The Moorhens’ nest on Henbury Pond was built but never seems to have been used. I am yet to see any birds on it, so perhaps they have built in the grasses along the side instead, as they did last year. That was when I got a shot I was particularly pleased with, of mother and chick peering through the camouflaging grasses – have a look through the Gallery to see it, and others.
A pair of Wood Pigeons have taken up residence in a very neat nesting hole in a dead tree. The male sits outside on a nearby chopped off branch stump, patiently keeping lookout, while the female sits on her eggs, sometimes peering out for a little fresh air and change of scenery.
It is a very popular stump, as it also houses a pair of nesting Nuthatches. What a fantastic illustration of why it is so important to keep dead trees in the park – this policy is a real feather in the cap of the parks’ management plan – as they are still so vital to insects, birds, plants, and even animals.
Long Pool is also looking busy as breeding season really hits its stride. The Canada Geese must be nesting now, as I noticed one of the females has a bald patch on her chest: this will be where she has pulled the downy feathers out in order to line her nest, ready for eggs. Soon she will disappear from sight, as she has laid eggs she will be sitting on them constantly.
The pair we have now in the park are almost certainly the same pair which successfully bred here last year – females like to return to the same nesting site. It is a rather lovely thought that they enjoyed themselves so much last year that they have come back with the rest of the family!
The Mallards and Moorhens on the pond are also, no doubt, busy. But taking pride of place in the middle of the water is a Coot nest. The pair have taken advantage of a fallen branch in the water to weave their platform of twigs and leaves into, and now one of them is always on the site, clearly incubating eggs. As I watched, the male swam over with more twigs, passing them to the female who took them then turned her head this way and that as she carefully placed them – but not once did she stir her body. What an excellent mother.