Friday, 7 September 2012
One of the Peregrine Falcons from the Metropole Hilton Hotel flew over Kensington Gardens near Lancaster Gate calling, to her mate I suppose, though I only got a brief glimpse of one of them. I have seen them in this area once before, when one flashed past in pursuit of a Feral Pigeon which managed to take refuge in a tree.
These Peregrines have never managed to breed, as far as I know. There are only eight known pairs of breeding Peregrines in London, out of a total of 17 territories. But numbers are increasing slowly.
A male Mandarin had returned to the Long Water, probably coming from the Regent's Canal, which is their favoured breeding ground. He was beginning to grow his fine breeding plumage, though he had not yet completed the Egyptian-style headdress or the strange 'sail' feathers sticking up from his back.
There was a peaceful scene on the south side of the Serpentine, with Greylag Geese wandering among picnickers cropping the short grass. But the harmony never lasts long, as some idiot with a dog off the leash comes past and lets his pet chase the geese.
In the lake, a Canada-Greylag hybrid goose was washing itsellf vigorously.
The solitary Mute Swan was sitting on his raft in the Long Water, as usual.
Two of the seven cygnets whose parents own the lake south of the raft came up the Long Water without their parents. The swan immediately launched himself at them and chased them the whole way back to the bridge. But all they have to do is to come back with their huge, aggressive father, and the poor lone swan will be forced back into his citadel.