I know I have said this before, but I do love Spring. It’s such a lovely time of the year, a time of renewal especially when it comes to nature. The trees have suddenly burst into blossom of the most gorgeous white and pink flowers, and the air has become perfumed. I’m hearing the song and chatter of more birds and seeing more blue sky and of course these past few days the warm sunshine has made an appearance. In addition to all this if you go to the local parks or nature reserves where there is plenty of wild bird life, there is a chance to see some recently born broods of ducklings, geese and swans.
This past weekend was a great time for me to go out and about with my new Nikon camera, and capture some of these splendid visions. On Saturday I had a little bus ride to an old favorite park of mine called Swanshurst, which is situated in the area of Birmingham called Billesley. This park used to be a ‘old haunt’ of mine, especially in my teenage years when I first starting going out fishing on my own.
The unfortunate story about this park is that there was an incident back in 2007 where the pool was drained of its entire water content by the local council in order for repair works to be carried out at the bottom of the lake, it was just as though the plug was pulled out. Unfortunately, it left thousands of fish in jeopardy, including Carp up to 35 lb in weight, but no one at the council had first thought it out properly by removing all the fish and transport them to other local parks or sections of canals prior to the work commencing. As a result of this insight, several days in to the drainage process a huge emergency rescue operation had to be mounted by anglers and local residents to try to save the fish and move them as quickly as possible in cars, vans and lorries to other lakes and canals in the near vicinity, the majority were saved. Trouble was it was never restocked after the work was completed, and to this day it is vacant of any decent stocks of fish, as a result no one goes fishing there any more.
However despite this incident, the park has always remained a local beauty spot for many people, and is still a popular place to have a walk around and see the birds. At any one time there used to be up to 200 geese there, and a few ducks. These days there are only a handful of geese, loads of ducks and moorhens and one pair of swans…..although the female was nowhere to be seen this weekend. My guess she is she was nesting on the island at the far end of the lake and perhaps even taking care of some new offspring.
At the far end of the lake there used to be an old boathouse close to the island which had been out of use for many years, although it was in a state of disrepair it did add a little character to the place. It was a favorite spot for many Carp anglers. Due to vandals being inconsiderate some years back it was burnt down, and duly had to be removed.
But walking around there on Saturday I was able to photograph some of the birds and flora. It really is a picturesque little park, and it is a delightful little walk. I saw seagulls ducking in and out of the lake, cheekily grabbing the food thrown out by people for the ducks and geese, and I was unfortunately witness to one sad and distressing incident involving about 8 male ducks all attacking 1 female duck. This is something I have heard of before, and by all accounts is a natural occurrence in nature, but I had never witnessed it until now. As a result I had to mount my own rescue operation with another chap who witnessed the incident and to try to get her away from the males, and drag her into the side of the bank and into some nearby bushes, and hopefully give her time to recover in the bushes where I had to try to hide her. The poor little thing was in a state of shock, and was bleeding from her head. This apparently is called ‘duck rape’ and I understand it’s because the female is fertile and all the males want to mate with her. I sincerely hope I never have to see this happen ever again. I love Mallards, especially the stunning green and blue plumage that they show off to attract the females, and despite being a natural r , it’s not at all pleasant to see these little fellows taking advantage of one female.
Anyway, with the sun out in a blue sky and the warmth on my back, loads of wildlife I couldn’t resist taking loads of pictures, and these birds do get up to some funny antics, and I love to challenge myself to taking some ‘action shots’. These are a few of the ones I took on Saturday. Hope you enjoy them
Many thanks for stopping by.