Friday, 28 September 2012

On a grey drizzly day a couple of late Swallows were passing through, followed by about 20 House Martins.

There was another Canada Goose with a speckled head, whiter than the one previously seen on 9 August. Again, it seemed to be a pure-bred Canada, normal in all its other markings and with the usual black feet, unlike the grey feet of hybrids.

One of the young Mute Swans was flying by itself, for practice or just enjoying the novel sensation. It managed a reasonably smooth landing. ('Landing' is not the word, but English does not have a word for coming down on water. French does: amerissage.) They are restricting their early flights to a low altitude safely over water, and quite right too.

Here is one of the pair of young Great Crested Grebes, almost grown up and looking supremely elegant in the water ...

... and much less so when it takes a walk along the edge of the Serpentine.

Although they seem clumsy and helpless when out of the water, they can actually run. In December 2010, when the lake was frozen, I saw a Great Crested Grebe running briskly across the ice between two patches of clear water. It fell over once in its 50-yard run, but to be fair it was on a slippery surface and other birds were falling over too.


  1. Lovely commentary and pictures as ever. I miss you all a lot. Let's hope I can get out tomorrow. But perhaps I will be too late to see the Hobbies?

  2. I saw a pair of Egyptian geese, I think, with about 5 newborn goslings on Tue 26 Sept at 7am heading from near the Albert Memorial to the Round Pond. The male was on top of a 15 foot tree stump ahead of the family, blowing noise loudly, presumably directing them. The mother was quacking very loudly. I assume that this would be a second brood.

    1. Sorry: I meant "Wed 26 Sept"

    2. Might even have been a third brood. The incompetent Egyptian Geese that you often see around the Henry Moore thing -- the female has no brown eye patch -- have hatched and lost three broods this year. Failing just makes them start again. Will go the Round Pond tomorrow and see what there is.

    3. Thank you for the information. I know nothing about Geese, and I made the comment because I thought it might be unusual - being so late in the year, and likely to fail. Thank you for reassuring me. Your blog is fascinating.