Wednesday 29 February 2012: All Loved Up!
It is only apt, that one the one day of the year, for ever four years, that I do a love blip!
Of course, leap day is known for being the one day of the year, the lady can propose to the gentleman. I don't know if anyone reading this blip got lucky today, if so, congratulations!
As I said in yesterdays (back) blipped entry, I decided to go and lurk in some bushes in Roath Park. That was, after I found it, as I got lost as I haven't been there for a while!
I was on the look out for some displaying Great Crested Grebes. Nature is full of wonderment, and the Great Crested Grebe courtship ritual must come high in the hit parade for wonder! They are stunning looking birds to begin with. Their striking head plumage so striking that they were almost hunted to extinction in this country for feathers for women's head wear. The group of women who wanted to protect this bird were granted Royal status for their efforts, and so the Royal Society For The Protection Of Birds was formed!
There were at least five or six Grebes on Roath boating lake, and it didn't take me long to find a pair. It was then just a case of skulking behind trees and following their movements. Eventually they settled on a spot near the banking and I managed to get a few decent shots of them doing their courtship head dance. The real holy grail of Grebe photography is to get them waving small clumps of weeds in their beaks, they then rise on their back feet at full stretch and literally run on the water. As you can probably figure out, I didn't see this, although, they did wave some weeds at each other once.
It was amazing to watch their behaviour, and I must have followed them for an hour and half.
The whole of Roath Lake was a seething mass of ducks, geese and swans with just one thing on their minds. It was a water fowl Sodom and Gomorrah there!
There were plenty of Coot nests already constructed. I managed to get a few shots of some Swans doing their courtship dance.
There was some Pigeon love going on! Although they prefer to just snog!
Rather oddly, after walking back to the car, I was stopped by someone who said ... Are you Ponty Cyclops? Which is always a good one! It turned out to be someone from the RSPB Newport Wetlands message boards!
From Roath Park, I moved on to Forest Farm for an hour, I saw the Bittern there again, but I've done my stint of looking boss eyed at reed beds for a while! The was Green Woodpecker showing well, but never landed in a photo possible spot.
Managed to get a shot of a Heron having a frog for lunch. I quite liked this one too, a bit of Andy Rouse training there, I went for the backlit shot of the Heron.
I bumped into someone else I knew there too. He managed to get a shot of the Bittern.
All in all a good day birding and photographing.
Loads more Roath Park pictures can be found in this Flickr set.
If you want to see what the Great Crested Grebes courtship dance looks like, here's a good youtube clip of it.
And finally, I have a new guise as a RSPB Volunteer Blogger! I upped my first blog to the We Love Wales community pages. I would love it if you would take the time to take a quick look. I owe it all to Blip for getting the chance to blog further on things I love!