Nature Ponderings - May 2022

Updated: 20 hours ago






FOREWORD

As a lover of Nature, and an artist behind the lens, I feel compelled to record my day-to-day connections with my garden and open green spaces in my corner of the World. My premise is to create little stories of the discoveries and the changes I witness through the seasons, as I take my daily jaunt outside.


At the end of the year, I hope to create a visual epilogue of Nature's yearly cycle.



I am now a member and contributor to the Leicestershire and Rutland Nature Spot after being contacted by them, asking that I contribute my sitings. Why not become a contributor too!


https://www.naturespot.org.uk/




 






DAY ONE - The sublime beauty of May.

1.5.2022


Lush green foliage spilling over

May is the most giving of months, and as I revisit the park after missing so much of it in April, I am greeted by the beautiful sight of lush green foliage spilling over, Canada Geese and Mallard chicks scurrying across the water as fast as their legs will take them to keep up with mum, and more bird song.


Bluebells have broken through, winding pathways have become more intriguing as the pathway ahead is obscured by the return of dense leaves. The ground is dry and in need of rain, yet only 3 weeks ago it was slippery underfoot.






Little Web-Footed Bundles

The Greylag Goslings have almost doubled in size since I first saw them 4 days ago, and another visitor of the Park told me that she had seen a Swan nesting, so I am going to keep a keen eye open for developments.







The Value of Conversation

This morning, my very dear friend, Brigitte of Moss and Stone Floral Design posted on Instagram how she had just heard the resident Cuckoo in her village and asked if anyone else has heard their call where they live. I replied saying that I had not yet heard our resident Cuckoo in the Park on my doorstep, and that I love its deep, welcoming call.


Someone on Brigitte's post mentioned how the Cuckoo only stays in the UK for a brief period, migrating mid-Summer. This intrigued me and so I immediately visited the RSPB website to discover more about this interesting Bird. I soon fell upon how the RSPB are working to help Nature's significant decline that a mere 15% of people are aware is a National Crisis.




The last 50 years have seen precipitous declines across all species, from wildflowers and insects to mammals and birds




From this tiny spark today, my desire to discover more about the inhabitants of our local Park has been ignited more than ever. If you wish to discover more, I have included some useful links at the base of this post.




Fond childhood memories of feeding Bread to Birds and Waterfowl ...

... little did I know that this is not good for Birds and Waterfowl.



Bread fills the Birds and Waterfowl up, but it lacks the nutrition found in other foods such a Seeds, Rice and Peas. Birds and Waterfowl can suffer from malnutrition, which can cause issues to their wings, that prevents them from flying. Un-eaten Bread can create harmful bacterial in the water, which causes harm to the life in it. It also attracts Vermin, such as Rats that can potentially spread deceases.

More information





Greylag Goose [Anseriformes]. Found in Reed beds, marshes, estuaries & lakes. Diet: Plant material, incl.

roots, tubers, shoots, leaves, in water and on land. First record: Anglo Saxon Times.



My recently purchased Canon L-Series 100mm Macro f2.8 continues to surprise me.





A beautiful and brave Song Thrush scurried past me, looking for grubs, and if you zoom in on the photo above, you will see that he has one in its beak.


I discovered on the site of BBC Springwatch is famous for smashing open Snails. It is one of the earliest birds to start singing in the year in the UK.






As I neared the top of the Park toward Doctor's Lane, a Cat greeted me. I think he wanted to join in on my walk as he followed me for a while.



I usually capture this interesting tree, because I love its Canopy and twisted trunk.



Despite visiting the park most days, I still manage to discover new aspects of it to record with my camera or phone. These two images caught my eye either because of shape, interest or light. I'm seeing so much this way, in-place of looking for subject matter.






St Mark’s Fly [Bibio marci] - Male



On the last leg of my walk I discovered that it is named St Mark’s Fly, which are usually seen in Cornwall. This one is a Male, identified by its large eyes and clear wings. It is a mere 1cm in length.




Dried-up River side reeds



Tufted Duck [ Aythyia Fuligula] Drake left | Female right. Just fascinating.








DAY TWO - Muntjac Deer & Egret

2.5.2022



"We are ten strong"

I spied 10 Ducklings with their Mum, today; two more than yesterday!

As I watched-on, there was intermittent scurrying as though they were racing one another. It was quite comical to see, as though their incredibly light bodies had been blown across the water's surface.




Sitings:

Muntjac Deer

Mallard [Female] & ten Ducklings

Greylag Geese

Mute Swans

Common Pigeon


Canada Geese: [a pair]

Mallards





Greylag Geese telling me off for momentarily getting a little too close




Small diversion; new perspective

I love finding new perspectives in the park. Today, I took a new diversion along an extremely narrow route at the farthest side of the embankment. It used to be a more established shortcut across a small bridge over the water, but after multiple floods over the years, the bridge and original pathway no-longer exist.






I have not seen the Lake from this perspective for over 20 years. Originally, an evident pathway lead you to a small bridge, but it was removed after being permanently submerged due to the rise of the water level.





Resident Cormorant flying back to perch on the tree nearest to the water's edge of the Peninsular, after a quick circle of the Lake. A regular occurrence throughout the day.




This pair of Mallards amongst many others were perpetually turning upside down with heads in the water to feed. I can't recall seeing so many Ducks do this before; I must have caught them at the right time in the day to witness this.









DAY THREE - Coot with Chic

3.5.2022









As I passed by one of my favourite woodland pathways I spied what appeared to be solitary leaves dotted around in the ground that resembled Hosta leaves. I know not what they are!




Resident Cormorant flying back to perch on the Peninsular's Willow Tree after a quick circle of the Lake; a regular occurrence throughout the day. If you look closely in the distance, a Heron is resting in the centre of the Tree to the right of the Willow Tree.









DAY FOUR - Swans & Swifts in Flight

4.5.2022 - Evening




It was a fleeting visit to the park this evening, so very few images to post, but nonetheless, some beautiful experiences. Swans and Swifts in Flight. A young women fed the Swans and Geese some Vegetables, that I discovered after chatting with her that this is a daily, evening occurrence. Swans circling the Main Lake before settling for the evening. Two Swans nesting and Heron came to say hello.




I counted the number of Greylag Goslings this evening. One female has 5 Goslings the size of a large hand, and the other female has 6 Goslings approximately a third the size.
















DAY FIVE - Butterflies

5.5.2022 - a quick, mid-morning, jaunt

... to see if there were any developments with either of the two nesting Swans. No hatchings yet!

However, when I visited the park in the evening I spied 6 Cygnets on the Main Lake with their parents.

The female stayed close to the Peninsula with her babies whilst the Male Swan swam across the Lake.








DAY SEVEN - Cynets and Parents on the Lake

7.5.2022 - a fleeting, mid-morning, and evening jaunt.



The pair of Cormorants circled the lake a few times before perching back on the shoreline tree of the Peninsular. They were close enough for me to discover that the female has a white underside and the male is completely black.










DAY EIGHT - Butterflies

8.5.2022 - quick, mid-morning, and evening jaunts

... starting from the embankment of the main lake to the upper tiny lake. It was a glorious morning, filled with sunlight and a pleasant 15 degrees.