Tuesday 5 November 2013

Both the Tawny Owls were side by side in the beech tree next to their nest tree, not ideally placed but today at least you could see their faces.

As I crashed around in the brambles under the tree trying to get a good angle they both woke up and regarded me with mild annoyance.

The young Great Crested Grebes at the bridge are being chased away as often as not when they follow their parents begging for food, but sometimes an adult relents.

There are so many fish in the baskets here that the adults were briging one up every time they dived, and the youngsters were managing to do it occasionally. The Cormorants were not bothering with the baskets, and a gang of half a dozen were fishing together in the open lake.

Offshore from Peter Pan an adult grebe had drifted in very close to the edge, evidently sleeping off the effect of a large meal. After a while it woke up and had a bit of a preen and a flap, here seen from almost directly above, but it showed no further interest in fishing. Even a bird feels full sometimes.

Paul Turner had seen two small wading birds whizzing past at too great a distance to identify -- probably some kind of sandpiper -- so I went to the Round Pond to see if they had turned up there. They hadn't, and there were only the ordinary residents.

This is a first-winter Common Gull, hatched this spring.

They grow up more slowly than the smaller Black-Headed Gulls, taking three years to reach a fully adult appearance. At this stage it is beginning to grow pale grey adult plumage on its back, gradually replacing its tweedy juvenile feathers.

This Black-Headed Gull hanging in the stiff breeze is an adult, at least in its second winter and probably older to judge by the colour of its feet, which slowly become darker and darker red. Its tail feathers have lost the black tips of a first-winter bird and are completely white.

1 comment:

  1. From the confines of my flat, amusing stories woven around lovely 'angles' on the birds, as my father would have called them Many thanks.