Wednesday, 26 September 2012
The male Tawny Owl was seen this morning, sitting in his favourite place in the horse chestnut tree where they have their nest. A Hobby was also in its usual lime tree 50 yards away, again infuriatingly impossible to photograph because it could only be seen by looking directly into the sun.
I saw 38 Cormorants, ten more than yesterday. Most of them were in a bunch at the Serpentine island. Another three were flying over. Here are some of them clustered darkly round the last Great Crested Grebes' nest of the season. The eggs should be hatching soon, but what will happen with these sinister attendants is hard to predict.
At the bridge, the grebe family with four young were having a hard time too. Here one of the young, who has just been given a fish, dives hastily to avoid a raid by a Black-Headed Gull.
The five Gadwall are still at the top of the Long Water near the Italian Garden. The male of this pair has now finished growing his finely vermiculated breeding plumage.
And nearby in the shrubbery, I saw this interesting little skewbald rat. It would not be correct to describe it as piebald, which means black and white, like a magpie. It was with its mother and a sibling, both of them a normal all-over brown.