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For the first time ever this lunchtime I've just seen both the male and female swans on the nest together... Are the cygnets hatching...? Suddenly the male swan stretched up his neck and stood very tall, looking out over the reeds: a muntjac strolled past the nest on the mud of what is no longer an island, and disappeared into the taller reeds. I saw at least three separate broods of mallards ducklings, two broods on the lake, and one near the boardwalk— one tiny duckling racing to catch up with its ma and siblings. Then a magpie flew up from the path between the lake and the canal entrance — leaving a plump little duckling struggling and desperate on the path, a big bloody gash on its neck. We put it out of its misery. Nature red in tooth and claw.
2 x Small Copper Butterflies, Brown Argus (on the 10th May), Silver Y Moth and Mint Moths
A pair of Water Rails took flight from the short reeds close to the swans nest,over the taller reeds towards Swan Pond. Also saw a water vole swimming close to the TG entrance.
A Water Vole swimming in the canal alongside the Trap Grounds, half way between the two bridges.
Poplar Hawk Moth resting along southern end of Mill Stream. Treecreepers fledging along the boardwalk.
Two Cuckoos calling in the Trap Grounds early this morning.
Water Vole swimming in the canal near Frog Lane entrance to Trap Grounds. Star-of-Bethlehem, Ransoms, and Solomon's Seal in flower on the TG.
I saw a fox in the reed bed at 11:00 am.
He was staring at a swan in the pond.
I thought it was a dog at first, but it was definitely a fox since I noticed clearly the typical tail of fox's.
It was amazing to see a wild fox in trap grounds.
Fledgling Robins along Frog Lane and Canada Geese mating on Swan Pond.
Ragged Robin in flower on north bank of Heron Pond.
Male gadwall on Swan Pond 3.45pm
Water Rail at the edge of Mill Stream (my first ever!)
Large Grass snake sunning itself by the side of the pathway
Green-veined White Butterfly ... Speckled Wood ... Holly Blue ... Orange Tip (male & female).
Pair of Stock Doves checking out a potential nesting site.
Wood Anemones, Coltsfoot, and Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in flower. Swan asleep on nest.
Two kingfishers watching the stream at the southern end of the Trap Grounds, both perched on the same branch of a fallen tree, about 1 metre above the ground.
Frogs mating in Frog Lane ditch. Comma and Brimstone butterflies, and the first bees of the year, in the meadows. Three herons in the reed bed.
A water vole swimming in the stream that feeds out of Trap Grounds southwards. (Not quite in the Trap Grounds but close enough, I think).
I've also seen a kingfisher several times in the last week on patrol over the stream.
Two Water Rails very active on the edge of the Mill Stream. Blue Tits investigating the new nest boxes.
Siskins making a racket in the woodland. A Water Rail lurking in the reeds on the edge of the Kingfisher Pond.
Two Water Rails skulking near the boardwalk; Bullfinches and Kingfishers very active.
Snowdrops and Winter Heliotrope in flower in the woodland. Two Kingfishers very active. Five Teal still present.
Thanks Silvana. I doubt if these are two of the missing cygnets, which were still in their mottled plumage before they disappeared ten days ago. Possibly the dominant male is our original male, who was injured and disappeared in July, now returned to reclaim his mate; he certainly seems familiar with the local territory.
I saw a lone adult swan on the canal near the Trap Grounds. A few minutes later, with a loud beating of wings, another adult swan kind of flew/skimmed along from further up the canal (north), and then a minute later another one arrived. They all clearly knew each other: the lone swan greeted the other two, going beak-to-beak with one (and making that lovely heart shape with their necks, which I was lucky to photograph!)
After a few minutes the lone swan glided away, leaving the other two where s/he had been.
Could this by Mother Swan and her two "missing" cygnets, now all grown up?
TWO Adult swans... One on Swan Pond, other on Canal, eventually joining each other on the canal. Also 2 Female & 1 Male Teal (yest a.m. 2 Male & 2 Female teal). Kingfisher also seen, as were Bullfinches, Goldcrests and several Redwing and a frantic water rail calling then flying into reeds.
Three teal, but mine were two males and a female not the 1m/2f noted earlier today. Also, four water rails calling at once in the reedbed near dusk.
Mild bright clear sunny Boxing Day, no wind. First pale limey-green catkins on hazel (I think, though my book says February for hazel catkins!) near Frog Lane stream where it comes in from Waterways estate. 2 female & 1 male teal in lake in front of bird hide, the sunlight shining on the glorious bright green stripe over his eye and bringing out the red of his bright auburn head, black/white 'marbled' flanks, the females brown & mottled. They looked at me for a few seconds and then, as one, all suddenly sprang into the air and flew off to the main TG lake. Later I saw the three puddling around on the sunny water there. No other water-birds evident. A lot of squirrel dreys - it would be interesting to count them all — a Xmas hols challenge to a bored child maybe? The chattering and cluck-clacking of jackdaws; 'teacher-teacher-teacher!' call of a great tit; blackbird calls; various twitterings and whistles... feels like spring.
Single cygnet on canal at dusk by Frenchay Rd bridge, heading slowly upstream.
A pair of widgeon on the main lake; a wren in the reeds; several blackbirds; two or three robins; the earthstar fungi are still there in Frog Lane; a glimpse of a kingfisher flying from the TG along the stream into Waterways estate, flatlining blue over the reeds; a single nearly-adult cygnet on the canal by the TG.
(Further update on the dead swan on the Mill Stream: two boaters separately on different days saw the dead bird several days before the last sighting of the mother swan and her cygnets, so the dead swan can't be the TG mother swan.)