Tuesday, 25 September 2012
It was the day for the monthly bird count around the lake. Everything was much as expected, and the number of Cormorants is now up to 28. I also saw both of the eldest brood of Great Crested Grebes -- I had only seen one for some time and feared that the other had had an accident, so it was a relief.
One of the juvenile Hobbies was in the same lime tree as before -- see the blog post for Sunday 23 September. But the only place from which it could be seen was straight into the sun, so I couldn't get a photograph. I didn't see the other one, but it was probably in the same tree hidden by leaves. The Swallows and House Martins that the parents were hunting have moved on and are probably in France by now on their journey south, though I saw a couple of House Martin stragglers in Kensington Gardens.
The three young Moorhens in the Italian Garden ponds have now got working wings. One made a short flight of a few feet. It is only a short time since I remarked on their pathetic little featherless wings -- how fast they have grown.
A young Grey Heron was also learning adult skills, prospecting for rats in a bramble patch on Buck Hill. It didn't get any, and flew off.
At the Dell restaurant, one of the killer Lesser Black-Backed Gulls was planning his lunch. This pigeon was eventually scared into the air but got away. They are more agile than big gulls and can out-turn them to escape.
Here is another fine picture by Paul Sawford of the familiar sight of a Coot chasing another across the water, half flying, half running.