Saturday, 8 September 2012

There are now three Little Grebes on the Long Water, happily swimming and diving together without making a fuss about territory. I could not get all three of them in the same picture.

The male Mandarin who appeared yesterday now has a mate. But her new flight feathers do not seem to have grown enough for her to have flown in -- unlike the male, whose wings are fully grown. Evidently she has been lurking on the Long Water over the summer unnoticed, or perhaps both of them have. I am surprised not to have seen them during this time, as I look along the edge of the lake with binoculars every day. But there is plenty of cover in which they could remain invisible.

The widower Mute Swan at the top of the Long Water was pressing home his claim for more territory. The female swan from the Lido turned up with four of her teenage cygnets, and he sailed down with his wings raised to make a towering galleon of himself, and managed to keep her from advancing past the Vista.

While the two adults were circling each other, the young swans also raised their wings rather tentatively. They are new to the territorial game, but they are learning how it is played. However, it is only a matter of time before the male from the Lido turns up with his mate and all their young, and they will surely drive the solitary swan back up the lake.

It was a hot day, and a Great Tit was sunbathing on a twig.

And a Chiffchaff and a Coal Tit, fooled into thinking it was still summer, had started singing again.

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