Wednesday, 26 May 2010

We have humbugs

My first visit to Killingworth since i returned and a chance to see how the Great Crested Grebes are doing. Well they have one young which can be only a day or two old. I sat for over half an hour before it appeared on one of the Grebes' back. The other Grebe had been missing all this time and had obviously been away feeding but when it returned with a small morsel of something in its beak the young emerged. The 2 G C Grebes on the smaller lake have 3 young who must be at least 2 weeks old and the difference in size is amazing. Other young will emerge over the next few days as they lay the eggs over a short period of time.
One of the things i did notice while wandering around the large lake is that there are 106 Mute Swans at Killy but only 2 pairs have had cygnets. That seems a rather low proportion. Numbers of Swift were over the water again and were joined firstly by Swallows but shortly after by House Martins. Always a marvellous site in spring and summer. Not that it was that warm early on but as the cloud disappeared and the sun broke through the temperature immediately began to rise quickly.
From Killy i had a trip down to the Rising Sun with the idea to visit Dukes and Hadrian ponds specifically. At Dukes pond a couple of Lesser Black backed Gulls were interacting with two Herring Guills and it was nice to see the Canada Geese with their 4 goslings were doing well and had not yet been driven away as in previous years by the Swans, in fact there wasn't a Swan to be seen. From the reeds the sound of Sedge Warbler and Reed Bunting could be heard and from the longer grass in the meadow area the reeling of a Grasshopper Warbler was a first for me at the "Sun". On the walk to Hadrian Pond thoughts of Ruddy Duck, which i have sighted there for the last 2 years, crossed my mind but there was nothing more exciting than a pair of Tufted Duck, a single female Pochard, some Coot and Moorhen.

      Can you spot the "humbug"

       Look at the size of these

       Ariel entertainers

       Blue Tit making guest appearance


  1. All of the other Mute Swan are likely to be '1st-summer' non-breeders attracted by the large quantities of easy food available. They generally concentrate on estuaries where there arent breeding pairs so they get less hassle.

  2. Thanks for that Alan, i had noticed the high number of young Swans but hadn't twigged. I can see what you mean about the hassle with the breeders.

  3. Awwww, that little humbug is sooooo cute! He's like something from a Walt Disney cartoon. :O) But they really do scrub up well and become the most beautifully elegant birds. The difference between the older chicks and the newly-hatched one really is amazing!

    The first photo is such a tender scene. Mum looks so pleased with herself and dad is totally in awe as he looks upon his offspring.

    I like the last photo as well. The blue-tit is nice but the grasses are stunning.

    Thank you for introducing me to the world of humbugs! :D

  4. I'll try my best to bring you more "humbug" images as they grow over the next few weeks. The main reason i included the last shot was because of the reeds. I do love reedbeds. Walking through them, when, in some cases they are over 2 metres high is lush. Especially when birds like Sedge and Reed Wablers, Reed Bunting and Bearded Reedlings are singing out of sight but so close by. Its a magical place i reckon.

  5. John, all our baby robins have left their nest. Two are still in the greenhouse and the others are in a secluded part of the garden. The parents are still busy feeding them. :)