Friday, 28 June 2013

There were three Grey Herons in the Italian Garden. As usual with herons, they were squabbling, and here a senior heron is dismissing a year-old bird. As Grey Herons age, they become more black and white.

One of the herons was staring earnestly into the northwest pond. It seemed to think there are some fish in it. Normally there are none, but in this case I think the bird was right, because I had seen a dead goldfish in the pool two days before. People sometimes dump their unwanted pets, and there was an incident a few years ago when someone threw an entire aquarium full of goldfish, at least 40 of them, into this same pool.

On the path nearby, a young Magpie and a rat were warily assessing each other's edibility.

The result was a draw, and the Magpie flew off to pester its parents while the rat retired into the shrubbery.

The Pied Wagtails normally seen hunting insects along the edge of the Serpentine have moved to the Round Pond, at present heavily carpeted in algae which are full of small creatures. This bird, which had been running around on the surface of the algae, is flying off with two insects (I ought to be able to recognise them, but can't).

Normally there are 60 or 70 Mute Swans on the Round Pond, but today there were only 10. All the others have moved down to the main lake, and show no sign of returning despite the constant fighting that has ensued. But in spite of the turmoil, there are four broods of cygnets on the lake, totalling nine.

The Canada Geese are beginning to regrow their flight feathers, which you can see emerging here in their blue packaging -- the wrapping is necessary because otherwise the barbs of the feathers would stick on their way out.

The Greylags are running later than the Canadas, and I haven't yet seen one with new wing feathers. Most of the Egyptians have got right through the change and are flying again.

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