A red letter day in Bushy Park with a new breeding species for the park. Today was also the first time for several months that I didn’t here the Cetti’s Warbler.
I had a phone call around 11.30am from the gamekeeper to say that I should get over to Chestnut Avenue as he was watching a pair of Common Shelduck with young. Most years up to 3 pairs may attempt to breed but have always failed. This year a member of the public stopped me to say that she had seen a family of ducks with black and white ducklings on the Leg of Mutton pond. She thought that the parents may have been shelducks but she didn’t recollect seeing the chestnut band. There had been a pair of shelduck in that area as there was a rabbit warren and they tend to favour those areas of the park. Anyway I shot over to Chestnut Avenue and escorted (at a safe distance, so not to make the parents take flight) them on to a nearby stream. I then slowly pushed them towards the Boating Lake. It went reasonably well apart from 2 Muppet's that would stop to allow them to go under the footbridge. I backed off until these idiots had buggered off.
The ducklings had been keeping up with the parents although one was beginning to lag behind a bit. They all struggled in the longer grass.
They all struggled when it came to swimming through the blanket weed.
Eventually they reached the relative safety of the Boating Pond intact. The Mute Swan did have other ideas for them and made several attempts to drown the ducklings.
This Yaffle starts to wreck an Ant Hill.