Sunday 27 September 2020

Two Families at Blackford Pond

 We visited Blackford pond yesterday and were delighted to see the mute swans have a healthy family, with several cygnets having grown to full size. Here are a couple of my photos of one of the adults with one of the youngsters 

There's also a lone adolescent swan, one of last year's youngsters, that was sitting in the grass, yesterday 

(You can tell it's not quite mature by its pale beak). 

Someone recently filmed this young swan causing a bit of a stir on the pond (see this tweet!)

The other family is the rat family, in fact there might be two rat families, Crafty Green Boyfriend took this photo

Of course rats are part of nature, but they're a desctructive part of nature and are likely to have eaten eggs and nestlings of some of the ground nesting birds on the pond. They probably live there in such large numbers because people leave too much food around for the birds and the rats eat all the extra bread (which shouldn't be fed to the birds at all) and seeds. 

After we had walked round the pond we continued on past Midmar Paddock 

through the Hermitage of Braid and into the small park at the edge of the Hermitage

which now is home to a small orchard 

the bare soil here will be planted with native wildflowers to encourage pollinators to visit the trees. Just round the corner, the ivy is in bloom and several hoverflies were enjoying the sunshine, including this Eristalis sp.

Hoverflies are important pollinators and are among the species that will benefit from the new orchard once it matures.


Gershon Ben-Avraham said...

What beautiful photos! The picture of the young swan alone brought to mind Louis in E. B. White's "The Trumpet of the Swan." The rats, on the other hand, made me think of Templeton in Charlotte's web. I love your nature posts!

Crafty Green Poet said...

Thanks Gershon! I'm not familiar with The Trumpet of the Swan, I did read Charlotte's Web, many years ago now!

Sackerson said...

It never fails to amaze me how humans, while fantasizing about little green people on other planets, tend to take birds for granted. Here, right under our noses, these singing, flying life-forms have mapped the earth for themselves in a way that bears only a passing resemblance to the way we map it. We inhabit the same space differently: one earth, two worlds.

Lowcarb team member said...

Lovely post and photographs.

All the best Jan