In between hospital visiting, I finally managed to see the terns at Yarrow Valley Park. The raft has a gravel base and chicken wire sides (to keep off gulls etc) and was placed there earlier this year.
This morning I was pleased to see two chicks, the youngest spending most of its time tucked under mum, while dad was busy flying the length of the lodge catching and bringing back small fish. At point a buzzard flew over and, to my horror, both mum and dad flew off to mob it, leaving the chicks alone with black-headed gulls and magpies around.... Anyway, mum came back and all was well. I have to say, that although you can see the chicks when they are standing, the moment they crouch they become invisible against the gravel.
I also saw a pair of grebes building another nest. The female seems to be incubating since she wasn't moving at all. The male, busy bringing all manner of nesting materials and placing them in front, behind and alongside the female, was having himself and all his offerings resolutely ignored . Oh dear... or perhaps another case of post coitum omne animal triste est?
The house martins, on the other hand, were anything but sad. A group of six flew in to have a drink and joyful fly around.
To learn more about the raft go to http://www.chorleynats.org.uk/ternraft.php
Photos of common tern and great crested grebe by Mike Atkinson http://mikeatkinson.net