Blackheath duck pond is close enough to my garden to be my personal water feature. Hardly a day goes by without me wandering past it.
The traction engine below was used to excavate the original dams, which evolved into the pond. The dams were used to hold water for steam trains on the Great Western Rail Line.
Many years ago the council begged some mallard ducks from Bathurst to stock the pond…and nearly went broke feeding them on wheat. They would have been better off waiting for the beautiful native wood ducks to arrive and multiply.
A Little Pied Cormorant is a regular visitor. Never seems to catch much as far as I can tell. Maybe it eats underwater.
This fellow seems to live the most lonely and tedious life. It sits at the same spot 90% of the time, on a little wooden ‘landing’. I have never seen any sign of a partner. No wonder he (or she) often looks fed up.
The pond is surrounded by trees, many of them deciduous.
AS THE DAYS SHORTEN….
All too soon, winter arrives at the pond.
THE TEMPERATURE CREEPS LOWER AND LOWER
Those frosty morning arrive, adding another form of beauty,
In mid winter the pond actually freezes over. Look, someone ‘tested the waters’ with a tennis ball. Mind you, the Wimbledon final was on the night before I took this shot, so it might have been a wild shot from a very big hitter.
Takes all day to thaw sometimes.
It’s only July, but in the bare branches of the cherry trees blue wrens sit among buds that are already swelling.
If winter’s here can spring be far behind? The wood ducks have paired up and will soon be looking for a tree hollow to nest in. Eventually, another little brood will fledge and be escorted to the pond.
UPDATE – OCTOER 2020 Sadly, the condition of the duckpond has greatly deteriorated in the last 12 months. My queries to council have gone unanswered, but I understand there are ‘multiple issues.’ I would be happier if they even removed some of the rubbish before more extensive restoration. The giant rhododendrons are looking as magnificent as ever, and the swimming pool is being prepared for the summer season. Only the duckpond is a shameful blot; smelly and unsightly.
It is hard to imagine self-respecting wood ducks bringing their little ones here…..or humans bringing theirs for that matter.