Last week the black swans surprised us all. Despite the cold snap, they turned up with two little ones. For boaters (here at least) this is an excitement – the birds feel like pets. They are our closest neighbours, and when a new arrival comes along, it’s a cause to celebrate. (We celebrate lots!)
Swans nest in the same place each year, and the white swans keep visiting the site of last years flooding disaster. A group of us are considering asking the landowners if we can build a platform for them to help them out.
The mallards are all at it. Their bits have evidently grown back and they are all busy jumping each other. And one’s already revisited Amanda’s plant pots – and abandoned the egg again!
The grebes, somewhat more refined, have been dancing for around a month now. They are easily as beautiful as swans dancing, and their ‘runs’ across the water are phenomenal. However, since someone pointed out that they look like toilet brushes when their manes are out, I can’t look at them quite the same way.
And the coots are fluffing themselves up to make themselves look big and virile. If they were human’s they’d be pub brawlers. They make a noise like a squeaky toy, which the dog finds irresistible.
The kingfishers appear to have fared better than in last years cold snap, although their numbers are nothing like they were before.
The odd weather has obviously brought in some unusual birds, as the river banks are lined with ‘twitchers’, and I was asked to keep the dog on a lead on our normal runaround ground as there are ground nesting birds due at this time of year. There are so many foxes around that I fear for their success, but naturally we’ll honour the request. The foxes have had a couple of swans lately. Gruesome, but a single swan seems to feed a lot of creatures for a very long time.
It’s an enchanting circle of life. And I’ll miss it.