Wednesday, 16 September 2015

On a very wet day, the male Little Owl had sensibly taken cover in last year's nest hole in the chestnut tree.

There were no Mistle Thrushes or Blackbirds in the rowan trees on Buck Hill. Unexpectedly, they were full of a flock of Long-Tailed Tits, which would have had no interest in the berries and were looking for their usual diet of insects.

A Wood Pigeon, however, was interested in the berries of a hawthorn tree near the Italian Garden.

There was a flock of about 50 Swallows flying low over the Serpentine, with a few House Martins mixed in -- there's one at the bottom left of this picture.

Here is a closer view of one of the Swallows.

They had clearly paused to feed on their way to Africa. We don't get many Swallows in the park, and when they appear they are always passing through.

There was also an unprecedented number of Red Crested Pochards, in several groups on both lakes totalling at least 40. These ducks are only recently established in Britain and have just been recognised as a feral species rather than as escapes from collections, and their numbers are rising steadily.

This drake is almost out of eclipse and back to his fine breeding plumage.

The odd black-faced Mute Swan was back on the Serpentine. He appears for a few days and then goes off somewhere else for months. I've never seen him on the Round Pond.

The Long Water is now occupied by a single pair of Mute Swans, actively driving any intruders back under the bridge.

One of the young Great Crested Grebes from the first brood on the Long Water was preening its shining white underside.

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