Friday 12 October 2012

A changeable day of sunshine, showers and wind. Here a Common Gull chases a Black-Headed Gull over the rainbow. The Common Gull is easily identified in flight by the white 'windows' in its black wingtips, which are larger in proportion to the bird than those of the bigger Herring Gull.

A Kestrel was being harried by two Carrion Crows, and flew off to find somewhere quieter.

Some young Mute Swans were doing a bit of flying practice on the lake. At this age, they are in the air more often than adults, before the fun of flying wears off. Here one of them makes a smooth touchdown, waterskiing on its big black feet.

The gull in the foreground is a third-winter Herring Gull, with an almost complete suit of adult light grey on its back, but plenty of dark streaks on its head, neck and chest. The adult Herring Gull behind it has some dark streaks on its head when in winter plumage, but the rest of its front remains pure white.

Here a Wood Pigeon is making the most of this year's bumper crop of holly berries. The berries will all be eaten by various birds within weeks, so if you want a sprig of holly for your Christmas pudding, cut it now, and put it in the freezer in a plastic bag.

In contrast, this year is not a good one for yew berries, a favourite food of Blackbirds and Song Thrushes. I am keeping an eye on the yew bush to the north of Peter Pan, in front of the fallen horse chestnut tree, but so far have not seen much action.

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