Thursday, 18 May 2017

The year's Most Beautiful Day

English naturalist Thomas Bewick (1753-1828) is said to have claimed that the 18th of May is the most beautiful day in the calendar, when nature is at its fullest, the greenery at its greenest, life is at its peak.

A walk home from W-wa Dawidy via the Jeziorki ponds certainly confirms this theory. The sixth consecutive day of over 20C warm sunshine (indeed today's high was 25C); this is spring in its glory, the consciousness rejoices and observes.

Yesterday, I walked home the same way, and spotted a nesting coot, incubating her eggs, below. As it happened, those eggs would hatch over night...

Below: the same coot (łyska, bald as a) makes her way proudly from the nest in the reed beds to the open waters, accompanied by four chicks, one of whom is seen with her.

Below: another coot chick, this one in the southern pond, a few days older, a bit more plumage on the head. There are dozens on coot chicks on the ponds right now; only a few will survive. Conscious life, nevertheless.

The swans are nesting too - this is the female, sheltering from the hot sun, incubating her eggs. Any day now Jeziorki's next clutch of cygnets will hatch.

Our newcomers this year - grebes. Below: a pair of great crested grebes (perkoz dwuczuby).

Below: a pair of black-necked grebes (perkoz zausznik). Grebes can adjust their buoyancy with their body feathers, swimming low in the water with just head and neck exposed. At this time of year, they are in their breeding finery. And grebes can dive.

Sadly, the grey herons seem to have been driven out of Jeziorki's ponds; two months ago I got some shots of herons being mobbed by gulls and crows; since then, I've not seen any around here. Nor have I seen any marsh harriers or lapwings around the ponds this year.

This time three years ago:
W-wa Wola became W-wa Zachodnia Platform 8 two years ago today

This time four years ago:
From yellow to white - dandelions go to seed

This time five years ago:
The good topiarist

This time seven years ago:
Wettest. May. Ever.

This time nine years ago:

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