We all need a little cuteness from time to time, so I hope you enjoy this photo, taken recently at Forest Farm Nature Reserve, of Mrs Mallard and her three ducklings snoozing on a log on the Glamorgan Canal.
Here’s another young bird that’s going through its post-fledging dispersal phase. Pied wagtails can be found around Cardiff Bay throughout the year and have bred successfully many times, so I think this little fledgling should be able to find a place of its own without venturing too far afield.
From a photographer’s perspective, young birds can be a delight when they are less wary of humans, and this bird was no exception. Though it had definitely noticed me, it began to walk up the stone embankment towards me, so I managed to get some reasonably good images. And I very much enjoyed getting such close views of it poking and prodding about the rocks for edible titbits.
We don’t see Dippers very often in Cardiff Bay, as they’re generally birds of fast-flowing rivers, so I was surprised but very pleased to spot this one on the embankment during a recent walk.
After a closer look through my zoom lens, I realised it was a juvenile bird. This probably means that it was in the process of post-fledging dispersal, where birds leave the area in which they were raised to find territories of their own. Good luck, little Dipper!
One of the things that makes this time of year special is all the young birds that are about, newly fledged but still clad in their teenage threads; learning to fend for themselves but still squawking at their parents for handouts; finding their way in the world, as this young Robin was yesterday.
This made me laugh out loud. I was watching a young Chiffchaff hunting for insects along a fence and around a signboard.
Being young and not wary yet of humans, the cute wee bird mostly ignored me so I was able to edge closer for some photos.
Then it spotted a spider’s web chock full of tiny creatures, a pix-and-mix for a hungry fledgling.
But it hadn’t twigged to the fact that a wire fence can be slippery and went for a backwards spin as it tried to pluck out the tasty morsels.
I mentioned in Saturday’s blog that I saw one particularly beautiful bird during my visit to Forest Farm Nature Reserve on Thursday, and this is it, a Kingfisher.
And I was lucky – I saw it twice, visiting the ponds in front of first one bird hide and then the other.
It didn’t linger long at either, announcing its departure with the trade-mark peep, peep, peeping as it flew off with a flash of vibrant turquoise.
Following on from yesterday’s ‘baby’ theme, today we have some baby Moorhens from Cosmeston Lakes Country Park.
I tend to avoid the lake, cafe and car park areas of the park as those are where most of the people congregate but, yesterday, I wanted to check out the dipping pond for dragonflies so walked that way.
Though there were no dragons to be seen, there were three generations of Moorhen, an adult, one of an earlier brood of chicks, and at least six of the latest brood, in all their fluffy feather cuteness.
As I meander around the local area on my daily walks, I’ve been keeping an eye out for more examples of Lesser black-backed gulls nesting in our urban environment. For the birds, I guess any small flat space on a roof top is the same as a ledge on a cliff face, and they are certainly very good at finding and using those spaces for their nests. Both of today’s examples are from the health care sector, the first on top of a building at Llandough Hospital and the second, with two well-grown chicks, on the rooftop of Nuffield Health Cardiff Bay Hospital.
But, down at the end of the lane, in amongst the chimney pots, another regular pair of Lesser black-backed gulls is once again raising a family.
And, when I passed by yesterday, these three youngsters were cheeping up a storm, especially when mum – or dad – returned to feed them.