Wednesday, 11 September 2013

The Hobbies are still here -- I heard them calling somewhere near the Round Pond, but they had moved on by the time I arrived. So here is a splendid photograph taken yesterday morning by Andy Sunters. This is one of the young Hobbies; adults have a red patch on their belly around the feet.

Also at the Round Pond, the five young Mallards are now as big as their parents and their wings are almost fully grown. Only their brand-new appearance distinguishes them from their mother. At least two of them are just beginning to grow green feathers on their heads, which of course means that they are male.

And there were a dozen Pied Wagtails. They have been forced out of Hyde Park, large parts of which are now lost under vast, ugly and intrusive structures for a triathlon and a concert. Kensington Gardens is also blighted by a large favela for some wretched commercial exhibition west of the Albert Memorial. Everywhere you go your way is blocked by barriers. This is a shameful misuse of what is supposed to be a peaceful place for the public to relax in.

Birds don't care about humans and their barriers. A young Grey Heron was enjoying a shower in the marble fountain in the Italian Garden.

And on the shore of the Long Water, a female Red Crested Pochard has having a flap to settle her wing feathers in place after preening them.

The Great Crested Grebe family at the east end of the Serpentine were having a hard time with Black-Headed Gulls, which were trying to snatch the fish that the parents were bringing to their three chicks.

However, the grebes were settled together in a tight bunch, and the gulls didn't succeed in their raids. When a grebe is bring food to its young, it dives frequently on the way so that raiding birds can't keep track of where it is.

One of the eldest brood of chicks was trying on a Zapata moustache made of water weed.

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