With the Grebes already growing fast and getting into trouble, it’s worth looking at other chicks to be found around the lake.
Most of the geese now have goslings, and this makes them slightly more dangerous than normal. I’m usually dismissive of people who are afraid of geese, but when they have young they get aggressively protective.
The Barnacle Geese are a little more dainty and just keep an eye on you.
The Canada and Greylag Geese on the other hand become a liability. It’s not uncommon to hear two sounds in close succession. The first is an “awwwwwww” as some unsuspecting student spies a lovely fluffy chick:
Of course this is closely followed by a second sound, usually a high pitched scream, as the same student learns why you never approach a chick with an alert parent nearby…
I have to be fair here, I was treated to a full-on attack myself the other day. Out for a run I went past three adult Greylag, one of which must have been unusually highly strung. As a result, it took against the dark sweaty shape moving rapidly (well, not that rapidly) towards it. So it launched itself at my head! Fortunately I read the signs and was tensed and ready to swerve it.
Fortunately on my walks round the lake they are usually more placid.
The coots on the other hand are never placid, regardless of season or breeding status. We showed this a week back when one went for a young grebe. They are even worse now they are feeding their own young.
It’s not just in the vicinity of their nest that they set off. Out in the middle of the lake, away from any obvious threat, this adult was still spurred into a whirr of action.
The object of this explosion of fighting spirit? A poor little moorhen that was scratting around near the concert hall.
Although an alternative explanation could be that the coot was just drunk:
Not everything has young on the move yet. The Black Swan that appears from time to time is still single.
There was also a crow prowling about lo0oking for remnants of student lunches.
Finally, as the weather warms the carp inevitably appear at the surface of the water. They are big enough to take a small, new duckling. So this post ends on that warning!