Saturday, 7 September 2013

The Hobbies are still here -- after not having seen them for several days, I thought they had left for Africa. They were calling in their usual tall plane tree near the Physical Energy statue, and as I approached, one of them shot out pursued by a Magpie. Here it is, having shaken off the Magpie, returning to the tree.

The Coal Tit in the Flower Walk which has been singing for several days was still singing today. I managed to get a picture of it as it jumped around the twigs of a tatty old tree encrusted with lichen. The tree seems to have a lot of insects in it, as it is regularly visited by Great, Blue and Long-Tailed Tits as well as Goldcrests.

There are at least two pairs of Coal Tits in the Flower Walk at the moment, and another near the Rima relief in Hyde Park. Recently I came across another at the southwest corner of the leaf yard. But there are not many of these charming birds in the park, and it seems that a lot of them died in the long cold spell in spring. The three that used to come and feed off my hand in the leaf yard vanished then.

The Coots in the Italian Garden don't need a nest for their five adolescent chicks. But Coots can't stop building nests, and are piling more and more pieces of reed on it.

The Great Crested Grebe family at the east end of the lake came close to the shore, and the sight of the chicks brought a small crowd of admirers.

The parent must be their father, as he has a very wide crest. The chicks are clustering close to him because they are in a dangerous place, surrounded by juvenile Lesser Black-Backed Gulls. The parents were loud in defiance of these predatory birds.

Probably a grebe chick could dive fast enough to escape if a gull swooped on it. But it would be better not to have to find out.

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