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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Tales from the pond bank

I've probably lured you in under false pretences; a more suitable title would be 'lack of life around the pond'! One thing I can say for sure - it's still full! I'm very happy about this, but I have come to realise that I actually see far more of what is going on when the level drops and I can see the rocky and muddy sides of the pond and under the overhanging trees.

Some proper blue sky would be nice so I didn't have this glare when taking photos!

I was hoping to swamp you all with pictures of baby moorhens by now, but the moorhens cleared off a while back after two failed nest attempts. I think they've gone up the stream as occasional 'mips' can be heard coming from that direction. I really hope they've been able to breed but wouldn't have thought they would have much protection against predators - plenty of thick bramble cover against flying predators but no deep water to swim off to against mammal attack.

Even the mallards seem to have stopped coming by and I haven't even seen a heron for a while! Never mind, Kenny the Kingfisher is still around occasionally. No muskrats here since 2010 (good, they're cute but they tunnel everywhere) and only one coypu. It exists no longer due to having a bit of a crack marksman as a husband, as they are less than cute, carry the same diseases as rats and also tunnel into the banks, and last year youngsters were even getting in my veg patch eating my produce! Both aquatic mammals are introduced 'escapees' from North and South America respectively, and considered as pests here in France. Having seen the damage they have caused to my lake bank I've become hardened to having to kill 'nuisibles' (so long as I don't have to do it myself - now there I'm a total wimp).

I'm sure the fish are happy and there must be more life than I can see going on. We let much of the pond bank be wild because when I've cleared the brambles beside it in places I found my own ducks just ate the banks! So apart from the lawn end (from where the photo above was taken) and the 'beach', a lot of the edges look like this.

Brambles and a rogue Ragwort growing beside the pond

There hasn't as yet been much in the way of dragonflies or damselflies. I saw my first dragonfly yesterday up by the veg patch but didn't have my camera with me, really annoying as it stopped on the ground in front of me! I did manage to capture two different little damselflies though recently. They are not good photos because they were there one second and gone the next, and they are tiny and I can't get close! Hopefully there'll be more opportunities as summer progresses.

Blue tailed damselfly

White legged damselfly

The rest of the life on the pond centres around the ducks! They seem quite happy but are still not very tame and I doubt they ever will be. They're pretty well behaved and go into their shed at night and just amble about doing their own ducky thing during the day. It's just nice having them around and I enjoy the eggs from the two younger girls who are laying.

Here's Doris having a wash and brush up.

This last photo is Rachel - pronounced the French way if you please, as she is a Rouen after all. If I caption this up with pretty girl again I'll have a load more hits from Thailand googling "nice pretty girls". I don't think she was what they had in mind!!!


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Ladybug! I'd post more, but the little tinkers are quite hard to photograph as they're always preening soon as I get close to them - think it's a bit of a nervous reaction.