Thursday 14 June 2012

A violent day in the park. As I was walking by the leaf yard, the Grey Heron who fishes for rats in the tall nettles along the edge of the railings managed to grab one.

After a short time the unfortunate rat was borne away to be swallowed in private, so we did not see its grisly end. Andrew was standing next to me with his splendid professional camera at the ready, and started shooting earlier. He has promised to send me a picture of the moment of capture and I hope to put it on the blog tomorrow; it will be much better than mine.

However, that was not the end of the excitement. Coming home past the Dell restaurant, I saw two Lesser Black-Backed Gulls hunting pigeons. One was chasing them in the open air, like a hawk, and failed again and again because pigeons are fast and agile flyers. The other was on foot, chasing them along the shore, and seemed equally unsuccessful.

But then the point of this method became clear. A pigeon was frightened into the air and flew out low over the lake. And the gull went after it, grabbed it by the scruff of the neck,

bore it down into the water and tried to drown it.

But it was the pigeon's lucky day, and it struggled free and escaped.

After all that, it was reassuring to see that the seven cygnets of the Mute Swans from the Lido are still with us, and so are the eight Egyptian Geese on the Serpentine. And the brood of ten Egyptians on the Round Pond, of which Elizabeth sent a slide show a few days ago, is also intact; Paul saw them this morning.

Near the Serpentine Gallery, one of my familiar Carrion Crows dropped past for a peanut. No sooner had it landed than there was a loud rattling and an angry Mistle Thrush whizzed down and bashed it on the head. The crow hastily took its nut and flew several hundred yards away to be left in peace.

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