Monday, 1 October 2012
There were Hobbies in both corners of the park: one sitting in the usual lime tree in Kensington Gardens, the other hunting near Hyde Park Corner. Roy Sanderson said that their continued presence probably means that they had nested nearby, rather than merely having halted for a while on their migration to Africa.
No more Shovellers have arrived for the winter yet, but they will not be long in coming. Roy also told me that a Shoveller he had ringed in Hyde Park in March 1986 was shot in Arkhangelsk in northern Russia, on the far shore of the White Sea, having travelled almost 3000 km within two months.
The three Little Grebes can still be seen. There are never very many on the lake, as there is not enough cover for them to be comfortable. Sometimes you see one hurrying between the Long Water and the Serpentine island, diving instantly when a big gull comes near. Here is one poking around the reeds by the Italian Garden. Not only do the stems support small aquatic invertebrates, there are also quite a lot of small fish lurking among them.
Near the Serpentine island, a Black-Headed Gull was harassing a Coot for no apparent reason, since it was not carrying any food. It is rather sad that Coots seem to be disliked by all other species -- even, it must be said, by each other. But that is the price of being so aggressive.
A male Blackbird in a bush near the Diana fountain, having eaten some berries in a bush, was preening his wings.
And on the Serpentine a male Common Pochard was giving his wings a good flap to settle the feathers in place.