Wednesday, 28 November 2012

After the last few days' absence, two Shovellers showed up on the Long Water, both male, so they were not the pair from the Round Pond. A careful look all round the edge of the Long Water did not reveal any more, and there were none at the Serpentine island.

The north shore of the Serpentine from the bridge to the small boathouses has become the territory of the park's rapidly growing population of Egyptian Geese.

There were at least 40 there today. It is a good place for them, especially on bleak winter days when there are few people with dogs. There is plenty of high-quality, freshly laid turf to provide food, pools of water to dabble in, and several temporary fences to discourage people from walking over the area.

Nearby, two Greylag Geese were dozing while standing on one leg. They sleepily opened their eyes when I came over to take the picture, but they are all pretty calm about people who don't come too close.

Their ability to balance while asleep is impressive, but not as uncanny as it seems, since birds sleep with one side of their brain at a time, and stand on the leg belonging to the waking side.

A few yards away, a pair of Pochards was cruising about.

These small, quiet, modestly coloured diving ducks are easy to overlook among the park's gaudier species, but they are handsome birds. In both Common Pochards, as here, and in Red Crested Pochards, as in yesterday's picture, only the male has red eyes.

The male Tawny Owl was in his usual place on the tree where the pair nest.

A Little Grebe was fishing under the willow tree near the Italian Gardens, above a decorative layer of fallen leaves showing through the shallow water.

There are plenty of small creatures to be found by rooting around in the leaves.

1 comment:

  1. Many conratulations for keeping up a flow of interesting information - and of humour - during these last few dreary days!