Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Standing in the rain, this Black-Headed Gull was looking thoroughly bedraggled.

Normally gulls are waterproof; maybe this one was out of condition and was not producing enough preen oil to maintain its plumage properly.

The Great Black-Backed Gull was on the raft on the Long Water for the third day running. But when I passed by later it had gone, and there was a Grey Heron on the raft instead (almost all the park birds land on it apart from terns). I didn't see the gull flying over the lake with its unique heavy action, but these gulls have a habit of leaving the park for a couple of days and then coming back.

Across the road from the Italian Garden, some Carrion Crows were playing in the updraught at the top of the tall Royal Lancaster hotel.

They love gusty winds, and tumble about in the air cawing with the joy of flight. One of the best places to see this is the Thames between the Royal Hospital Gardens and Battersea Park. The colony of crows here lives on both sides of the river, and they keep crossing it, and when a strong wind blows up the river the air is full of aerobatic crows.

The three young Great Crested Grebes at the Serpentine bridge are now almost as large as their parents -- they look bigger than they are because they are still covered in fluffy down. Here one of them takes a fish, managing to swallow it a split second before the inevitable attempt by a Black-Headed Gull to grab it.

At the Round Pond, a Pied Wagtail was having a bath.

There are still a lot of Pied Wagtails here, rushing around the edge of the pond uttering their distinctive flight song.

And as usual there are plenty of Starlings, which streak over the pond in a unanimous flock the moment they see someone feeding the waterfowl. A moment of late sunlight lit up this one's beautiful iridescent plumage.

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