30 Days Wild – Day 14

A dawn bat survey started the day, followed by a morning in the office so my attention was starting to flag a little by lunchtime. Luckily, our office is only 5 minutes walk from the River Witham which runs through Grantham so I took a walk along the riverbank to refresh a little.

I love this time of year, when all the young birds are fledged and learning how to be the grown-up versions of themselves.  We have been watching young blackbirds being fed by their parents in the garden, and tree creepers clumsily working their way up the tree in a pale imitation of their parents’. Or in this case, watching young moorhens learning to feed for themselves!

Moorhen Chicks being fed
Video of moorhen chick being fed by the parent – click to view!

There were two chicks with two parents and the young were just learning to pick their own food from the riverbank. They were clearly not yet adept enough to support themselves however, and the parents were still feeding them regularly with morsels they simply picked up from the ground and passed directly to the chicks.

It’s quite easy to dismiss the commonplace such as ducks and moorhens in the park, but it’s a great way to watch a behaviour such as this in birds which are not perturbed by human presence.

In between feedings, the chicks would wait patiently on a little run of concrete just below water level at the edge of this canalised section of the river, striking quite a sulky teenage pose I thought!

Sulky moorhen striking a pose

I also love the photo below, purely for the ‘fluffball with feet’ reflection in the water!

Moorhen chick awaiting food from its parents

Local parks and gardens are a great place to pop out to get closer to nature for #30dayswild, even if it’s just for 30 minutes walk at lunchtime!