Wednesday 18 December 2013

A Great Black-Backed Gull was standing on a post near the Serpentine bridge.

It was overlooking the basket where the Cormorants and Great Crested Grebes fish. There was no sign of these, evidently deterred by this huge fierce creature. The grebes came back after it had gone away and resumed their long-running territorial dispute.

Small numbers of these gulls -- three is the most we have ever had at one time -- drift in and out of the park. It is not clear where they come from or go to: possibly the river, or they may be making a tour of the parks looking for food. There are plenty of pigeons for them, anyway.

On the Long Water, two Lesser Black-Backed Gulls were quarrelling over a large crayfish.

It had probably been caught in the Serpentine, since the Long Water does not have the shallow sloping edges that enable the gulls to dive for them. This one looks reddish, so it is probably an American signal crayfish.

The newly laid turf around the Henry Moore statue had attracted a couple of Moorhens, which were running around looking for small edible creatures but -- to judge by the amount of running relative to pecking -- not finding much.

It is sterile turf grown on a turf farm and would not have much animal life in it. But in a few months it will crawling with insects and worms.

One of the Little Grebes appeared near the Italian Garden.

It caught a fish but was immediately attacked by a Black-Headed Gull and retired into the shelter of the reeds to eat it.

Only the female Tawny Owl was out today, on her usual balcony.

Several people were looking for her mate, but didn't find him.

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