Nature Study: Our One Year Pond Study Week 10: Beginning a bird study

Can you see the difference just from last week.  Everything has burst into bloom.  Look at those colours!
Can you see the difference just from last week? Everything has burst into bloom. Look at those colours!

Our treat, however, was spying a nest at the beginning of the week:

It was empty and with no birds nearby we wondered who it belonged to.
It was empty and with no birds nearby we wondered who it belonged to.

By the end of the week we found out:

It was the moor hens!
It was the moor hens!

We also managed to get a rare good picture of her mate swimming about:

Busy looking for food?
Busy looking for food?

Our Heron also arrived whilst we were there.  We have recently discovered it is a Grey Heron.  I have to be honest- before this pond study I had always thought it a rather unattractive bird.  No more however!  Doing concentrated nature study has allowed me to see rather than simply look.  I have fallen in love!  I think it is one of the most beautiful birds I have ever encountered, and I want to learn more!

Our Grey Heron

Ritsumei of ritsumeithoughts left me a message last week about Cornell lab’s live camera feed to a Great Blue Heron.  As we have our very own Grey Heron we all agreed that this would be fascinating to keep an eye on.  Although the two birds look so alike, in the UK it is very rare to see a Great Blue Heron.  Cornell also have a great information page about Herons.

I also managed to capture the Mandarin duck looking a little clownish, out of the water. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it walking before.  I had a little smile on my face as I snapped away:

Just love this duck!
Just love this duck!

And finally our pair of Canada geese.

I don't know if you can see but one of the geese is banded where as the other is not.  Curious!
I don’t know if you can see but one of the geese is banded where as the other is not. Curious!

At the beginning of our pond study, I had decided we would focus on one tree for the whole year.  I’m so pleased we did.  Already we know more about the Ash tree than any other, and there is still stacks to learn.  Depth rather than breadth has always appealed to me, and this pond study is no exception.  I got me thinking.  Each week we watch and take lots of photos of all the birds we see around the pond, and yet we have learnt more about our one little tree than about all the birds put together.  So I thought maybe we could do a bird study, focusing on one bird.  T11 suggested that instead of just one bird, how about we are more intentional with all the birds.  I liked that.  To be honest, concentrating on just one bird would have meant we may have missed out on the other ones.  I’m completely fascinated by the birds (as you can probably tell from the copious number of photos).  Also the girls were having trouble picking one.  You see, these birds have become our friends and to pick only one inevitably meant leaving another out, ‘who might then feel hurt, mummy!’

Our intention is, therefore, to read up about the birds we have on our pond and then look out and try to capture all the things we have learnt in picture form.  Ooooh, another little project.  I must give up projects for Lent one day…..

And just because I can’t resist:

L10 and A4
L10 and A4
C10 and B2
C10 and B2

Looong happy sigh…just gorgeous!

  Montessori Monday  Science Sunday


  1. Possibly only one Canada Goose is banded because the geese mate for life and, if one bird is found, the other will be nearby. We have tons of these geese around our city. In the spring when the eggs are hatching and mama goose takes the goslings to find water, you can see traffic stopped, even on the major roads, as the drivers patiently wait for the “goose parade” to cross the road. In case you are interested, the male goose has a longer thinner neck than the female. There you have it. All you ever wanted to know about Canada Geese, who are considered a menace on golf courses!!
    Myra, from glorious sunny warm (27C) Winnipeg.

    1. A bit like ‘Make way for the ducks’ one of the FIAR books. I can just see it now! We have a pond nearby which has resident swans and they stop the traffic frequently, and now actually have their own crossing area with flashing lights. They nest across the road from the pond so need to cross frequently to get from one to the other!

  2. Beautiful as always! I love seeing these glimpses of your pond and it’s quiet little community. Here in South Africa we have ‘Egyptian Geese’. And as Myra mentioned about the Canada Gees, they too are a menace on Golf Courses, but so sweet to see. When we lived in Cape Town, we lived in an area that had many of these noisy birds and it was always lovely to feed them. They become quite tame.

  3. Hi. I quite understand your fascination with the birds. Since we put up our bird feeder we have been AMAZED by the variety of birds that are around us here which we never even knew existed before. They are a constant source of entertainment. I LOVE the gold finches. I’d never seen one before in my life. You never told me if you’d figured my new name.

    1. I did so!! In the last message you left! I knew straight away!! (I’m clever like that!)
      You’ll have to send a photo over of your gold finches, the children would love to see it!

  4. Your kids are just beautiful, Claire, and how great that you got all those different hair colours to enjoy too!

    I am fascinated by the mandarin duck. We don’t get them here but I really wish we did!

  5. Your pond really has such a wide variety of birds. We used to have a pond that had that, but they’re in the process of “improving it,” and the pond is all torn up and I don’t know what they’re going to do to it. It makes me sad each time I drive by it.

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