Last weekend was my first visit to the WWT site at Llanelli for a good long while. The various lagoons and scrapes were relatively quiet with just the usual culprits present. It seems so much emptier without the vast flocks of Wigeon and Lapwing that can be found here at other times of the year. I wasn’t really there for the variety though as I wanted to see how successful this years breeding has been. For one species at least it has been a bumper year with the main pools filled with juvenile Greylag Geese of various sizes. They were both swimming in the water and hauled up on the concrete beneath the windows of the Boardwalk hide. At one point a family group were clambering over each other in an effort to get comfortable and to keep cosy.
Also showing well were both juvenile Coots and Moorhens. The young of these two species are very similar to each other and must rate up there with some of the least attractive offspring in the bird world. They do have a certain charm about them though and its always nice to root for the underdog so I spent some time trying to capture both. The Coots put on a particularly good performance with both adults feeding their single chick repeatedly, all in full view of the camera. The problem was actually capturing them in the process as it all happens very quickly.
The Moorhen chick was one of a brood of four that again were being fed by one of their parents. Unfortunately the feeding this time was taking place out of view allowing only fleeting glimpses. The one chick that I did get a picture of appears to have a pretty awesome white moustache developing!
Last but not least we come to the ‘humbug’, otherwise known as a juvenile Shellduck. There weren’t as many around as I have seen in years past but this one was very close.
The Black Headed Gulls are also breeding very well, including for the very first time on the small island in front of the Observatory hide. There are loads of chicks across all the pools, calling noisily and being fed by their even noisier parents. If you want any peace and quiet then this really isn’t the place at the moment.