Friday 15 November 2013

A day of missed pictures. As I arrived at Peter Pan, an adult Great Black-Backed Gull hauled itself heavily into the air and I could only get a shot of it retreating and couldn't find it again. The Little Grebe appeared, but not in a photographable place. The female Little Owl saw us coming and hid in the leaves so that you could only see a few patches of spotted feathers.

The Tawny Owls had returned to their customary places in the beech tree and the male stared at me, but even he had an annoying little leaf in front of his face.

There was a Treecreeper not far from the Little Owls' tree, invisible against the bark till it moved. Its long hooked claws hold it firmly to the bark while it braces itself upright with its tail, whose feathers are showing severe wear from being used in this way.

The Cormorants were still fishing busily near the bridge. One of them had hauled out on to a post to spread its wings in the sun, and was looking quite heraldic and shiny.

It is curious that their oily-looking feathers are not water-resistant, while the perfectly ordinary-looking feathers of ducks and grebes are.

Nearby a pair of Great Crested Grebes who had been fishing at the bridge were congratulating each other on having raised their chicks to independence.

But seconds after I took this picture, up came one of the young birds and started bothering them again. They took not notice.

Three Greylag Geese flew past the island in a neat diagonal line. As they left, I could see them giving the awful Winter Wonderland a wide berth on their way to the north end of the Parade Ground, where the grass just restored at vast expense is particularly lush and tasty.

And going the other way, two Common Gulls chased another that was carrying a bit of bread, hoping they could harass it into dropping the food.

Two crows were squabbling noisily on the marble fountain in the Italian Garden (though you would never think that this algae-encrusted basin was made of fine white marble).


  1. Thank you for some interesting photos and I love the picture of the Great Crested Grebes. I saw what I think was the same pair last weekend. They were greeting each other by calling. When will the young Grebes fly away from the lake?

    1. The young grebes have been practising flying, and probably all of them will soon be as airworthy as a Great Crested Grebe is (not very). They have no pressing reason to leave yet, but if the weather gets so cold that the lake begins to freeze, all the grebes will be away to the Thames, upstream from Chiswick.