Sunday 27 October 2013

The Little Owls' nest tree was full of Ring-Necked Parakeets eating chestnuts. They first have to extract the chestnut from its spiky case, then they have to peck off the shell. But a parakeet's strong, sharp beak is more than up to the task.

The Little Owls were not to be seen, and were probably inside the hollow tree sensibly keeping out of the wind. The Tawny Owls had also moved to a more sheltered spot, and I couldn't find them.

This young Black-Headed Gull is a visitor from Norway, as can be seen from its colour ring marked J0TR -- the first letter on these rings indicates the country.

The bird wouldn't turn round for me to read the number on its metal ring, and all I could see was that it began with K.

The odd couple of a Herring Gull and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull on the south shore of the Serpentine are still waving bright coloured autumn leaves at each other.

Maybe this is not just a game; it may be some kind of bonding ritual. But the smaller Black-Headed Gulls were also carrying leaves around, and even flying with them.

A visit to the Round Pond to see if there were any exotic migrants blown in by the strong wind didn't reveal any, just the reliable resident Pied Wagtails running round the edge in their endless search for insects. The wind constrains them to run in one direction so that their feathers don't get ruffled, so if you stand upwind of a bird and stay still, it will come right up to you. This one is nonchalantly strolling around as a wave is about to break over it, but a quick run towards the shore is enough to save it from being swamped.

The Great Crested Grebes were bouncing around on the choppy waves of the Serpentine, but not doing anything that provided a good picture. So here is a young grebe on the Long Water, already beginning to lose its juvenile stripes and take on a more adult appearance.

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