Life on the dam has been intriguing in the last 10 days. The two diligent adults fed and protected the remaining four young until last Saturday (almost two weeks since they emerged from the nest). On Saturday morning I heard a loud and seemingly urgent cry from an adult, and I went out to investigate. I could not see any chicks. The male (I presumed) was standing on a heap of reeds he had crushed down near the stepping stones, calling loudly and sharply. I searched both dams and the lily pond but could not find the other adult. Eventually two chicks appeared, and over time the other two also returned. I have not seen the missing adult at all.
What has happened? Was he calling his lost family? Or was he declaring his territory, and protecting the female who has gone to nest again? Only time will tell. Meanwhile here are photos from the past week, 9th -14th February. One exciting event unphotographed was the adult suddenly rushing to the stepping stones where a small red-bellied black snake was crossing the dam. The Moorhen sounded a warning cry and pecked the snake who looked very pained and scuttled for safety!