Monday, 12 August 2013

The Good The Bad and The Lovely

This has been a good year for the river waterfowl, the Swans have produced their best ever brood and the surviving ducklings to date number 47, the best year ever !  A combination of factors coming together made all the difference.

The biggest of these was the weather, a cold spring looked like it was going to be a repeat of the last couple of years and the ducks delayed nesting, then the summer arrived. Above average temperatures meant plenty of insect life, short warm nights, and lots of algae and weed growth in the river. It also meant the crows were finished feeding their young before all the ducklings showed up on the river. 

Record low water level, and probably the best summer we have had since the 70s, and hopefully it's not over yet.

The recent bad was the death of Faith, the mother duck who lost her Bill. Then the fact that my beautiful woodpigeon Woody has probably been killed by a predator. 

It is now 3 weeks since he last came back for his favourite sunflower seeds and lettuce. This means the two wood pigeons that I reared successfully are both gone. He was a remarkable bird that crossed the divide between man and bird, and I miss him a lot.

He survived several months in the wild, and I thought he might be lucky and avoid being killed, even though he was never taught survival by a parent bird. 
The lovely, are of course the waterfowl and ducklings in particular,

they are endearing creatures and the more I study them the more interesting they become.

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