Sunday, 12 July 2009

Tern Raft at Yarrow Valley Park

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
Photos of common tern and great crested grebe by Mike Atkinson


The Weaver of Grass said...

You certainly seem to get good birdlife down your way Carol. Did you get my e mail (sent to the address on your blog) about tutoring courses?

Crafty Green Poet said...

lovely to see terns, they're such graceful birds

Anonymous said...

The philosophy of 'if at first you don't succeed, try, try again' might be good for spiders, but if you are a female grebe in the business of nest building and egg laying, six attempts without success might just be testing your temper!


Coastcard said...

A lovely (if partly sad) post. I look forward to hearing a bit more about Norfolk at some point...

Mistlethrush said...

Thanks for your comments everyone.

I hope to return to Norfolk at some point - so keep watching.

from the field book

from the field book
An inspiring gift for anyone who enjoys watching nature.