Tuesday, 15 September 2015

The morning rain didn't deter a Robin from coming out on a holly branch.

It suited the Mistle Thrushes fine, bringing up plenty of worms. This is one of a small flock that were feeding on Buck Hill.

The pair of Nuthatches in the southeast corner of the leaf yard, near the path, are  coming down reliably to pick up nuts from the railings. It's a dark place overhung by trees, so photographs are difficult.

A young Great Crested Grebe on the Long Water was having a stretch. Its wings are no almost completely developed, and soon we shall have the entertaining spectacle of them learning to fly, rushing wildly across the lake trying to reach a grebe's very high unstick speed.

Their parents are now changing into plain winter plumage, losing the stylish chestnut and black neck ruff. This ornament is called a 'tippet', after an obsolete Victorian women's garment, a kind of small cape worn round the shoulders.

A female Tufted Duck had been preening her wings and was having a flap to settle the feathers.

White heads are not uncommon in Canada Geese, usually with black speckles as here. This tendency to speckles comes out more strongly in the Canada-Greylag hybrids, which can have the pattern all over their head and neck.

The young Lesser Black-Backed Gull that is almost certainly the offspring of the notorious pigeon-eaters was still pestering its parents, but then it saw someone with a bag of food on the edge of the Serpentine and flew over for an easier meal.

Note that its primary feathers are dark all along its wing. A juvenile Herring Gull would have pale-tipped inner primaries. This is the only reliable way of telling the species apart at this age.

The male Little Owl was in his usual place, and didn't budge even when there was a heavy shower.

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