Saturday, 15 September 2012
A couple of the male Mallards on the Long Water have already come out of eclipse and grown their fine new plumage and iridescent green heads. These feathers will now have to last till next summer.
On the Round Pond, the female Mallard who had the late brood has still managed to keep eight ducklings, now half grown. I have no idea how she did it in this exposed place ravaged by gulls.
One of the eldest of this year's young Great Crested Grebes was fishing by itself, though it hardly looks old enough to cope. Nevertheless, it must be catching enough to live on.
And on the Lido, an adult grebe was preeening itself unconcernedly as several swimmers passed within a few feet of it. They are so agile in the water that they get out of the way in a split second if necessary. I think they find humans so slow and clumsy as not to seem a threat.
I have not seen a single Pied Wagtail since the start of the Olympics. These birds used to be very common, a daily sight in Hyde Park, sometimes alone running along the edge of the lake, sometimes in larger numbers on the Parade Ground. But the Parade Ground is now completely devastated, and it seems that the birds have left completely rather than find a new home. There is no shortage of them in the surrounding area, and in particular you often see them in Queensway where they hunt the numerous insects that feed on the garbage from the many restaurants in this street. The few Grey Wagtails, which have their base in the Dell, are unaffected.