Friday, 21 August 2015

The warm sunshine had brought the Reed Warblers out of the reeds near the bridge. This young one was vigorously preening itself.

Although it now has much the same plumage as an adult, you can tell it's young by a slight tinge of juvenile yellow remaining at the base of its bill.

The young Robins are now mostly grown up, and families have split up and the birds are claiming their winter territories and beginning to sing again after the late summer pause. Both sexes have individual territories, and both sing.

However, this young Robin in the bushes beside the Dell waterfall must have been hatched quite late, since it is still in juvenile plumage and only just beginning to grow adult red feathers.

The Mute Swans have already pushed down the fence around one of the rafts of plants in front of the Dell restaurant, and trashed the plants thoroughly by milling around on them, though they never managed to establish a nest here. Now it has happened on the next raft along. This swan looks as if it was intending to nest, but it would be very late for a pair to begin the long process of raising cygnets.

Great Crested Grebes have no hesitation in nesting late, and a pair on the Serpentine once left it till the beginning of September and still raised young, just in time for them to be flying before the first winter frost. This is the family on the Long Water, with two of the three chicks vying for a fish.

A Cormorant on a post at the island was not just stretching out its wings to dry, but flapping them furiously. It may help with flying if they can get out every drop of water.

Another Cormorant was circling in a thermal over Hyde Park to gain altitude. Despite their large wings these heavy birds are no good at soaring and have to keep flapping continuously, but a convenient thermal saves effort when they are going to fly some distance along the river to their night roosts.

There were no Mistle Thrushes in the rowan trees on Buck Hill, and the resident Magpie was perched on top of the tallest one with a king-of-the-castle attitude.

The male Little Owl was enjoying the sunlight on his favourite branch in last year's nest tree.

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