Monday 22 October 2012

It was a dull misty day. Here is the view looking along the Long Water from the Italian Garden, with a Grey Heron standing on the raft that was meant to provide a nesting place for Common Terns.

After this was built and moored in the lake, it should have been covered with rounded white stones and equipped with a bucket on its side to provide the terns with camouflage for their eggs and shelter for their chicks, but this was not done and I have never seen a tern near it. Instead, it provides a perch for Grey Herons, Egyptian Geese, Mute Swans, and any gulls that happen to be passing. Common Terns have bred in central London, though not in the park as far as I know. Five years ago I saw a young tern parked on one of the wooden posts near the bridge while its parents brought it fish. But I have not spotted a tern on the lake this year. They are easier to find on the Grand Union Canal on the far side of Paddington Station.

There were a lot of Ring-Necked Parakeets, including a large flock of about 50 wheeling and screeching over Kensington Gardens. Their bright green feathers, such a good camouflage in summer, makes them absurdly conspicuous when they perch in leafless trees.

There are still only a few Common Gulls, though more should arrive soon. Here one perches next to some Black-Headed Gulls on the buoys around the Lido swimming area.

Even in the murk of a dull day, the brilliant white feathers on the belly of a Great Crested Grebe show up brilliantly as the bird turns on its side to preen them.

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