Saturday 20 October 2012

The young Great Crested Grebes at the bridge are now catching their own fish quite successfully. But if a parent should surface within sight carrying a fish, there is still a wild rush to be first.

On the Long Water, a Little Grebe had climbed rather unsteadily on to a branch to do a bit of preening. While I watched, it fell off and climbed back twice. This picture was taken right across the lake from the shore at the Peter Pan statue, which is why it is not as clear as it might have been.

Roy Sanderson provided some more useful information about the recent sighting of Jackdaws in Kensington Gardens. They nested regularly till 1969, in elm trees between the Physical Energy statue and the Albert Memorial. Then Dutch elm disease arrived. The trees went, and so did the Jackdaws. It would be excellent if they found a place to nest again.

To answer Elizabeth's question on Wednesday about whether it is common for big gulls to have dark-spotted irises: yes. Here is a picture taken in summer 2011 showing a Herring Gull with exactly the same kind of eye colours as the Lesser Black-Backed Gull in the previous picture. You can see it is summer because the plumage of the bird's head and neck is pure white. In winter it has dark streaks.

And speaking of eye colour, here is a Cormorant with the light catching its surprisingly bright blue eye.

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