Monday 11 November 2013

The solitary Little Grebe made an appearance under a bramble bush at the edge of the Long Water.

Perhaps we shall see some more of these charming little birds when the weather gets over. They prefer small overgrown ponds to open lakes, but when these freeze they move to a place where they know the water will never completely freeze over. The upper end of the Long Water, where water comes in from a borehole at the constant underground temperature of 10°C, is such a place.

The young Great Crested Grebes are getting some sharp lessons in growing up. Here one of them pesters its mother for food ...

... and promptly gets chased away.

The young grebe was swimming with one foot tucked up under its wing, as grebes do when they are not in a hurry, so when it fled it spun round before it could get its folded foot back into the water.

Two Shoveller drakes were fighting near the Italian Garden.

There were four males and one female in the group, which accounts for the discord. There are still only a few Shovellers on the lake, possibly no more than six -- there is a lone male on the Serpentine.

The pair of Nuthatches in the leaf yard are getting more confident, and came down to the fence near Peter Pan.

The Tawny Owls are still in their usual places in the beech tree nest to their nest tree. Here the female gives me a suspicious look over her shoulder. Her mate is just visible through the leaves.

Paul Turner saw a Sparrowhawk on a bush in the Flower Walk, waiting to catch one of the small birds that abound in the ornamental bushes.

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