It’s been another beautiful week on Southampton Common: ducklings, baby moorhens and coot chicks. On the insect front the damselflies have been busy ensuring the continuation of their species, for which I am very glad as I like them very much. I have also seen a few dragonflies, although not always in happy circumstances.
The first mallard ducklings of the season really are looking grown up now, the middle group are getting bigger every day, and there have been more newborns for me to coo over, including two pure yellow ducklings in amongst the more traditional brown and yellow ones on the Cemetery Lake.
Unfortunately the male swan, who is busy claiming ownership of the lake in preparation for his own family arriving, has been rather aggressive towards them. I had to tell him off sternly the other morning. This caused a couple of students who were taking a break from classes to slope slowly away from the scene of the strange woman talking angrily at an innocent looking swan.
Meantime, back at the Ornamental Pond, there have been two sets of moorhen chicks to see, alongside this weeks big treat: six baby coots. They are beautifully and perfectly ugly, and very very cute. Rather like the moorhen chicks, but with the addition of erratic and electric orange hair, and slightly less of the blue eyeshadow look that the moorhen chicks sport.
These little ones seem endlessly hungry, and I was enjoying watching the parent coots diligently and almost continually feeding their brood of six, until the unfortunate moment when I realised that one of my favourite photography subjects was being fed to another!
Nature: beautiful, but cruel! And a bit cheeky to do this right in front of me I thought!