Sunday, 4 November 2012

The number of Egyptian Geese is increasing. There were 40 in Hyde Park, most of them in a large flock on the former Olympic site. The geese in the background are Greylags. Although the Egyptians are still less numerous than Greylags or Canadas, they are heading rapidly for equality.

The number of Greylags is highest in winter. There were already at least 150 to be seen on and around the Serpentine, but numbers can rise to over 400 in freezing weather. Some of them were enjoying the turbulent water in the Diana fountain on a chilly grey day when there were not many people in the park. The only humans in the Diana enclosure apart from me were another person photographing the geese and the security man, who might as well have gone home.

On a post near the Peter Pan statue, a young Cormorant gave me a penetrating stare as I photographed it.

Here is something I haven't seen before: a squirrel swimming in the Long Water, while a Great Crested Grebe regards it with curiosity.

When I first saw it, and before I examined it incredulously through binoculars, grabbed the camera and adjusted it for this very long shot, it was at least 30 feet out from the far shore, much too far for it to be there as a result of an accidental fall from a branch. It was heading directly to shore, and it seemed to have been swimming across the lake. As it neared the shore it turned right, evidently looking for a place where it could climb out. Eventually it found one and scrambled into a tree to dry its fur.

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