Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Another frustrating search for the Red-Breasted Flycatcher. It is not an easy place to see, since the trees in which it was found are surrounded by bushes, and it is very close to the noisy Bayswater Road. I though I heard a snatch of song through the roar of the traffic, and waited for more, but that was the last I heard. Will keep trying.
Returning to more ordinary birds, the male ducks of several species are in full eclipse, and can only be told from females by the colour of their bills. Here is a male Mandarin,
and a male Red Crested Pochard, whose striking red bill stands out sharply from his drab beige plumage. Sorry about the poor photograph, but it would not come near enough for a good shot.
This Mallard drake, the mate of the black and white duck illustrated a while ago, has also become almost monochrome himself. Here he preens his wings, where you can see the new primary and secondary feathers growing.
It is going to be a better year for Mallards than previous years. Several broods are now grown to the point where they are reasonably safe from Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, and have only the ordinary dangers to face on their way to adulthood. It is remarkable how the big gulls are staying on the Serpentine and hardly going to the Long Water at all.
This young Robin has just grown his first red feather.