7am at the lake
My two favourite times of the year are autumn & spring. I love autumn because the temperature is cooling down, the leaves on the trees are turning into beautiful shades of reds and yellows and it’s the start of the frost when we go on the early morning walks. Spring is a time for new beginnings, seen in the flowers bursting through the soil, the birds building nests and the new life that is all around. These are the times I really enjoy walking and being able to see the best of nature.
We are lucky to live very near to a country park, just a short walk through the woods and in less than 10 minutes we are there. This year unfortunately we didn’t manage to get out much in Spring as we had new life in our own home, one of our dogs had 9 beautiful puppies in April. This curtailed the walks for several weeks but it was worth it.
When we started walking again (normally me and Jess as it’s early morning and Abbie ‘doesn’t do’ mornings) I was happy to see that we still had quite a few ‘babies’ on the lake. There were 6 or 7 goslings, 2 cygnets, 4 tufted duck ducklings and just 1 ‘normal’ duckling. The next day we went back for our early walk armed with oats, rice and other grains and seeds.
This is where nature can show us so much beauty but at the same time be unbelievably cruel.
We went straight to the small lake that we saw the swan and cygnets, to find just one adult and a single cygnet, the tufted duck was there with her babies so we fed them all and carried on around. No sign of the duckling but we did throw some food in for the goslings.
Mum & Cygnet
Three or four days went past and still only one cygnet, I had been hoping that it might just appear again but after so long it wasn’t likely. Still no duckling either. This was the day they were only 3 tufted ducklings. Again we hung around hoping the other would appear out of the reeds but no. The next morning everything was the same for the swans and ducklings but this time we saw the geese out of the water with the goslings and found that one of the babies has a broken foot. It was alright on the water but can’t walk very well, nothing we could apart from making sure it was fed.
This takes me up to yesterday. We went to the small lake and the swans appeared as normal, then mum and the baby tufted ducks came across for food. Mum got a few bits and Jess said that the babies weren’t getting anything. While I was focusing on getting food to the cygnet she said that there was a duckling missing. Mum seemed agitated and all the other birds (around 8-9 ducks plus the swans) moved to the other side of the lake. That’s when we noticed something moving and realised there was a pike which had obviously taken the duckling.
Last photo of the 3 ducklings with mum
Mum circling the pike with her duckling
To cut a long story short, the duckling came up another 3 times while we were there with mum racing across every time to attack the pike, it was horrible seeing it so defenceless. By this time Jess was so upset so we went as it was too far away for us to do anything at all.
Like I said, nature gives us things so beautiful but sometimes it’s so unfair 😦