Monday, 3 October 2016

The number of Cormorants on the lake is rising sharply, a sign that this year's young fish have reached an interesting size. The Cormorants will stay till they have reduced the fish to numbers that are no longer worth hunting for. These seven were on the posts at Peter Pan, and altogether there were about a dozen.

The Great Crested Grebes are not much affected by this onslaught, since most of the fish the Cormorants are taking are too large for them. Here a chick goes into a shallow dive on its way to take a fish from a parent.

Young grebes can probably swim faster submerged than on the surface, because when they are higher in the water their feet tend to break the surface, which is inefficient. Adult grebes swimming as fast as they can without using their wings adopt a slightly nose-up attitude like a speedboat, which keeps their feet under the water.

Two Shovellers, both immature males, were heading up the Long Water to a place near the Italian Garden where it seems that there is more food to shovel up than elsewhere. There aren't many Shovellers on the lake yet -- I could only find six.

One of the two young Mute Swans from the nest on the reed raft was having a flap. I haven't seen them trying to fly yet. They are younger than the ones on the Long Water.

A Hybrid Canada--Greylag Goose was having a frantic wash and had turned upside down, waving its grey legs in the air.

The rescued Grey Heron was on the roof of the Dell restaurant, looking for leftovers on an unoccupied table.

This Herring Gull's orange plastic ring, L4NT, is from the North Thames Gull Group. But who knows, it may have been farther afield. I've reported it, so we shall know soon.

At the Lido restaurant, Starlings and Feral Pigeons were competing for a dropped brownie.

Another Starling, unobserved by the others, had found a bit of pizza and was enjoying it in a dark corner under a bush.

Two Wrens were chattering at each other in a patch of scrub at the foot of Buck Hill.

The female Little Owl near the leaf yard was sunning herself on the nest tree.

There are still plenty of dragonflies: Migrant Hawkers over the Long Water near the Italian Garden, and Common Darters in the Dell. This one was on the edge of the pool at the top of the waterfall.


  1. The Hybrid Goose appears to be quite adept at synchronized swimming, judging by the position of its legs in the air. Perhaps next time it'll make the Olympic team. Who won the Starlings vs Feral Pigeons match?

    1. One of the Starlings managed to pick up the brownie -- no mean feat -- and fly off with it.

  2. "Spot the Starling?"...if it wasn't for the bit of pizza, the Starling's plumage blends in very well with the coloured pebbles in the cement...nice photo!!!

    1. It's surprising, isn't it? They are so bright in the sunshine.