Sunday, 28 October 2012
There is a place in the Serpentine near the bridge, at the south end of the line of posts that cross the lake, where for some reason fish are particularly plentiful. The Great Crested Grebe family from the bridge have been making good use of it, but today they were pushed out by a Cormorant. A few minutes later another Cormorant arrived and attacked the first one, and there was a fast-moving fight, mostly underwater. I managed to snatch one blurred shot as they broke surface for a moment.
The Tawny Owl was in his usual beech tree, though as usual very hard to get a clear sight of.
There was a brief glimpse of a Kingfisher crossing the Long Water near the Peter Pan statue. These birds are seen only occasionally, but always in this area. I have seen them more often on the Grand Union Canal, and it is possible that they visit the lake from the canal near Paddington Station.
All three Little Grebes were visible together, which is unusual. They were near the fallen horse chestnut tree, just allowing a distant shot to be taken from the Italian Garden.
If the weather gets seriously cold there will be more of them, as they come to the Long Water when their usual small ponds freeze. There is a place where the water comes out of the borehole to feed the lake which never freezes, even in the iciest weather, and the local Little Grebes seem to know about this and use it as a place of last resort.
At the Round Pond there was yet another Canada-Greylag hybrid goose, this time with yellow feet and traces of yellow on the bill. The colours of these hybrids are extraordinarily variable, though the species of their parents is never in doubt.
The very late brood of Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond is down to six from the original ten, but the survivors are now big enough to be out of danger from gulls. Here they are huddled up for warmth in the cold wind, and one of them has a yawn before settling down to sleep.