A Busy Evening
A very busy evening on the lake last night. The goslings, now all pretty much fully feathered, were practicing their flying skills to a huge cacophony from their parents. The nest in the new hide has yielded its first chicks – at least three hungry wee swallows. The little yellow diamond shaped open beaks were easily visible in the gathering gloom as the parents swooped in and out with beaks full of insects, not at all bothered by my presence. It occurred to me whilst I watched them that these little swallows will not drink until they can fly themselves – it’s all very well when you have a diet of worms and grubs like a robin or blackbird chick but all those dry little midges and mosquitoes can’t have a huge water content.
I was delighted to be able to watch what I presume must have been a cloud of young bats chasing each other in the half light. The seemed browner and less agile than the bats I am used to seeing so I can only presume that they were youngsters. It was a lovely thing to witness. They seemed so full of joie de vivre.
The young moorhens and dabchicks seem to be getting bolder and are off making forays on their own. Sadly the young beavers on the lake have still to make an appearance. Mum and dad certainly seemed less busy and I did not see them bring anything to the lodge.
The highlight of the evening was a prolonged sighting of one of our kingfishers. It flitted from branch to branch as it spied for prey and seemed very intent on the area around the beaver lodge. Eventually it made a successful dive into a small area alongside the lodge. I can only conclude that the underwater matrix of willow sticks is making great habitat for small fish and aquatic invertebrates. Once again, thank you the beavers!