Wednesday 7 August 2013

An early sign of the approach of autumn: a Blackbird finds a ripe blackberry.

He ate it himself. But there are plenty of Blackbirds with families in the bushes. Here is a young one which was chasing its mother around near the bridge calling for food.

Other songbirds are more grown up now. The young Great Tits are gradually beginning to find their own insects, and are making less demand on their parents -- you can tell this simply because they are making less noise. Most of the young ones will now come down to take food off your hand.

This teenage Robin in the Flower Walk has also come to my hand on several days, staying to take several pine nuts or sunflower seeds.

As you can see, it is already beginning to grow the red feathers of adulthood. Soon it will no longer be tolerated by adults, since the red breast of a rival Robin makes an adult literally 'see red', and drive the intruder out of its territory. (I didn't use the metaphor of 'a red rag to a bull'. Cattle can't see red, as their eyes have colour receptors only for yellow and violet, and to them the matador's cape looks grey. If he waved a high-visibilty jacket instead they could see it very clearly, but might not charge as they find the bright colour frightening.)

The Mallard duckling that was trapped in the wire netting yesterday is alive and well. However, all four ducklings had recklessly climbed back into the same enclosure today. Their mother was sitting on top of the knocked-down plants that allow them to get in and out, keeping the Moorhens at bay in case they should want to start any rough stuff.

The solitary cygnet of the Mute Swans on the Long Water has grown rapidly in recent days and is now almost as large as its parents.

If there were a prize for unsuitable nest sites, this Great Crested Grebe would win it.

It is on the tip of a Lombardy poplar that fell into the Long Water several years ago. However, a pair of grebes nested at the end of another fallen poplar last year somehow managed to raise three chicks.

The two new grebe chicks were still at the Serpentine island today, riding on one parent's back and being fed by the other.

1 comment:

  1. Now, at last, we have a use for high risibility jackets. Thank you, I will take one with me next time I am out walking in the countryside where there are bulls in the fields. Does it work with bullocks as well? They are not dangerous but can be a damn nuisance if you are walking a dog even, or especially, if the latter is on a lead.