Thursday 17 October 2013

There was a young Great Black-backed Gull on the posts offshore from Peter Pan.

As you will remember, an adult was spotted a few days ago. The young gull is a second-winter bird, as you can see from the way its bill is changing from uniform black to yellowish-brown and black. It may be the one that was seen here in December and January last year -- see this blog post -- but I thought that this bird was second-winter too, as its bill was beginning to change colour and it already had a few flecks of dark grey on its back. Ageing gulls is difficult and I am not good at it.

On the Long Water by the Italian Garden, two Great Crested Grebe chicks were pursuing their mother, who was finding a good quantity of foor for them and at one point came up holding two fish. Here one of the chicks, calling loudly and jostling its mother, persuades her to dive for yet more food.

There are still a few late dragonflies around the Long Water. This is a male Black-Tailed Skimmer, Orthetrum cancellatum.

In the rowan trees on Buck Hill, a Carrion Crow overbalanced while reaching for a berry and had to flap to avoid falling out of the tree.

Despite daily visits, I have hardly seen any Mistle Thrushes in this area. You would expect them to make a beeline for this rich crop of berries. Instead, they seem to be eating the much scantier crop on a few small rowan trees near the leaf yard.

The male Little Owl was in his usual chestnut tree.

He takes almost no notice when I arrive to photograph him: one brief glance down and he goes back to his contemplation.

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