Tuesday 29 October 2013

A couple of Carrion Crows were bathing in the little pool at the base of the marble fountain in the Italian Garden. It has a stream of water gushing into it and makes a fine jacuzzi for larger birds.

One of the three young Great Crested Grebes at the bridge caught a fair-sized fish, and quickly ate it before the inevitable Black-Headed Gull swooped down to try to grab it.

All the young grebes are showing signs of independence. The ones at the north end of the Long Water were prospecting for small creatures in the reeds. One of the three at the east end of the Serpentine was making a spirited attempt to fly, and actually got a couple of inches off the water before splashing down chaotically. Unfortunately I was behind some reeds when this happened and couldn't get a picture, but I shall be watching them with interest and try to catch one in the air.

Also at the bridge, a Cormorant had landed on a chain and, wobbling precariously, was trying to walk up it to the wooden post.

Eventually it had to fly up. Only Moorhens can manage this climb without using wings.

There are still only a few Shovellers on the lake. This elegant drake was on his own near the Lido, spinning round like a dog chasing its own tail.

Here are two Egyptian Geese coming in from across the Serpentine, attracted by someone feeding the ducks. The large white patches on their wings make them unmistakable in flight -- at least in this country where the similarly sized and coloured Ruddy Shelduck is very rare.

Several visits to the various owls' trees failed to reveal any of them. But the Tawnies at least will be a lot easier to see when the leaves have fallen.

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