Swan Lake.

We got back yesterday from a wonderful weekend away with our son and dil in London. The sun was lovely there and the wind seemed to be easing, not so bitterly cold, thank goodness. Making the most of the milder weather we went for a walk around the lake at Rickmansworth Aquadrome and Nature Reserve and were greeted by the local inhabitants.



Families are still together from last year, this group had a couple of youngsters still with them, but Dad will soon chase them away once new cygnets arrive


This one was rather hopeful, coming to see if we had any food, sorry, we didn’t.


We also saw quite a few Pochards, Coots, Moorhens and Canada Geese.


We found just a few very cold looking daffodils, shivering in the wind, not much shelter at this point.


No, I don’t think these are dandelions, I think Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara. In medieval times it was used widely as a cure for coughs.


Elderberry bushes were sprouting new growth, I don’t know if these would turn green or not, but others….


…..are starting out green. After such a long, cold winter it was wonderful to see lots of new growth.

Hazel Catkins

There were plenty of Hazel catkins waving in the wind, a sure sign of spring.


This is where we had been, a super place for local families to have a walk, for dog walkers, joggers and elderly men to race their remote controlled yachts!

White pheasant.

When we got home yesterday evening and were driving up our short access road, there on the field  was the white pheasant that I have mentioned in previous posts. I have tried to photograph it on other occasions, but it has just been a tiny white dot on the other side of the field. I couldn’t believe it when we came around the corner and there it was, so close to the fence and it turns out to be a female, not the male that we thought. She was with a male and about 6 other females and didn’t seem bothered by the car. What a perfect ending to a lovely weekend, fantastic!

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Swan Lake.

  1. Anna says:

    Oh it’s a small world Pauline – I’ve a brother who lives in Rickmansworth. The nature reserve looks a great spot for a family outing. Sounds as if you had a good weekend away and a great welcome home from the white pheasant. I like your new daffodil header heralding in the arrival of spring.

    • Pauline says:

      It certainly is a small world Anna. It was a lovely walk and seeing the signs that spring might be here at last, made me very happy. We were so lucky to see the pheasant so close, not at all frightened by the car, but if I had got out, she would have been off like a shot!

  2. wellywoman says:

    Sounds like a lovely weekend and glad to hear you got to enjoy the sun. I was away too, up in the north east visiting family. It was sunny there and quite warm on Saturday in sheltered spots. I love nature reserves like the one you visited, such great places for the whole family and a great way to get children interested in nature.

    • Pauline says:

      It was lovely WW seeing the sun after having such dull grey skies for so long. At the moment it is raining, but we do need it, it is so long since we had any. I think the nature reserve is mainly for animals, birds and fish that like the water, on land it is far too busy with us humans to attract birds and mammals, except perhaps for grey squirrels. The children were enjoying feeding the ducks, geese and swans.

  3. Wendy says:

    These are lovely photographs of swans; they are such beautiful birds. Wonderful, too, to see the trees and bushes begin to lose their bare, winter look. The white pheasant is fascinating; I’m glad that it’s with the other birds and not on its own.

    • Pauline says:

      Whenever we have seen the white pheasant Wendy, it has always been with one male and lots of other females.I wonder if it will breed or not? Today is quite a few degrees warmer, thank goodness and heavy rain up till now. The garden really did need the rain, we haven’t had any snow to melt into the ground, and the plants are looking a lot happier for it. We really enjoyed our weekend away, but it is nice being home once more!

  4. Cathy says:

    I’m glad you had such a lovely weekend Pauline and were able to walk up some other nice paths while you were away – it’s good to see Nature coming alive like this, isn’t it? I wonder what your white pheasant and her cronies were up to while you were away….?! 😉

    • Pauline says:

      I was getting so disheartened with all the freezing winds and frost Cathy, it was wonderful to see the new growth while we were away. This morning it has been raining hard and the garden looks so much better for it. While you all had snow to soak into the soil, we just had more and more frost making the ground like iron, it was so hard and dry, we really needed the rain this morning.
      I think Mrs white pheasant and her friends were probably eating more fritillaries while we were away, although we do have just a few white flowers that haven’t been touched!

  5. Caro says:

    I bet you couldn’t believe your luck, having lovely warming sunshine combined with a chance to get out and explore a bit of nature! It really felt as though spring had arrived here over the weekend, although I’d made other plans so was unable to get into the garden to make the most of it – typical!! I hope we get some rain this week, I’ve been thinking the soil here is beginning to look a bit parched and could do with a good soaking. I believe wet weather is forecast for tomorrow – I shall probably be the only person in the country saying “Good!”

    • Pauline says:

      It was lovely to be away Caro, and to find the weather just that bit warmer than at home. Seeing all the new shoots on various plants was wonderful after all the dreadful weather we had all been having, I felt that spring was on her way at last!
      We had some very welcome rain this morning, and what a difference it has made to the plants here. Not having any snow, the soil was so dry and with no rain for weeks now, the garden was just not looking very happy. I’ll join with you tomorrow, rain at the moment is very welcome.

  6. Alberto says:

    Hi Pauline! I’m glad you had a nice weekend out with your family. Spring seems to start very lazy and shy this year but eventually it’s here.
    That white pheasant is beautiful, I’ve never seen a white one. The picture, though, is very funny as the pheasant seems as small as a sparrow, walking on the timber fence rather than behind… Well I’ve never seen a white sparrow either… 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Spring is very late here Alberto, but better late than never, as the saying goes. There are signs of life here, back at home, which are very promising, hopefully new growth will continue and the garden will look as it should once more.
      The white pheasant is rather beautiful, as you say, but she is about 20ft beyond the fence, not sitting on it! She was with lots of other females, but she was the only one that stood out against the soil, the others all blended in beautifully, very well camouflaged.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Glad you had a nice visit Pauline. Just learned of Coltsfoot for the first time this week. Guess it is its season.

    • Pauline says:

      It was good Susie to see our son and dil again and to go for a nice walk in the spring sunshine, without any frost! When I got back home and looked up Coltsfoot in my wild flower book, I found that it is one of the earliest spring flowers to appear, they are usually over by April but as we have had it so cold, everything is at least a month behind.

  8. Isn’t it lovely to see signs of spring at last. The reserve looks like a great place for a walk, and how fantastic to see that white pheasant.

    • Pauline says:

      It is so lovely to see the new growth Paula, after all the frost that we have had recently. There are three lakes at the reserve, so we must walk round one of the others next time we visit. The white pheasant seems to live on the field next to us, we have seen her a few times, but usually on the other side of the field, we were lucky we were so close.

  9. Annie_H says:

    Think we were all revelling in the sunshine at the weekend, sounds like a lovely walk.
    Great picture of the white pheasant.

    • Pauline says:

      The weather has changed now Annie, rain today, but it was lovely to enjoy the sunshine at the weekend after all the previous freezing winds. We quite often see the pheasant with others on the field, but this was the first time she had been close enough to photograph, we were passing at just the right time!

  10. Sounds like a lovely way to spend some time. Love the white pheasant, how extraordinary.

    • Pauline says:

      It was a lovely weekend Janet, we really enjoyed it! We have seen the pheasant a few times since then, but not so close to the fence.

Comments are closed.