Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Great Crested Grebe family at the Serpentine island have come back into sight after having to hide around the other side of the island because of the Grey Herons. Here their mother, sheltering under the stern of a boat, sees their father coming with something in his beak ...

 ... but it is not food, only a feather.

However, grebes, young and old, eat feathers to prevent their insides from being injured by fishbones, so one of the chicks is glad to take it.

Not much action otherwise as life quietens down for high summer. A few birds are still singing: I heard a Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, a Chaffinch and a Song Thrush.

On the edge of the pool in front of the Rima memorial a Carrion Crow was feeding a young bird.

The relief of Rima, by Jacob Epstein, commemorates the naturalist W.H. Hudson, whose contribution to the list of birds in the park is mentioned in the right column of this blog.

He was also a co-founder of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds in 1889. The monument describes him as a 'Writer and Field Naturalist', and the fact that he is commemorated here is largely due to his fame as the author of the bestselling romantic novel Green Mansions (1904). In this rather daft book, Rima is a wild nature girl who lives deep in the Venezuelan rain forest, dresses in spider webs and can talk to the birds -- and here she is, surrounded by her friends. Evidently she has taken off her web dress to bathe. Despite its fashionable rain forest setting the book is forgotten today, but if you want to read it you can find the complete text online here.

1 comment:

  1. I am envious of your even seeing the grebe again with babies on board. Glad you managed to incorporate Rima and with your usual interesting comments and cross-references.