Saturday, 16 August 2014

Eccleston Mere

Common sandpiper 1
Great crested grebe at least 8 chicks inc. family party with 5 chicks
Kingfisher 1
Mute swan 1 adult and 5 cygnets
Swallow 50
Coot 110

I'm not sure what's happening with the swans at the moment. When I arrived at the mere the adult was with three cygnets in the middle of the mere, but there was a fourth bird asleep with the Canada geese near the yacht pier. When I got to the south side of the mere, I saw a fifth cygnet alone in the south east corner. Finally, when I returned to the pier, the adult was with four cygnets who were all asleep amongst the geese. I initially though that the lone cygnets were sick birds, but perhaps they are simply showing signs of independence, unlikely as that may seem at this stage of the development.

Nice to see that the family of five is still thriving and growing up rapidly.

This is tutsan Hypericum androsaemum. It's a member of the St. John's wort family, and is not particularly common at the mere. I'm only aware of about three plants.

Eccleston Mere is a great place for seeing kingfishers (almost always in flight only), but a it's a poor place for photographing them. In 25 years, this is about the best photo I've managed, not great, but I like it sitting in the hawthorn hedge.

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