Swans protecting Cygnets

We saw this family of Swans on our walk round Westport today. The Cygnets are almost adult size now and are stretching their wings and legs and are starting to change from soft down to white plumage.

As we stood and took photos several people walked past with dogs. The male Swan reacted by hissing loudly. One woman and her friends had three small dogs with them. Her friends walked swiftly by but she was panicking and wouldn’t move so I asked her to hand me the dogs lead and I held it while I stood between the Swan and her dog. The Swan just hissed but didn’t attack. She got past and I carried on with my walk. X

Geese and goslings

Walking past these tonight, they hissed a bit, warning us off from their brood of goslings. It’s a good place to be bringing up young. I think they are greylag geese….? I shall have to see if I can find out. Different looking to the Canada geese that usually inhabit the area..

One day I will find out and learn where they come from and what type they are?

Wet!

Rain rain go away come again another day, or go to where its needed on the West Coast of the United States and Canada. I don’t think I’ll be walking far this afternoon. Watching the tour de France on the TV… And it’s raining heavily there too.

Thunderstorms are forecast here later in the day.

It’s amazing how much heavier rain seems these days, I remember rain in the past being relatively light compared with this! We live on a hill but the road looked like a river a few minutes ago (OK that’s overdoing it, a small stream). Off to get a towel to dry off!

Another feather

Once you see something it’s hard not to see it. You ‘get your eye in’. I’ve recently seen a few different ones on various walks and I can’t resist taking photos of them. This could be a duck or a pigeon feather? I don’t know. I remember learning how feathers have thin strands with little hooks on them so when a bird preens it’s feathers the hooks can sort of zip the feathers up and hold the strands of the feathers together? I don’t know exactly how it works. I guess I should look it up on line or find a book with details in it. It is fascinating to think about the mechanics of birds wings.

Dug up!

Something keeps digging up bulbs in the garden, from pots we planted up last autumn. The bulbs have roots on them but haven’t grown yet, (unless they are having the leaves nibbled).

I’ve replanted them a few times, but something comes back and pulls them up again. Not plants, just bulbs? Hubby thinks it’s a fox doing it. I think it’s a squirrel. Has anyone got an idea? The bulbs are in pots on the ground, not up on the wall where some of the other pots are. It seems to just happen at night. Could it be hedgehogs trying to find worms. We might start leaving cat food out for hedgehogs again.

Baby Coot

At least I think it’s a Coot dabbling away at the water. I always get Coots and Moorhens mixed up. One sort has a white patch on its head, the other a red patch. They look very similar except that Moorhens are slightly smaller? The weird thing about the chicks is that the have a slightly red patch of feathers above their beaks. The parent (not sure if it’s male of female) certainly seems to be keeping an eye on the chick.

Photo taken at Westport lake a couple of weeks ago during a walk round the nature reserve.

Owlish

I’m watching Spring Watch, a BBC nature programme that is on at this time every year in the UK. Its a pleasure to watch animals and see their lives, to see places in Britain that I may never visit. I can learn about the life cycle of beetles, explore pond life, watch deer that were imported by the Victorians. This time they have discussed ancient oak trees and what lives on them, the release of a seal in Ireland, buzzards and their young, swallow nesting and many other topics. So yes little owl, I’m watching you!