Today's report covers several of my regular haunts visited at the end of April and the beginning of May.
PAINSHILL, 27th APRIL 2010
The visit started well photographically with this spot-on framing of a Mallard in flight.
Mr Grebe returned from an expedition to the other end of the lake, and was welcomed back with a little display.
They then started trying to build a nest by gathering branches and reeds and dropping them in the middle of the lake. It didn't work, needless to say.
But they did take time off from their labours to exchange gifts of weed.
Several pairs of Canada Geese now have goslings.
In the north lake, a single Grebe was foraging, preening and stretching his beak. Possibly he is the survivor of the original pair.
And by the car park, a couple of Jackdaws were prodding the field for titbits. I got a rather dirty look from this one when I took his picture.
CRAWLEY, THURSDAY 29th APRIL 2010
One of my favourite lunchtime spots when I worked at Crawley was Buchan Country Park. I called in while visiting Crawley for a leaving party, and found the Grebes incubating at their usual nesting place.
PAINSHILL, FRIDAY 30th APRIL 2010
By now there are goslings everywhere. When I lined up for this picture, the furthest left of the goslings was still on mum's back under her wing, and he struggled out and got into position with his siblings. The third gosling took fright and hid his face.
This Mrs Mallard seems to have a rather mixed parentage, and this shows in the varied colour patterns of her ducklings.
A Grey Wagtail was still busy collecting insects around the Grotto. There only seems to be one adult at any time just now, suggesting that the eggs are still being incubated.
The pair of Grebes seemed to have given up ideas of nest-building for the moment, and were taking a grand tour around both lakes. There was no sign of the single Grebe.
Not to be outdone by the Canada Geese, this Greylag family gave a prefect display of precision formation swimming.
As I returned past the Abbey Ruin, I was pleased to have the opportunity to offer my best wishes to Mahinda & Mariyam, who were in Indian dress being photographed following their Tamil Indian marriage ceremony at Painshill.
IN OUR GARDEN, SATURDAY 1st MAY 2010
We are still getting regular visits from Mr and Mrs Mallard. They call in most days, and usually stay for an hour or two.