Sunday, 14 September 2014

The return of a migrant: this Black-Headed Gull, seen right across the Long Water from Peter Pan, has been spending the winter on the lake for three years, and was spotted here on 6 and 7 November 2012, and 25 January and 30 December 2013. The initial T on its plastic ring, T4UN, shows that it is Polish. The number on its metal ring -- not legible from this distance, of course -- reads P184.318. It was ringed while still a chick on 14 June 2012 near Warsaw, in Kampinos National Park.

The rowan trees on Buck Hill were busy. A Wood Pigeon ...

... and a Blackbird were eating berries ...

... and while I was watching them a Mistle Thrush landed in the top of the tree, then plunged into the leaves where I couldn't see it any more.

The male Little Owl was again in the chestnut tree next to the pair's nest tree. He was having a calmer time than yesterday, and perched out in the open where he could be seen clearly. Note that this small bird's fearsome claws can reach right round the branch.

When an owl grips something, either a branch or its prey, it puts toes 2 and 3 to the front, and 1 (its 'big toe') and 4 to the back. When it is standing on the ground, toe 4 moves forward to give a conventional bird's foot shape.

A pair of Great Crested Grebes were catching fish for their chick in one of the wire baskets of twigs next to the bridge. When they stopped for a rest, the chick dived for itself, though it didn't catch anything.

This is the family of two adult Coots and five adolescents on one of the Italian Garden Ponds. They were demolishing the last of the waterlily leaves when they saw someone standing at the edge with what looked like a bag of food, and they sprinted over.

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