Monday 29 October 2012

More Common Gulls have arrived for the winter. The usual game begins: the big Black-Headed and Herring Gulls beat up the medium-sized Common Gulls, and the Common Gulls beat up the small Black-Headed Gulls.

But sometimes there is a surprise. This Black-Headed Gull made a daring raid over the head of a young Herring Gull to seize a piece of bread, and got away with most of it. A Coot took the rest, and the Herring Gull, which had supposed itself able to beat all comers, was left with nothing.

The male Tawny Owl is still in the beech tree next to the nest tree, and still very difficult to see. When he returns to the nest tree he will be clearly visible, since this tree has been badly attacked by the Horse Chestnut Leaf Miner Cameraria ohridella and has already shed most of its leaves. The pest attacks horse chestnuts that stand in long grass, and the trees where a mower passes underneath remain relatively unscathed. This is because it can overwinter in the long grass, and emerges in spring to lay eggs on the leaves.

The Little Grebes were out together on the Long Water. Here they pass under some brambles.

A Wren had come out on to a rock near the waterfall in the Dell to drink and bathe. It was too small to stand in the fast flowing water on the edge where I photographed the Grey Wagtail on Saturday, and had to content itself with splashing around on the edge of the pool under a berberis bush.

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