Later I saw it on one of the reed rafts at the east end of the lake, with its feathers still ruffled but looking perfectly calm -- I don't think herons are capable of looking happy.
This is the thing that was caught on the heron's beak, a nylon net which had contained a ball. The knob is where the cardboard label was. Carelessly dropped in the lake, it became a deadly trap.
Over its five-day ordeal, the heron had been coming quite close to people, almost as if it sensed that they could help, but it panicked when anyone made a move. Mateusz was able to catch it not only because he had a suitable net (which has to be hastily mended before it was used), but because the bird was on the other side of a barrier left over from the swimming event, and thought that this kept humans at a safe distance.
After that, everything else was an anticlimax. Both the pigeon-killing Lesser Black-Backed Gull's mate and the Lesser Black-Back with pale legs were having a go at pigeons, without success while I was there. The second gull had to be content with a bit of bread it stole from a goose.
One of the Moorhens in the Dell sprinted along the edge carrying a leaf ...
... and plunged into the stream and added it to the latest nest.
The four chicks trotted around on the bank.
The white Mallard was preening his shining feathers at the Lido restaurant.
But he was outdone in splendour by a Starling on the railings.
A heavy shower brought up worms, and a lot of Blackbirds came out in the Flower Walk to dig them up. This is an immature male who has not yet developed his yellow bill and eye ring.
A Mistle Thrush was pulling out wireworms under a tree near the Dell. It looked very dark in the shade, and at first I thought it was a Song Thrush, but the pattern of the spots on its front is unmistakable.
A Magpie was exploring a puddle, in which it found several unidentifiable tiny creatures among the dead leaves.
Both the Little Owls near the leaf yard were in the chestnut tree next to the nest tree. But both of them were in places where it was impossible to get a reasonable picture. Later the female owl flew over to the nest tree and posed obligingly.