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.