Sunday, 31 July 2011

Gone Fishing

Young heron beside the pond

We have to give this youngster full marks for persistence. I've lost count of the number of times recently that I've seen him trying to catch the fish in my pond. Twice I've discovered him wading in the pond, he often stands poised at the edge of the pond ready to strike and, occasionally, he uses the roof as an observation post. He's not the least bit afraid of me and I can stand close by and watch his efforts after, that is, I've done my best to ensure that the fish are safe. We think he spends time on our walkway in the early morning too as there's a massive pool of 'poo' in the same spot most days.

Posing for the camera

On Friday he spent about 5 minutes strutting up and down the bog garden pretending to ignore the pond itself. At one point he showed interest in some fish in the shallows of the river and lunged at them. It's a privilege to be close to such a magnificent bird but I'd still prefer that he restricted his fishing forays to the banks of the River Thames!

Portion control

This grebe's eyes were bigger than its belly and, after futile attempts to swallow the fish, the grebe finally gave up. I'm surprised at the size of fish grebes and cormorants do manage to swallow but on this occasion the grebe lost out.

One of many attempts to swallow its catch

Female tufted duck with youngster

It's lovely to see baby tufted ducks and this female arrived with three fluffy youngsters yesterday. We think she had four a few days ago but has lost one. They're such fun to watch as they dive for the wheat we feed them and a joy to hear them chattering quietly to each other in mellifluous tones.

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