Life at our pond is hotting up. We’ve noticed new signs of spring each week since our first trip. One of the most welcome is the temperature – so mild, we were actually able to sit on our blanket and quietly watch the pond for a while, which was heavenly!
Nesting and Mating
This week’s big excitement was a swan nesting on the island. At least it looked like it was sitting on a nest. When it briefly got off the nest we didn’t see any eggs, but we supposed they were buried within the nest to stay warm? (Or was it practising??! We’re all learning around here!)
C(9) sketched the nesting swan in her nature journal while J(8) got busy with our new gadget, a digital aquarium thermometer.
We saw a coot swoop low over the pond with a short willow branch in its beak. It landed near the base of a willow tree where we later spotted it on its nest.
Some of the mallard ducks had found mates – we counted at least two pairs – but the male mallards still heavily outnumber the females.
Identifying Our Birds
We’ve seen one pair of geese at our pond with very unusual markings. When we got home we used the excellent online RSPB bird identifier to work out that they are Egyptian Geese (how exotic!). Apparently these geese were introduced to ornamental ponds and have now begun to breed in the wild.
This very sweet little thing was dabbling around the “moat” by the island on its own. It was very tame, and quite talkative. The RSPB bird identifier wasn’t able to help us with this one. Our best guess is that it’s a juvenile of some sort. If you have any idea what it is, please do let me know!
The willow tree that J(8) has chosen to study has begun to grow leaves.
We brought a bit home to sketch. I love how when you draw something you see it in a totally new way. Mixing up watercolours helped us focus on the leaf colours, too.
For more outdoor fun, visit Country Kids from Coombe Mill.