Saturday, 6 October 2012

Autumn has set in seriously, and the holly trees have a particularly rich crop of berries this year. Good news for the many birds that eat them, though usually the voracious Wood Pigeons get most of them.

The Mute Swan on the Long Water who has found a new mate was now taking proper notice of her. While they were being romantic, a Little Grebe cruised prosaically by. But grebes, like swans, mate for life and have their own displays to strengthen the bond.

On the Serpentine, a collection of gulls was having a noisy dispute.  The Black-Headed Gull, top right, having snatched a piece of bread from someone who was feeding swans, was harassed into dropping it by a first-year Lesser Black-Backed Gull, top left, and a Herring Gull, bottom left, while another young Lesser Black-Backed Gull, bottom right, dived to catch it and missed it by a fraction. Looking through the viewfinder, I didn't see which one got the bread in the end, but it was certainly one of the big gulls.

On top of the Albert Memorial,  a couple of Starlings took advantage of the angels. The sculptural riot on this amazing structure caters for all kinds of birds, and for several years a pair of Kestrels nested and bred somewhere near the top. A pair of Kestrels has been seen in the area several times this year too, but they seem to have nested somewhere else.

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