Wednesday, 10 May 2017
Mason bees and Moorhen chicks
I spotted these mason bees collecting wet mud from the bank of a stream on the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve. Red mason bees make their nest in natural holes, or in man-made tubes such as a bee hotel. Within the tube the bees make cells from the mud, depositing an egg and pollen/nectar. This will be next years generation.
Click this link to see my other blog entries on red mason bees feeding and nesting in my garden
On the same day I also observed a moorhen family on the Leighside Pond (woodland pond) at the Lewes Railway Land Nature Reserve. The average size number of chicks seen at the reserve is four, but this family only had two chicks.
The tiny chicks fluffy chicks are quite independent, often swimming off on their own. The parents are busy collecting food and feeding the chicks which call to the parents when they want to be fed. This is different to ducks where the female leads the chicks to food which they then feed themselves.
Moorhens often have two broods each year and sometimes the grown up chicks from the first brood actually help look after the second brood, which is very unusual for a bird.