All of the pictures in this posting are from my trip on ‘Equinox’ day to Wollaton Park, a short, free (for me) bus ride away from home. Firstly some history of the park.
In the 15th century Henry Willoughby moved his ancestral home to Wollaton from his namesake village in south Nottinghamshire, Willoughby-on-the-Wolds, to exploit the coal deposits there. Mining continued until the middle of the 20th century but a ‘hill’ of coal was left under the Hall to preserve it from subsidence.
The Park was created at the beginning of the 19th century by another Henry Willoughby, 6th Baron Middleton. This involved the construction of a 7 mile brick wall and the destruction of the village of Sutton Passeys. The estate was taken into public ownership in the 20th century. The names of two nearby roads reflect its story, i.e. Sutton Passeys Crescent and Middleton Boulevard (part of Nottingham Ring Road).
The park is home to over 200 wild red and fallow deer. I think this is a red deer hind. The rutting season is almost upon us and notices warn visitors to stay well clear during the rut and when the young are born in the spring. Many of the trees in the park appear to be trimmed very neatly on the underside of the canopy. This is as a result of browsing by the deer who can only reach up so far.
My main reason for visiting the park was to see if I could spot the rose ringed parakeets that have taken up residence. I had to wait a good while at the west end of the lake to see them and I only managed a couple of acceptable pictures. Perhaps I will get better views when there are fewer leaves on the tree.
Great crested grebe have occupied me more than any other species this year. Since getting a new PC in the spring and adopting a new system of cataloguing my pictures I have stored over 80 separate images of these beautiful birds. Above are some shots of the grebe family of four resident on the lake. The bottom left image shows one of the adults powering along with its neck stretched out close to the water. This looks like part of the pair bonding ritual that I would not expect to see before next spring. Perhaps it was practising.
This is a video clip of an immature mute swan exercising its wings in preparation for that first flight. For some reason a sibling took exception. Maybe it was jealous.