Friday 4th May 2018 - 06:30 to 09:00This is a fascinating and frantic time of year for our birds. We made the effort and started early on a beautiful sunny morning. There were plenty of bird songs and calls in the park. Several of the water birds have brought their families out into the open. A pair of Mallard Ducks have six ducklings. It was difficult to work out how many families of Canada Geese there are; but at least three with numbers of goslings from one to six in each group. The Egyptian Goose goslingsare nearly as big as their parents and almost indistinguishable from them as they are moulting into their first full plumage. One of the young seemed to be missing; but it could have been elsewhere. The Great Crested Grebe is still sitting on their nest. At first we could not see the other partner. In due course we found it. Hopefully they will be successful. For the first time for several visits we saw a Kingfisher. It flew out of a bush close to us on the bank of the lake. In all we saw it three times but not for long. There was a commotion in one of the trees nearby. There was a magnificent Sparrowhawk sitting out in the open in full sunlight. It stayed for a while for us to photograph and admire. The Bluebells, Cowslips and Primroses are out. Many of the trees are in blossom; the Horse Chestnut and a pale blue Rhododendron were particularly pretty. Speckled Wood butterflies were warming up in the morning sun.A full list of the birds seen is given in the Bird Table.
Sparrowhawk, 4th May 2018,above: Canada Goose Goslings,4th May 2018;both photos: Tom Howard-Jones