Saturday, 28 July 2012
Four families of Blackbirds today, a good number. After an influx of Blackbirds last autumn, numbers seem to be holding up, so the rapid decline in population that has affected this park uniquely may be arrested or even reversed. One of the families was enjoying the dark red plums on a tree beside the little path that leads down from the Triangle car park to the Serpentine. Normally people pick these plums, which are small but tasty; but this year they are behind the Olympic barrier and only birds can reach them. There was a Song Thrush in the same tree.
Here a female Blackbird emerges from the shrubbery to have a rest from feeding her young and attend to her feathers. She is well camouflaged among the leaf litter.
One doesn't normally think of Grey Herons as birds that use camouflage: their way of remaining unnoticed is to stand stock still. But here are three herons in the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water, and they are remarkably difficult to see.
Both families of Great Crested Grebes at the Serpentine island are doing well.
They will probably have to move when the wild rumpus starts on the lake. There are now plenty of small fish in the Long Water, but they will have to take the territory of the pair near the bridge who have not nested, but are behaving quite fiercely -- see yesterday's picture. The grebe nesting on the fallen poplar bravely remained on her nest yesterday when the man operating the weed-clearing machine came recklessly close to them, and I am glad to say that the pair are are still there today.
The family of Greylag Geese were efficiently begging for food at the Lido restaurant.
Note: Elizabeth mentioned yesterday that she had rediscovered how to enlarge the photographs on this blog for a better view. For any readers who don't know, all you have to do is click on any picture. You will be taken to a page with a black background, and can view all the day's pictures by scrolling up or down with the mouse wheel, or clicking on the thumbnails at the bottom. To close this page and return to the text, click the X in the top right corner.