Sunday 15 April 2012: Mother and Nine Babies
I felt very lucky to have my friend Roma take me on a walk up to the High Pond that has featured often in her blip. It felt like I was being taken to a famous place featured in a book that I had read - and the author was the one taking me there! Roma knew all the best places to go on the walk and I was able to see Penicuik house under restoration. Roma is very knowledgeable about the birds around the estate and she was the first to hear the green woodpecker's call before we spotted a pair of them flying from tree to tree.
Once we reached the high pond there were wonderful reflections of the blue sky and fluffy white clouds to blip. Several different types of bird were there - swans, a lone Canadian goose, tufted duck, moorhen, mallards and 4 dab chick or little grebe which I had never seen before. They were quite shy keeping mostly to the middle of the pond and diving under the surface if they got too close to us. As we had nearly completed our walk round the pond we saw first one little fluffy ball swimming near the edge, then another and another until we had spotted the Mummy mallard with her brood of 9 fluffy chicks which looked like they had not long hatched. It was a delightful sight to watch as she rounded them up and escorted them to the other side. Once there they bobbed up onto the grass, shook their feathers and basked in the sun to dry off. These are the first ones that either of us had spotted this year.
Soon it was time to leave my friends and return north again. Tonight I have to try and direct my thoughts towards some forward planning for the upcoming term which starts on Tuesday. I feel well rested and ready to face the fresh challenges of a new term!