Thursday, 4 August 2016

There was a strange hybrid goose on the Serpentine which I have not seen before. It was as large as a large Canada Goose, and evidently one of its parents is a Canada -- typically hybrids are as large as their larger parent. The other one is a mystery. A Bar-Headed Goose seems most likely, a Snow Goose less likely but possible.

A third very dark Mallard drake appeared on the Long Water at the Vista, It's darker than the other two, almost black. Its white bib is less clearly defined, and it lacks the white streak behind the eye of the others. But it's still probable that they are all siblings.

The Black Swan was on the shore of the Serpentine with his adopted cygnet. He strutted around and started picking up leaves and twigs and throwing them aside in his typical nest-building routine. It is remarkable how long his neck is, and he might be able to outreach a Mute Swan, though you would have to see them side by side to make sure.

The mat of algae at the east end of the Serpentine is offensive to the park staff but delicious to Mute Swans.

A few feet away, a male Great Crested Grebe was stretching his wings. Long as they are, they are too narrow to properly support a bird weighing over two pounds, and the flight of a Great Crested Grebe is a desperate rush to get enough lift.

He is unusually dark, which I think is a sign of age.

The grebe chicks on the Long Water near the bridge were spread out across the lake, being fed by both parents. Again, this one is male, as can be seen from his wide upper crest.

This is a juvenile Black-Headed Gull only a few months old. Its plumage is rather pretty.

The waterfall in the Dell is working properly again. A Wood Pigeon stood on the edge to drink.

A Jackdaw perched in the dead willow tree near the Italian Garden, waiting for a peanut to be put out on the balustrade.

There was a glimpse of one of the Little owlets high overhead in the tall lime tree near the Henry Moore sculpture.

This may be the last owlet picture of the year, as the other two families are already dispersed.

In the chestnut tree near the leaf yard, both the male Little Owl ...

... and his mate made an appearance.

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