Friday, 20 July 2012
The Great Crested Grebes nesting on the Long Water were calling excitedly to each other and displaying their crests. I could see no reason for this, but it is possible that their eggs are beginning to hatch. It's a pity that this spectacle happens at such a distance, which makes a good photograph impossible.
The grebe family on the Serpentine were also rushing around, and both chicks were being fed by their father. He was catching a small fish every time he dived, about twice a minute, so there is now no shortage of food for the young. He was clearly getting bored with his solitary labour, and stopped from time to time to call his mate, with the 'aaaAAAaaa' call that in the language of Great Crested Grebes means 'Come here.' But she was nowhere to be seen.
On the Long Water, one of the male Red Crested Pochards in eclipse came over with his mate. As you can see, they now have almost exactly the same plumage, and you can only tell the male by his bright red bill. He will be regrowing his usual showy plumage quite soon.
Opposite the Peter Pan statue, a Grey Heron stood indifferently in a line of Black-Headed Gulls, some of which were playing their usual game of knocking each other off the fence posts. I don't know whether this is caused by high-ranking birds pushing the lower-ranking ones away, or whether it is just a general display of aggression.
The young Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond are trying their new wings, flapping across the water trying to get airborne. None of them managed it while I was there. It is a poignant moment, because seven of the ten will be able to fly and three, which suffer from the 'angel wing' deformity, will not, and don't have much of a life to look forward to. Here one of the unlucky ones thrashes desperately to no avail.