Monday, 9 July 2012

Several large flocks of Long-Tailed Tits were roaming around the park, including one of at least 50 in the 'Bird Sanctuary' -- that is, the belt of shrubbery around the greenhouses at the back of the Rima fountain. These gregarious birds merge their families and share the care of the young, an unusual trait in birds; Canada Geese do it too. This young bird is looking very scruffy as its adult plumage begins to emerge under its juvenile fluff.

A family of Goldcrests in the Dell was audible but, as usual with these tiny birds, impossible to photograph.

A young Pied Wagtail was running around on the tarmac at the edge of the Serpentine. It paused to give me a quizzical look before a runner frightened it away and it sped off uttering its tweeting flight call.

Not far away, a female Tufted Duck, a bird of understated elegance, was preening herself. This picture shows that a duck's field of view extends over the top of its head, a useful feature when predators come from above.

And here is a Great Crested Grebe just surfacing from a hunting expedition among the dense algae. They eat not only fish, but any small aquatic creatures that they find clinging to water plants.

I also went to the Round Pond, where there were a few Swifts and House Martins and the usual 60-odd Mute Swans but little else. The geese are down on the main lake regrowing their flight feathers, but I was surprised to find no gulls of any species.

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