Sunday, 30 October 2011

Swans, heron, deer and the island mink!

 Swan shows intruder who is boss

On one of the few cold and misty mornings we've had so far this year I went over to Bushy Park to 'soak up' the atmosphere.  Part of Heron Pond was in sunshine as the mist started to burn off and I spotted this swan preparing to attack an intruder.

 The intruder decides it is better to 'fight another day'

On this occasion the intruder thought better of taking on his attacker and opted for flight rather than fight.

 The dominant cob is determined to make a point

Not satisfied with the intruder's attempt at flight the dominant male tries to pick a fight and chases the other swan in an attempt to engage in battle.  A coot hurriedly swims away from the battle front.

 In hot pursuit

The intruder puts on a spurt of speed and heads away from the dominant swan's territory with his pursuer gradually losing momentum.

What powerful wings . . .

 Meanwhile, away from the fight, another pair of swans glide across the park

 The Diana Fountain in early morning mist

 Stag in sunlight

As the day warmed up most of the stag 'activity' calmed down and this stag stood unchallenged with his harem close by.

Two young bucks reflected in the Longford River
 Doe makes a bid for freedom

This doe managed to sneak away from the harem and headed for the stream.  She had only rested there a few minutes when a rival stag spotted her and decided to 'try his luck'! 

 Not interested!

The doe was underwhelmed by her erstwhile suitor and 'did a runner'.  Undeterred he followed her but soon encountered a rival stag on the other side of the water.

 Loser . . .

 Another loser . . .

Stags with no mates!  These two old boys showed signs of battle fatigue.  They were obviously just two of the losers in this year's rut.

 Tern and its reflection in the Longford River

 Heron on the hunt . . .  a failed attempt

I watched this heron patiently wade through a stretch of water in search of lunch.  During the 15 minutes that I stopped to watch it in action it made many attempts to catch but failed more often than it succeeded.  However, I did see it spear and swallow several fish.  

 Another impressive attempt

 Success at last

 A little grebe goes unnoticed by most members of the public

 Mink on neighbour's deck with supper

 The mink has been around quite a bit of late which is bad news for the local waterfowl.  Several weeks ago I saw it carrying off a coot and last week I was just too late to save a young female tufted duck.  It hides in the shadows of the bank and pounces on unsuspecting wildfowl but it also catches fish.  This is the second fish I've seen it take.  Shortly after it had carried off the tufted duck I saw it or another mink hiding in an overhang of the riverbank.  I knew its habit of swimming round the house in order to access the front deck and had occasionally seen it head along the neighbour's deck towards me before suddenly doing a disappearing act.

 Heading for home

For several years a mink has been using the end section of a neighbour's hull as a bolthole.  I can usually tell when the beast is about because the ducks and other waterfowl are spooked at any sudden movement.  If the mink's on the prowl they fly in panic away from the river bank and head for the middle of the river.  Once there they all turn and face in the direction of the mink, watching its every movement.  It's a bit of a giveaway!  I've sometimes seen it sneak from its bolthole into the river and immediately hide in a recess in the campshedding.  In the shadow of the bank the mink is almost invisible with only its bright eyes glinting and the white dot on its chin showing if it raises its head.
The mink has now been evicted from its bolthole and is no doubt looking for somewhere new to rest up, eat and digest its meals in peace!

1 comment:

Md.Abdul Aziz said...

your blog is very fine. I like it. Thanks
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