Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Valentines Park Update:

Well, once more I have got very behindhand with this blog. Again, the main reason has been my obsession with the Great Crested Grebe family on Ilford's Valentines Park Boating Lake. This has meant I have been continuing to regularly send updates to the Redbridge Birdwatching Blog while neglecting my own! and I still have loads of tree related photos I want to post...However, as I left the Grebes in a critical stage in my last post, I will start with them:

When I last wrote the Grebes were happily sitting on three more eggs while looking after their demanding chick. Alas, shortly after this when I returned to the nest after having been away from Ilford, I was upset to see only a soggy, empty nest:

Anxiously, I went round the lake searching for the family. On the second time round I was relieved to hear the familiar, high-pitched "ch-ch-ch-cheep-ing" of the chick under another Alder tree further up the lake. There he was with both parents:

One of the the adults was YET AGAIN valiantly, energetically carrying sticks to a location where the leaves met the water, to make yet another nest....

The following day I could just discern- from the opposite bank- the shape of one of the birds sitting on this nest:

But now this nest seems to have been abandoned too and the family are swimming busily all over the lake. The chick is growing fast and no-longer sits on his parent's back.

Today one of his parents seemed to be giving him a lesson in Independence. He had been swimming under an Oak tree, cheeping incessantly, with no response from the parent who was dozing out on the lake nearby.

Eventually, he approached his parent, still hoping for food. Suddenly, the adult must have either decided it was time he fished for his OWN food, OR have been driven insane by the incessant "ch-ch-ch-cheep-ing", because he rushed up to the chick, beak wide open and crest erect:

The chick rapidly fled up the lake with his parent hot on his heels!

Finally, they came to rest under the Oak tree but the adult still refused to fish for the chick, who kept his distance:

And then the chick realized there was nothing for it but to do his own fishing- so off he went and seemed to have some success- at least he emerged from the water with SOMETHING in his beak that he then swallowed....

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