Monday, 10 August 2015

The many young Dunnocks in the park are much less timid than adults. This one was hopping around on the path near the Italian Garden almost under the feet of the passers by.

The long-running Coot nest in the middle of the Long Water has not produced any chicks, and the parents have finally abandoned it. Maybe some hatched and were immediately eaten by the Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-Backs that perch on the nearby posts. Today it was a resting place for a Black-Headed Gull. Most of the returning population have now lost their dark brown heads and are already in winter plumage.

Two other Coot nests, the one near Peter Pan and this one under the dead willow tree near the Italian Garden, have been taken over by Grey Herons as fishing platforms. When a heron wants your nest, there isn't much you can do.

The Great Crested Grebe chicks opposite Peter Pan are now too large for more than one to ride on a parent's back.

At the more recent nest under the bridge, the parents have already started carrying their chicks out from the nest. When the father returned, one chick slid off his back while he was climbing on.

It had to crawl back on to the nest and on to his back.

Small grebe chicks can't stand on their legs, which are so radically adapted for swimming that even adults are unsteady on their feet. They crawl on their bellies like reptiles, using their wings as front legs. Their wings are quite well developed when they are hatched, unlike those of ducklings.

A Pied Wagtail was gathering food for a young one waiting on the roof of the Dell restaurant. When I took this picture he hadn't found anything but a bit of bread, not much good for a bird that lives on nutritious insects.

A Wood Pigeon in the Flower Walk was eating unripe crabapples at a great rate. Presumably they don't get indigestion.

One of the Little Owlets was in the nest tree, calling for food. I couldn't find an adult.

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