Thursday 11 October 2012

There was a lively territorial dispute going on between two families of Mute Swans on the Serpentine. Here one of the young swans dares to threaten an adult, looking very fine and brave until you realise that he was 50 yards away.

The eldest brood of swans are now more or less independent of their parents and spend most of their time on the lake by themselves, but in this case the family had come together to deal with the next door neighbours.

The youngest Great Crested Grebe on the lake is now almost as large as its father. It is only five or six weeks old but, being an only child, has been very well fed.

But it is still only beginning to learn the skills of fishing, and will be dependent for some time. Only the eldest two of this year's grebe chicks, now three and a half months old, are fully independent and have stopped pestering their parents.

The Lesser Black-Backed Gulls that normally perch on the corner of the Dell restaurant roof were away hunting pigeons, and a Grey Heron took their place. Here it stands against an autumnal background, peering hungrily into the lake for something discarded by the diners.

You might think that this picture showed a Common Gull being knocked off its perch by a smaller Black-Headed Gull. But, as the fairly large gap between them shows, this never happens: the larger bird always gets its way. The Common Gull had decided to leave, and a passing Black-Headed Gull hurried to take its place.

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