Full House on Dunces Corner Pond

I was beginning to think they would not arrive but yesterday my Tufted Duck appeared with 6 ducklings.

That completes a full compliment of families for my bird life on Dunces Corner Pond. So we have youngsters for the Coot, Moorhen, Mallard, Little Grebe, Swans and now Tufted Duck.

It is very pleasing to see how productive the large pond has been considering it is only just over a year since we put it in.

Kids Growing Up

Our resident Roe deer mum is starting to take the youngsters out a bit more and help them explore the reserve. Here are a few pictures taken over the last two days.

Even daddy deer turned up today
Mum partial to Valarian flowers

Parade of Youngsters

It’s a busy time on the reserve with many youngsters arriving. I thought I would share a few pictures of what we have currently on site, although it’s not a comprehensive parade it does give you a flavour.

Blue Tit

Tree Sparrow
Tree Sparrow
Cygnets
Pheasant
Mallard
Coot
Moorhen
Little Grebe
Bunny Rabbit
Toadlet
Roe Deer Kid
Young Rat

Bunnies do swim, who knew?

There was a touch of excitement at Dunces Corner Pond today where I witnessed something I had not seen before.

There was a squeal down by the pond, as I went down to see what was going on I I heard plop and saw this:-

But what caused this little bunny to jump in the pond?

The answer crept out the undergrowth:-

Unfortunately poor little bunny looked like they had jumped out of the frying pan into the fire as our Swans took exception to our little bunny in there pond. They surrounded the poor thing and started having a go at it, they may have thought it was a rat!

The swans finally decided the bunny was not a threat and let it swim away. It eventually made its way to the edge of the pond.

I had to go and pick it out the pond as it was exhausted, I also chased the rat away that appeared to have been watching and following the bunny along the pond edge. The bunny was cold and bedraggled with an injury to its side, so I put it up on the sandbank to dry out and warm up.

It seems to have lived to fight another day, hurrah!

Abbeyfield Adventure

We hosted two classes from Abbeyfields School on Monday, so that was 60+ year 3 students, plus teachers and parents.

I did a talk on plant structure, pollination and seed dispersal followed by a whirlwind tour of the reserve. It was certainly ‘fast and furious’ but we didn’t lose any and I didn’t spot any falling asleep during my talk, so result!

Many thanks for the kids donations to the reserve, it will help feed my hungry swans and cygnets.

Our Doe Delivers

Our little Roe deer doe has delivered fawn(s) for the 5th year in a row.

I’m still not sure how many fawns she has had as I have only seen her with one fawn. Last year it was 6 weeks before I confirmed that she had triplets due to the way Roe deer hide their fawns in different locations and only feed them one at a time initially.

She appeared to have a fawn on Saturday at around midday, thankfully it appears to be fit and healthy.

New Arrivals and a special visitor

While we still await the arrival of this years fawns we have had a new first on the reserve. This is the birth of our first ever brood of Coot chicks. We have a family of five chicks that arrived two days ago. I had never seen Coot chicks, so I wasn’t prepared for the exotic colour scheme, I’m not sure why the chicks have such a colourful head dress, when the adult is just black and white. My guess it it makes it easier for the parents to keep track of them?

I have also been expecting the arrival of our dragonflies and yesterday I was pleased to see my first pair of Broad Bodied Chaser dragonflies. These are the first dragonflies of the summer that emerge on Clarks Bog each year. They were mating, so it take them long to get down to the business of reproducing the next generation.

Male

Female

We also have our second brood of Moorhen chicks on the reserve at Woggle Water pond. I hope they fair better than the first brood, which was on Dunces Corner pond, they were all predated.

Our special visitor is an infrequent visitor to the reserve but a very welcome on. Its one of the UK’s most beautiful birds (in my opinion) it is the Kingfisher. I only saw it for about 5 minutes an it was off, hopefully as the ponds mature more we may see them more frequently.

Swan Small Step For Man

Charles and Camilla have finally produced a family, we now have three cygnets. There were a further three eggs in the nest but I’m told by my bird experts that they will not hatch now, so we will not have any further additions.

Here are a few pictures taken over the last couple of days:-

Nature reserve construction and development