Waddling Squirrels and Nesting Grebes – Lymm Dam

by Russ on August 29, 2012

A short drive from the middle of Manchester is the charming village of Lymm. The village offers great strolls and sights including a fascinating war memorial. Lymm is also unique as within a stones throw from the village centre is the Lymm Dam, a tranquil and peaceful setting for walkers and nature lovers.

Great Crested Grebes at Lymm are using fresh green grasses to form their nest.With the large amount of rain we’ve had this Summer the dam is currently extremely high, giving visitors the perfect opportunity  to witness the overflows and waterfalls at full force. The waters are clear and if you watch for long enough you will be able to spot the lazy shapes of large fish beneath the surface slowing meandering their way through the dangling tree branches. Out in the middle of the water are also a pair of Great Crested Grebes who have just completed a nest.

Surrounding the water is a perfect mixture of dense forest and open lawns. It was here that an age old question can finally be answered. Ok maybe not an age old question but it still stands – how do squirrels move on the ground? If you’ve ever seen a squirrel moving around on the floor it most likely bounded along fairly quickly. It seems the squirrels of Lymm are slightly more laid back.

Instead of wasting energy hopping, these squirrels prefer to slowly ‘waddle’  across the forest floor, making sure not to let their tails touch the ground. They seem to have little fear of people and are very curious (whilst being cautious), slowly walking within a few feet, standing on hind legs and giving you an expectant look.

If you’re looking for a peaceful getaway from the busy city, check out Lymm Dam. You can use the postcode WA13 9NJ which will take you directly to Lymm. Park up and head South and you’ll find the dam easily.

Your Wildlife Spot

Six Mute Swan Signets at the canal, Bury.

This week’s Wildlife Spot comes from Bernie who took some pictures of a family group of Mute Swans on the canal in    Bury. Mute swans are the only year long resident swan species in the UK and as a general rule, male and female do pair up for life. Signets like these will stay with their parents for six months before the adults chase them away to reduce competition for future broods.

It’s worth noting that, as far as I know, nobody has ever suffered from a broken arm from a swan’s wing. The closest anybody has come was a researcher who received a broken nose during a swan census. If you have a story of cheeky swans (or have ever got on the wrong side of one) feel free to leave a comment below sharing your story.

Keep your pictures coming in and you may well appear in future blogs.




{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

bernie September 3, 2012 at 6:16 pm

The Lymm Dam sounds like an attractive place – will give it a visit.

I was out walking last week (28/8/12) and came across a a sighting of mallard ducks when I was walking down the River Hodder in the Ribble Valley.

The path ran between the river on the left and a farmers field on the right and I saw two big “flocks” of mallards, one on the river bank and also one in the field. (is that the right term for a lot of ducks ?)

I have never seen so many ducks in one group and I was wondering if it is usual to see so many together ?

Talking with somebody else in the group, they said they thought the farmer was “farming” the mallards – again is that usual ?

I have emailed you two pics – one of the river ducks and one of the field ducks.



Russ September 7, 2012 at 10:12 am

Hi Bernie,

At this time of year mallards are going through their yearly moult, when the birds lose their old set of feathers and grow a new one. As a result this means the can’t fly terribly well and tend to be fairly inactive. We’ve had a few questions asking where all the male mallards have disappeared to but in reality they haven’t gone anywhere, they simply look just like the females. This could be for camourfladge as during the moult, birds are in greater need of camouflage from predators.

However, in your case I think your friend is right and these are farm ducks. In the next blog I’ll post your picture to demonstrate, but the breast and body of the ducks you saw are much bulkier so I would guess they are a domestic breed of mallard. By the size of them they look like they’re being bred for meat, as the larger breeds aren’t generally prolific egg layers.

Hope this answers your question, stay tuned to see you pictures in the next blog,



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