Posted by: mynaturaldiary | October 28, 2008

Baroque birds

A trip away to Blenheim Palace, donated by a grateful nation to John (never lost a battle, never lost a siege) Churchill, First Duke of Marlborough.  It’s one of the Baroque wonders of the world, and well worth a visit. Nature takes second place here, but still effortlessly decorates the opulence. These pair of resting Mallards apppear to be part of the Water Terraces, in the wonderful gardens.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Meanwhile, Vanbrugh’s vision of “a marshy brook formed into a lake” traversed by the “finest bridge in Europe” is now home to many wetland birds.  I hear the Canadian Geese call across the water, but my eye is drawn by another occupant.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus).

Later in the Blenheim Maze, we become lost trying to find the central feature, winged Mercury born aloft by Venturus, the zephyr of the west wind.

In such times you need a scout, and who better than a Robin, which peeks over the hedges, showing the way out.

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

A pied wagtail. spotted on one of the ornamental lawns makes its way across the green.

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

Finally some shots of the grounds in the fine setting sun on a clear autumnal day.

Trees in the grounds,

followed by the victory column of the Duke of Marlborough,

celebrating his famous victories, 300 years on.

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