The Scaup on the Round Pond came right in to the edge today.
If you compare this picture with those taken when he first appeared, especially the close view on 14 January, you will see how much his adult plumage has developed during this time. Four weeks ago he had only a small patch of vermiculated feathers on his back, and no white feathers on his sides.
A male Tufted Duck on the Serpentine was stretching his neck up in a display that is supposed to make him attractive to the female. Unimpressed, she swam straight on.
The gang of four sibling Canada-Greylag hybrid geese, which I had though was reduced to three, is intact, and here they all are near the Bluebird boat hire platform, obligingly in the same frame -- though I had to rush around for ten minutes to catch them together.
On the far side of the Serpentine a Common Gull was chasing a Carrion Crow, trying to make it drop the food it was holding. This often works, especially when attacking smaller Black-Headed Gulls. But the crow dodged adroitly and settled in a tree out of harm's way to enjoy its meal.
On the Long Water the new tern raft has been built and launched. Although this is a very boring picture you can see that, unlike the previous one, it is well designed, with plenty of buoyancy so that it can be covered with shingle and small round stones, and a couple of shelters for baby terns, maybe ridge tiles or breezeblocks set on edge. Note the angled deck and the drain holes to keep the surface dry, the divisions on the deck to keep the stones evenly spread, and the clear plastic fence which, unlike a netting one, can't be climbed by Coots, Moorhens, or possible mammal predators -- rats can swim a long way if they have a reason to.
A Wren was climbing the trunk of an oak tree near the leaf yard with remarkable speed, almost as fast as a Treecreeper. It paused for a moment to allow a quick picture.
The male Tawny Owl was not out in the middle of the day, and I had to come back at 3.45, when the light was failing on a dull grey afternoon. On the way I passed the plane trees where the Redwings forage, and found one pulling up a worm.
And there was the owl, though it is a sadly dark and indistinct picture.