Thursday, 20 September 2012
Two Little Owls were calling to each other in the leaf yard. As usual, they were completely invisible in the foliage. Winter may bring another chance of a sighting of these elusive birds.
The number of Cormorants on the lake continues to rise. There were about 20 today, divided between the Serpentine and the Long Water. Here is a mob of them on the Serpentine island, some of them unusually standing among the trees. Perhaps they were sheltering from the autumn wind on this grey day. Since their feathers are not waterproof, they may get a bit chilled until they have dried out; they certainly take advantage of any sunlight to spread their wings.
Some people were feeding a family of Mute Swans when a Grey Heron tried to creep in and grab some food. It was promptly chased away by one of the young swans, though it could easily have retaliated with its terrible beak.
At the top of the waterfall in the Dell, a young Moorhen was taking a drink on the brink. I don't think I've ever seen a Moorhen fall off anything.
The youngest Great Crested Grebe chick was being fed near the place where people used to fish.
Now that the stocks of fish have returned to something like normal (as the Cormorants know), we should see fishermen returning to this spot. They don't catch much, but it is really a form of meditation anyway. I have often seen Great Crested Grebes come close to the fishermen and negligently hoover up one fish after another as if mocking their lack of skill. But it is probably because the fishermen had been throwing ground bait into the water to attract fish.