Thursday 4 October 2012

More Shovellers have arrived on the Long Water, and I saw eight. They included two first-year males, not yet in their full strongly coloured plumage. They are on the right of this picture, with an adult male and female on the left.

Roy Sanderson came to the park to see the Hobbies, but sadly there was no sign of them. They may already be across the Channel on their way to Africa. It seems likely that they follow the migrating flocks of various swallows and martins, eating one occasionally. A small group of House Martins flew over the park unmolested, heading southeast.

The Egyptian Geese at the Round Pond still have nine of their very late brood, and there were no big gulls over the water when I visited them. They were industriously cropping the short grass. When I gave them some bits of biscuit for a change, observant Feral Pigeons and Starlings dived in immediately.

The three young Moorhens on the pond in the Italian Gardens are now almost fully grown, and just beginning to get adult colours in their beaks, though they will retain their brown adolescent plumage for some time yet. They are handsome little birds. Their upbringing in a tough area has made them bold, and they chase off Feral Pigeons and Mallards that get in their way.

Also in the Italian Gardens, a male Tufted Duck was sitting on the edge of one of the ponds. He had a stranded air and I wondered if he was injured, but he didn't seem to have anything broken so I gave him some pieces of biscuit and left him alone.

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