Thursday, 5 March 2015

The Maned Goose which Virginia Grey photographed attacking the Egyptian -- see the post for 25 February -- has settled into a pattern of odd behaviour. He is a male; in this Australian species the sexes are different in appearance. But he has attached himself to the male Egyptian of the pair and follows him around.

The female Egyptian was on her nest in a tree, surveying the world with a wary eye.

The Maned Goose is still troubling her, and Virginia saw him trying to mate with her, in spite of his much smaller size -- he is hardly bigger than a Mallard.

Here is the white Mallard that has been on the Serpentine for several days. These are not uncommon, and several years ago there were two, at least one of which was female and had a normal coloured drake as a mate. I think that these are leucistic wild Mallards, and not crossbreeds with domestic ducks. As you can see, it is a completely normal size and shape, while crossbreeds tend to be oversized.

There were at least seven Mandarins on the Long Water. Several males were chasing a female, and each other.

The Scaup was in his usual place halfway along the reed bed in front of the Diana memorial, alternately dozing and preening.

This one-legged Black-Headed Gull has been visiting the Long Water for several years. It doesn't seem to be at all bothered by its disability, apart from being slightly unstable when landing. People have been feeding it, and it is now very bold and will snatch food from your fingers.

The female Little Owl came out on the pair's chestnut tree, but fled into her hole the moment we approached. This is the male staring at us over the parapet a few minutes later.

The mild weather and occasional sunshine brought the male Tawny Owl out of his hole, and he spent the whole day on his usual place.

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