Over the last few days I have been silently observing the comings and goings of a little female moorhen.
She has taken it upon herself to build a nest in amongst the small clump of yellow flag irises in my wildlife pond. This not only poses her the problem of how to go about doing this task and yet remain unseen, but it also means that she is quite a few metres away from the river that runs along one boundary here, her usual home, and the place she usually feeds.
But I have noticed that the duckweed we had in the pond is gradually disappearing, so I am guessing she has been eating that?
Her initial nest remains unfinished and is quite visible to passers-by. I thought she had abandoned the idea of raising her brood, especially as it is so very close to my cottage, but I was wrong. Mildred, as she will now be known, has made a second nest underneath the overhanging ivy that tumbles down into the pond, on the side nearest to the cottage.
So it is with bated breath that I creep past every time I go out of the back gate and occasionally I just glimpse a little black feathered bottom disappearing into the hedgerow or under the ivy.
I shall keep you updated as to whether Mildred manages to hatch out any eggs. Fingers crossed for her.
I will try my best to get some photos and may even set up my daughter’s camera trap this weekend.
The water level in the river here is quite low at the moment. My daughter and I took a stroll down to the little jetty today. It has been a gloriously sunny day and we sat watching the trout rise to catch flies. Their pouty little mouths come right out of the water and swiftly suck in the insects that fly too close to the water’s surface and in a split second the buzzing gnats and mosquitoes become trout dinner.
We have both rainbow and brown trout here. The rainbow trout seem to be the tamest and one bravely swam out from under the jetty whilst we were sitting there today. It’s spotted body was clearly visible and even the soft blush of pink on its sides could be seen! Beautiful!
Insect life is gradually increasing here at Riverside now that the weather has warmed up a bit. We spotted yet more butterflies today. Two peacock butterflies, a vibrant neon brimstone, a small white (in my greenhouse) and a red admiral…..and LOTS of bees, both honeybees and bumblebees, which REALLY made me smile!
Some thirsty honey bees had inadvertently fallen into the river and were floating on the surface, as we sat watching the fish rise, and so my daughter hooked them out with her little net and laid them in the grass to dry out. They lived to see another day.