they've come from but guess they must have been abandoned by someone and set free nearby. They are incredibly noisy when they come round to be fed but there is something endearing about them. They also have huge appetites! We know they spend a lot of time at Sue and Peter's mooring too, so they're not likely to go hungry!

Cormorant with an eel

I spotted this cormorant fighting with an eel quite early one grey, dull morning. It was amazing to watch its attempts to swallow breakfast but the eel fought (or wriggled) back and eventually escaped, in spite of the fact that it looks here as though the cormorant has half swallowed it.
As I grabbed the camera to see if I could get a clear image I noticed that my neighbour, Barney, two doors down, had also spotted the cormorant. Unfortunately for both of us, the battle took place just a little too far away to get a close-up image but if you click on the picture you can increase the magnification.

Blue Hibiscus in garden

A friend on the island gave me a Hibiscus shrub some years ago that has both blue and pink flowers. It is doing really well this year and brightens up the garden. The bees love the blue flowers in particular.

Young heron making itself at home next door

One morning as I went out to feed the garden birds I noticed this young heron. At the time it was standing on my neighbour, Patrick's, front doormat (left) as if waiting to be invited inside! It was a little nervous when it saw me and moved to the edge of the gang plank, facing Ted and Corinne's mooring stage. The coot family, however, were in the river beneath, and the parents took fright at seeing a heron gazing down at their youngsters. In typical coot fashion, they shrieked in alarm and stamped their feet in the water to frighten the heron. Coots are very fierce when defending their young and the heron decided it was safer to fly off rather than face their combined wrath.

Bee on a Bergamot flower in my herb garden

The bees are always buzzing round the Bergamot flowers and if you click on this image you'll see one of the delicate wings as the bee flies off to another flower.

One of the more lovely party boats in this area

The New Southern Belle is one of the more attractive party boats on this stretch and the guests enjoyed a lovely sunny day yesterday. It's great to see people having fun on the river.

Water Lily in my pond

At last, a Water Lily finally survives the voracious coots and ducks! Yesterday the flower finally half opened and today it is fully open and really pretty. For three years I've tried to grow Water Lilies in the pond but they've either been eaten or haven't flowered, so I'm thrilled with this one. It probably helps that Thunder Thighs isn't around to eat all the leaves as they form! I think another flower is on the way, too. I put a deep red Water Lily in the shallow water by our houseboat but the coots, swans, geese and ducks never let a leaf make it to the surface, so I'll have to find a new home for it.