Sunday, 9 March 2014

A warm sunny day had brought thousands of people into the park, and the birds were keeping their distance. Three newly arrived Great Crested Grebes were together in the middle of the Serpentine, untroubled by the passing boats; they have probably been here before and are used to the disturbance.

This female Gadwall near the Serpentine island was eating petals which had fallen into the lake from a blossoming tree.

A pair of Shovellers were resting on the fallen horse chestnut tree in the Long Water.

This beautiful picture of a Mandarin among golden reflections on the Long Water was taken by Virginia Grey.

A Cormorant sitting on a post near the bridge, in full breeding plumage with white head feathers and thigh patch, was looking as elegant as a Cormorant can look.

The blonde female Egyptian Goose hatched last year was back on the Serpentine, and was having a good wash.

She is not the same as the blonde female pictured on the Round Pond yesterday, who has a ring. She was raised in the little scrubby enclosure at the southeast corner of the Serpentine, across the path from the Dell, and can be distinguished from all the other Egyptians by her ashy-beige primaries, far lighter than the otherwise universal dark brown.

The male Tawny Owl was out at 10 am but had gone back into his tree by the time I arrived and didn't emerge all afternoon, to the disappointment of many people who had come to see him.

While I was looking for him around 1 pm, a male Sparrowhawk flew quickly over the Round Pond and headed in the direction of Kensington High Street. There have been quite a lot of sightings of Sparrowhawks in the park recently, and I think that more than one pair are regular visitors.

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