Wednesday, 25 November 2015

A bunch of Ring-Necked Parakeets were milling around on the path near Peter Pan, apparently picking something up. I couldn't see any food there, so probably they were collecting grit, as birds do to help them mash up food in their crops. But they could have chosen a less busy place to do it.

A few moments of sunshine started a Mistle Thrush singing in the top of a lime tree on Buck Hill.

Song Thrushes sing quite readily on sunny winter days, Mistle Thrushes and Blackbirds much less so.

There were plenty of Jays in the leaf yard waiting to be given peanuts.

The Black Swan and his girlfriend were being followed by the girlfriend's brother. The Black Swan didn't like this and chased the brother off, pushing him right up to the far end of the Serpentine.

While I was watching this I met some people from California who had come to see the Little Owls. Sadly, these were not to be found. But they also wanted to see a Pochard. There were none on the Long Water, where there may be 40 winter migrants on one day and none the next. Luckily the handful of resident Pochards at the island are much more reliable, and we found this female resting on the edge.

The Teal is now growing adult feathers on his back. I hope he stays for long enough for us to see the complete transformation, as we did with the Scaup earlier this year.

The Cormorants fishing in the baskets near the bridge have a peculiar technique. They cruise over the top of the basket looking for a flash of silver. When they see it they lunge down into the basket, and their forward momentum causes them to make a complete somersault. It looks most undignified, but it works well.

A young Herring Gull was watching the spectacle from a nearby post, waiting for the Cormorant to be slow swallowing a fish so that it could swoop in and grab it.

But Cormorants know about this, and swallow their fish in a fraction of a second as they surface.

The mild temperature and sunny intervals had brought several rabbits out around the Henry Moore sculpture to crop the grass. One paused for a moment to scratch its jaw.

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