Saturday, 27 July 2013

The three cygnets from one of the Mute Swan families were sheltering from the hot sun (or maybe just foraging) under the wooden jetty of Bluebird Boats while their mother, too large to fit in this confined space, kept an eye on them from outside.

Near the bridge a Coot family with three chicks had found a crayfish claw. One of the parents kept shaking it violently until a piece fell off, then offered it to a chick.

A Hobby was hunting over the Italian Garden, where there are a lot of large dragonflies, one of a Hobby's favourite foods.

However, a Herring Gull disapproved of its presence and crowded it, forcing it away over Bayswater. There was no fight, not even a bout of manoeuvring: the gull just kept close to the Hobby in a vaguely menacing way, and the Hobby yielded.

The Herring Gull had probably come to this spot with designs on the four small Mallard ducklings in one of the ponds, whose number has remained miraculously constant for more than a week. But the encounter with the Hobby distracted it, and by the time it returned the ducklings were safe in a clump of water plants.

The three young Moorhens on another of the Italian Garden ponds are also safe and well, and growing rapidly on a diet of algae.

This Blackbird seems to be a teenage male developing the adult yellow beak and eye ring, but only just beginning to discard his juvenile brown plumage for adult black.

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