A Covey of Grey Partridges (October 2013)

The South of England has took a severe battering on the weather front during the night, this is usually what we in Scotland get quite often, but it has only been a lot of rain that our weather gods have commended upon us up here.

Today I took a ride to the Swans pond , where there is quite a few ducks, more than last time. I threw them some brown bread but I only encouraged the scavenging seagulls who are always milling about the pond these days.

In the field to the back of me sitting on the telephone post were loads of Starlings, I wondering how long the will be here before the long flight southwards.

As I cycled along what was the old railway line, and is now the cycle path, I looked to the field to my left and saw a gang of brownish birds running through the

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Grey Partridge

Perdix_perdix_(Marek_Szczepanek)
Grey Partridge

The Grey Partridge (Perdix perdix) also known as the English Partridge, Hungarian Partridge, or Hun, is a gamebird in the pheasant family Phasianidae of the order Galliformes, gallinaceous birds.

This partridge breeds on farmland across most of Europe into western Asia, and has been introduced widely into North America.
The Grey Partridge is a rotund bird, 28–32 cm long, brown-backed, with grey flanks and chest. The belly is white, usually marked with a large chestnut-brown horse-shoe mark in males, and also in many females.

Hens lay up to twenty eggs in a ground nest.The nest is usually in the margin of a cereal field, most commonly Winter wheat.

Young Grey Partridges are mostly yellow-brown and lack the distinctive face and underpart markings.

The song is a harsh kieerr-ik, and when disturbed, like most of the gamebirds, it flies a short distance on rounded wings, often calling rick rick rick as it rises. They are a seed-eating species, but the young in particular take insects as an essential protein supply.

During the first 10 days of life, the young can only digest insects. The parents lead their chicks to the edges of cereal fields, where they can forage for insects. They are also a non-migratory terrestrial species, and form flocks outside the breeding season.

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Swan Diary #10 (Cygnets at 11 Days Old ) June 2013

Continue reading “Swan Diary #10 (Cygnets at 11 Days Old ) June 2013”

Swan Diary #8 (Four Eggs Have Hatched)

As of yesterday 27th May 2013 we can confirm that four of the six Swans eggs have hatched. Mid afternoon FWN Reporter Brember Turner texted to let me know that the day we were waiting on had arrived and the young cygnets were under the warm wing of their mother at the pond.

Even better Brem, got some cracking photos for our readers to see them only hours after they were born, remarkable.

Well Done Brem !

27th May 2013 Cygnets) 138 27th May 2013 Cygnets) 151 27th May 2013 Cygnets) 179 27th May 2013 Cygnets) 180 27th May 2013 Cygnets) 189

 

Swan Diary #6 ‘On The Nest’ (2013)

Swans are now nesting !

So my plan for today was to have a quick look at the Swan Pond then bike it to Riverside to check out the area on the River Forth where some Porpoise’s were spotted last week.

Heron in far field
Heron in far field

But as those who of us who film wildlife know you can’t really plan exactly what your going to see, so when I spotted a grey Heron in the far field, I set up up camera just in time to see it catching something. The timing was perfect and I had a good feeling today was going to be good.

The weather was sunny and warm compared to the past few days where rain and high winds were the norm. I took some photos of the Heron then moved down to the pond where the water was very calm and I could see lots of toads on the bottom of the pond.

Best was yet to come as I spotted one of the swans laying in the reeds , as I got closer I made out the edges of the nest she had built. This is what I had been waiting for, last year I started taking photos when the cygnets were born so I was determined to film them as the built the nest this year.

Continue reading “Swan Diary #6 ‘On The Nest’ (2013)”

Heron Catching a Toad (29th March 2013)

On Good Friday, I took a ride along to the Swans Pond and came across an FWN favorite bird, a grey Heron. The Heron was one of the first wildlife species we filmed and even entered a film to an international nature film festival in Belgium.

As I scanned along the pond I spotted the swans looking well and with the water levels low they could easily forage for food below the surface.

Next was the Moorhen, great to see it too as were not one Coot but now a pair, hopefully we will see some nest building in the coming weeks.

I have only filmed Herons as they stand in there perfect statue pose but thi can be quite boring after a few seconds, so it was great to see this young one walking along the edges of the pond, then to my delight i caught it catching a toad and eating it whole.

Was great to see how they use their long beak to spear there prey and eat it.

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Swan Diary #12

A SURE SIGN OF WINTER

It was the last day of November and the past  two days the temperatures dropped dramatically, so when I got up the sun was shining and a bike ride to the pond was a must.I rode down and ignoring the winter chill made my way along the Bannockburn path to the Swans Pond.

Continue reading “Swan Diary #12”

Swan Diary #10

Yesterday I took a bike ride down to the pond, I hadn’t been for a few weeks and with it being a lovely sunny day I did opportunity to check out the wildlife.

Although it was crispy cold, it was a fantastic Autumn day, the leaves on the trees are changing colour and the paths are now like carpets of leaves.

As I approached i could see away in the far side of the field two Herons looking for food.There was no sign of any swallows or martins, where a few weeks before there had need one or two.

The pond itself was quiet I didn’t see any ducks swans at all from a distance. As I got nearer i could see feathers all along the banks and in the swans nest on the far side.

I threw some bread into the pond and at last the ducks came into view from my left. Amongst them were some young coots which was good to see.

The Swans were nowhere to be seen, and I can only speculate that they have moved to warmer climates for the winter.