Friday, 24 August 2012

The Mute Swans with cygnets are coming back, or at least some of them are. I saw two pairs each with three cygnets. The original numbers when they were cleared out for the Olympics were seven, four and three cygnets, so it looks as if one of them has been lost in their exile at Esher, that haunt of fearsome carnivorous stockbrokers. Let's hope that the rest of them return soon.

A Cormorant was behaving strangely on the Long Water. There were two of them in the lake by the Peter Pan statue, one standing on a post drying its wings, the other fishing under a bush. After this one had caught and eaten a fish, it broke a large leafy twig off the tree and took it across to the other bird, and brandished it with outstretched wings.

The other cormorant took absolutely no notice and remained on its post. Rebuffed, the first cormorant swam off, still holding the twig, to the fallen chestnut tree fifty yards away, on to which it climbed. After a while it dropped the twig.

This looked like some kind of mating display, but at the wrong time of year and far away from its breeding ground. I have never seen anything like it before.

In the Dell, a pair of Moorhens with two chicks seemed, at a distance, to be caressing each other's necks in a display of affection. But I think that in fact they were picking off and eating each other's parasites, thus combining affection, nutrition and hygiene in a single act.

1 comment:

  1. I think many of us could learn from this economical behaviour of the Moorhens.