Sunday, 13 October 2013

On a gloomy, rainy day, a Great Black-Backed Gull brought a touch of distinction to the Long Water. You can see how enormous it is by comparing it to the Cormorant behind it.

The Little Owls' chestnut tree had up to 20 Ring-Necked Parakeets and 5 Mistle Thrushes perched in it or flying around, all making a lot of noise. The owls were sensibly inside, sheltering from the drizzle and heckling. Here some of the parakeets have tired of the game and are flying off.

Grey Herons are such a common sight on the lake that it's easy to overlook their elegance. Here one preens itself in a pictureque setting near the Italian Garden.

These rocks were probably placed to create a rugged, rustic look, but they are a boon to birdwatchers as all kinds of birds come to perch on them.

On the balustrade of the Italian Garden, one of the local family of crows opened a peanut with practised skill.

The Black-Headed Gull with ring number EY09813 recognised me from some distance away and flew over to be rewarded with a couple of pieces of biscuit.

This pair of Great Crested Grebes are the parents of the three chicks which are now being fed near the Serpentine bridge. Here they have taken a moment off their duties to have an affectionate display.

The frequent displays of grebes at all times of year are not just signs of high spirits. Rearing a brood of hungry chicks on fish that the parents have to hunt for is a long and laborious business, which takes about four and a half months from the time they build their nest to the time that the young birds are independent and able to fly. The parents share the work equitably -- you can't tell a male grebe from a female by the way they behave. To keep them at this demanding labour, they have to have an intense bond of affection (I would say love, though a scientist probably wouldn't) and the displays reinforce that bond.

1 comment:

  1. I'd call it love too. Without anthropomorphising, I would suggest it arrogant to deny that animals possess such a strong and basic emotion.