Sunday, 8 July 2012
There was another family of Greylag Geese with three goslings on the Serpentine, never too young to start begging for food from the visitors.
A Mute Swan that got too close was promptly seen off.
There is also a Song Thrush family in the shrubbery between the Diana fountain and the bridge. Uncertain how many young birds there were, since they were kept well in cover while their mother foraged and their father sang, but judging from the cheeping noises there were at least two and probably three. These birds are perfectly camouflaged as they hop around in the leaf litter.
The Great Crested Grebe family were again on the south side of the Serpentine island, the side away from the land. There are only two chicks now, but they are growing fast and will soon be out of danger from gulls. The young are very noticeable with their loud piping cries, but can dive in a flash when threatened. All grebes are very vocal, since they may find themselves separated by hundreds of yards after a dive, and have to keep in touch. They are also keen-eyed. The chicks can certainly distinguish their parents from other adults at least 50 yards away. You can tell this when several families are near each other, because the chicks fall silent when their parents dive and start calling for food as soon as they reappear.
Returning to the subject of the information that can be gained from reading birds' rings, Roy Sanderson reports that a Black-Headed Gull which he ringed here on 11 January 2012, and was subsequently reported as still here by a member of the public on 1 February, was found in Rotterdam in the Netherlands on 27 February -- 200 miles away in straight line but it had probably wandered about considerably on the way.