Monday, 13 May 2013

A tale of two halves

This morning was same ol' same ol'. 20+mph winds that reduced passerine activity at Stithians to virtually nothing. Two Sedge Warbler territories now appear to have pairs but no evidence of building yet. A Blackbird was seen carrying food but frustratingly lost to view in the overgrown, unmanaged habitat that exists around the lake. After some three hours I left empty handed of new nests. The Carrion Crow eggs have now hatched, 4+ blind young on the nest. The morning was so depressing I actually began to question whether it was the weather or me. 
After lunch I put the waders on and had a wander up around the Northern Cut Off.  Within 5 minutes faith was restored when I found these two Coot eggs.
On the other bank the Moorhen is now incubating 7 eggs (below)
The Coot at the back has added considerably to it's nest area during the last week.

On the way back to the car this patch of raised weed was checked -

Careful scraping away of the top revealed 4 Little Grebe eggs.

Over on the reservoir the Little Grebe nest has failed but en-route to the Great Crested Grebe nest this Coot nest was found  

and this one

The Moorhen nest that had 3 eggs and a floater last week now has 6 eggs

reservoir habitat like this is slow going, care needs to be taken to avoid accidents

and finally - the Great Crested Grebe nest - clutched on 3 eggs

Over to the Southern Cut Off and I had waded 90% of the way round without finding anything until -
something moving caught my attention. A newly hatched Coot chick!   

In the bottom left of the nest a 2nd chick can be seen

And if you click on the image to enlarge you can see the egg that is second from top is starting to hatch 

Talk about saving the best until last.....

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