This morning we heard a cuckoo calling , a real sound of spring. I also came across a wonderful slug, again a first this year . This slug was browsing some luxury growth rather like an expensive carpet . It was a Harrod’s quality foodstuff !This is the Large Black Slug (Arion ater) I love the orange colour along its edge. These slugs are mainly nocturnal, but they are often seen in the day on damp vegetation. They are omnivores eating, Carrion, dung and vegetation . They prefer rotting vegetation and are therefore not a real garden pest.They lay clusters of spherical eggs that can be seen sometimes when digging the garden.
Today we walked at Stanwick Lakes and were treated to some great encounters with Great Crested Grebes.
There is a super hide on one lake and the map shows another one further around.
We were able to see the Grebe dive, catch and eat a fish. We also enjoyed watching them preen .
When they attract a mate Great Crested Grebes go through a courtship dance of moves together. This one swam straight to me and the plumage looks great.
We also saw some fastbswimming and strange grr grr noises I hadn’t seen or heard before.They are a very photogenic birds, looking forward to spotting some chicks.
Walking across a strip of land between two lakes a Little Egret landed in front of us as Swallows swooped incredibly close to us at break neck speeds.
A Little more sedate, a pair of Greylag Geese cruised by.
The Greylag Goose (Anser anser) eats plants such as sedges,rushes and grasses , eating the roots, tubers, leaves, flowers and stems. They eat pondweed when in water.
The edges of the lakes have large banks of reeds which are full of bird song occasionally a tiny bird springs out of them , just as you focus your eyes on it , it has gone back into the reeds.
A sandy low island has been created in one lake and is noisily covered in black headed gulls . They are fascinating to sit and watch, it’s rather like a busy airport . There are birds sitting , birds eating and birds arriving and leaving. There is movement and sound all around.
Following the path back for a coffee a tree creeper swiftly investigated and climbed a tree and flew off. Flowers caught my eye , a wild geranium and a vetch.
This is a great area for a walk with lots to see plus a coffee place at the car park. It is £3.80 to park at the moment, rising to £4.80 in the summer.We have bought a years pass for £37 as we live close by and we will be coming regularly.
A mornings walk full of brilliant discoveries. Ducks, tufted ducks, cormorants, coots, moorhens, swans, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Swallows, Reed Warbler, Great Tit, Tree Creeper … these are just some of the birds not forgetting the cuckoo !
We are looking forward to our next trip to Stanwick Lakes !