Friday 11 October 2013

On a dull wet day, a couple of Coots were amusing themselves by bickering mildly over a bunch of poplar leaves.

I don't think there is much nourishment for them in the tough leaves of trees. But this young Black-Headed Gull had never seen fallen autumn leaves before, and found them interesting as a toy.

In the Dell, a Moorhen was managing to find something to eat even in a waterfall.

Moorhens are survivors because they can eat just about anything. The Moorhens in the park are bullied by the Coots, but it should not be forgotten that they have lived in London continuously, while Coots had to be reintroduced in the 1920s.

The Great Crested Grebe family with two chicks were still sheltering from gulls under the willow tree by the Italian Garden. Here one of them is being successfully fed, protected by the twigs, while its sibling looks on, hungry for the next fish.

The oldest of this year's chicks were fishing independently although their parents were with them, and were not calling for food.

I didn't see either of them catch anything, and they soon got bored with acting grown-up and started begging again.

A Cormorant was fishing in the shallows very close to the edge of the Serpentine, where the grebes have been hunting for several days. It didn't emerge carrying a fish, and I think it was catching a lot of small fish underwater and swallowing them without surfacing them.

The male Tawny Owl was hooting early this morning between the Physical Energy statue and the Flower Walk. There has been no sign of the pair near their nest tree 200 yards away for some time, but things will change as the leaves fall and they get together in preparation for the next nesting season.

The female Little Owl was in her usual tree before it started raining, and seemed a bit less nervous than usual. It may be getting through to her that people constantly come and peer up at the tree but don't harass her in any way.

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