Thursday, 26 July 2012
A young Jay made an appearance in the hazel thicket at the bottom of the leaf yard. It is just growing its adult face, with a fierce painted-on moustache like a Kathakali dancer, but still has that tatty, elderly look of an adolescent bird. Birds start off grey; we end up grey.
Both families of Great Crested Grebes from the island were out on the water. Here a parent bird with young on its back is passed by the Greylag Goose family.
The two grebe families were in sight of each other and, as always when this happens, started squabbling about territory. But there are plenty of small fish and it was too hot to quarrel, so they just exchanged a few insults and threatening gestures, backed off from the borderline, and went on feeding their chicks.
Here one of the Coots at the outflow of the lake climbs up his newly made ramp. The plaintive cries of chicks could be heard echoing in the cavernous space behind, but so far they have not emerged. And why should they? They are safe from gulls and their parents are feeding them.
The Black-Headed Gull with the ring mentioned here on 18 July came close enough for me to take photographs. It was obliging enough to shift its stance, allowing almost the whole number to be seen. It is almost certainly EX63693, only the last figure being unclear because of the angle.
This is one of several gulls that Roy Sanderson ringed in Hyde Park in December 2011. If the last figure is 3, it was seen later in Bushy Park before it headed off to its breeding site, probably in the Netherlands or Scandinavia, and here it is back home for the winter.
A reminder: if you get even a partial view of a gull's ring number, please put it in the comments here and Roy may be able to tell you about it.