I have already written about the Great Crested Grebes nesting in Valentines Park and here is another installment- that sadly does not end well.
For the last couple of weeks I have been regularly visiting them, as I have a particular affection for these very pretty, stylish little birds (I say little, in comparison to the Swans on the lake). Last week, there was quite a drama when one of the birds (I don't know if it was the male or female) was sitting on the nest by itself and suddenly I saw it ruffling up it's feathers and making serpentine, angry movements with it's head:
I then realized there was a Coot lurking around the nest- and it was a Coot who I understand ousted the Grebes from their previous nest:
However, the partner Grebe returned and the Coot went off:
Then it was "change-over" time and the defending bird climbed out of the nest to give way to its partner:
and the newcomer checked out the four eggs before settling down...
I am now moving forward to this last Sunday- two days ago. The Grebes were still conscientiously caring for their eggs, taking it in turns to sit on them, repeating their actions of checking out the eggs:
City Park birds have very different nesting materials from birds in the wilds- in this case, generally a lot of junk blown in from the lake, if not specifically chosen. It seems unlikely that the Grebes had eaten the contents of this Mars Bar wrapper!
Yesterday- Monday- I went happily along the lakeside to visit them, only to be devastated by the sight of an empty nest- no eggs, no birds:
Possibly rats had taken the eggs. I prefer to think that than the nest been vandalized by Sunday boaters on the lake- some who I saw bating the Swan family...
The penalty of getting involved with other lives whether human or animal- is that you can't bear to see things go wrong for them. I felt heartbroken but cheered up when today I saw the pair of Grebes swimming together on the lake; life goes on...