Saturday 22 September 2012

Two of the seven young Mute Swans have started flying.

I first noticed when they passed over my head from behind at a low altitude -- I was too surprised to catch a picture of them. I did not hear them coming; their wings seem to make little noise, unlike those of adult swans. They circled the lake and landed, quite neatly, near the rest of the family. Their five siblings showed no sign of wanting to join the expedition. Later the same two flew to the Dell restaurant and joined the group of geese touting for food from visitors.

A pair of Cormorants were flying in circles around the bridge. Usually when you see Cormorants flying they are going from A to B in a straight line. Possibly they were looking for fish. The lake is getting clearer now that the weather is cooling down, and medium-sized fish would be visible from above if they were not swimming too deep.

The water is clear enough for a good view of this young Great Crested Grebe's feet as it preens its back. It will be a couple of months before this bird will be able to take to the air.

At the Italian Gardens, a pair of Little Grebes were looking for food among the reeds. They eat not only fish but any kind of small aquatic creature, and insects if they can catch them. A Little Grebe is quick enough to seize a dragonfly that comes incautiously close.

This Comma butterfly was sunning itself in the leaf yard.

Sometimes I look at the statistics page for this blog to see the Google arguments people have been using when they find it -- not always deliberately. One person was searching for 'Italian chicks', and found a picture of the Moorhen chicks in the Italian Garden. I hope he liked them.

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